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The Ziggy Stardust
Costume Gallery1

1Includes information on
the Ziggy Stardust haircut & make-up techniques

Ziggy Stardust Costumes at "Rock Styles"
The 1980 Floor Show Costume Gallery

1972 - 1973

"It was a cross between Nijinsky and Woolworth's, something cobbled together from whatever was lying around." - Bowie describing the foundation of his early Ziggy Stardust costumes

"He was never camp.  I was not close to him during the Ziggy period, but I think he was being more flamboyant and theatrical rather than making a sexual statement.  He was never a cross-dresser.   I think he suddenly realised that he could do something outrageous to get noticed - he was ignored for years until he appeared on the front pages of the tabloids, pushing a pram and wearing a dress.  It was a clever move - the first of many" - Tony Visconti

According to Bowie, the name "Ziggy" came primarily from the title of a London tailor's shop (called "Ziggy's") that Bowie observed from a train one day. In an interview he said that it was his private joke that because Ziggy Stardust was going to be largely about clothes, he had named him "Ziggy".

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This costume is currently exhibited at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Daniella Palmer and  Freddie Burretti at the 1973 Melody Maker awards ceremony in London.

Bowie's first Ziggy Stardust costumes were made by designer/tailor and Bowie's close friend Freddi Burretti. In mid-1971 Burretti had also fronted Bowie's temporary Arnold Corns project where he went by the name of Rudi Valentino.

Bowie's early Ziggy Stardust costumes were usually one-piece jumpsuits (also referred to as bomber-suits) of various colour and material and silk white trousers and tops (sometimes worn with a white cape).

Natasha Korniloff was another designer of note in this period who designed costumes for a number of Ziggy Stardust shows, including the Rainbow Theatre concerts in London on 18/19 August 1972 and later the 1980 Floor Show in October 1973. Another who helped with the Ziggy Stardust wardrobe, along with Angie Bowie and Sue Fussey, was Susie Frost, Zowie's semi-official nanny. She lived in the basement flat of Haddon Hall.

Still from "A Clockwork Orange" starring Malcolm McDowell

"Most of the look for Ziggy was basically from the Kubrick film - it was Clockwork Orange and the jumpsuits in that movie I thought were just wonderful.   I liked the malicious kind of malevolent, viscous quality of those four guys although the aspects of violence themselves didn't turn me on particularly. So I wanted to put another spin on that, so I went to Liberty's or places like that in London - probably a shop on Tottenham Court Road is more like it - but Liberty sounds better. I picked out all these very florid, bright quilted kind of materials and so that took the edge off the violent look of those suits but still retained that type of terrorist "we-are-ready-for-action" kind of look and the wrestling boots with laces on - but I changed the colour and made them greens and blues and stuff like that. So that was the basic look but instead of just having one eyelash I went the whole hog and had two eyelashes. 

Even the inset photographs of the inside sleeve for Ziggy owed a lot to the Malcolm McDowell look from the Clockwork Orange poster - the sort of sinister looking photograph somewhere between a beetle, not a Beatle person, but a real beetle and violence. The whole idea of having this phony-speak thing - mock Anthony Burgess-Russian speak that drew on Russian words and put them into the English language, and twisted old Shakespearean words around - this kind of fake language ... fitted in perfectly with what I was trying to do in creating this fake world or this world that hadn't happened yet.  It was like trying to anticipate a society that hadn't happened.  The whole idea of droogs and that came straight from the Burgess take." - Bowie (1993)


Floral jumpsuit worn at the Rainbow Concert (19 August 1972)

"You know I never do anything by half. The costumes for the act are outrageous. I've had twelve, fifteen, any number made up but not just for myself -  for the group too. I like to keep my band always well dressed, not like some other people I could mention! They are rather like astral "West Side Story" outfits, with sequins and short battle dress jackets, and long patent leather boots. I've also had my hair chopped off and I feel very butch now. I'm out all the time to entertain, not just to get upon a stage and knock out a few songs. I couldn't live with myself if I did that. I'm the last person to pretend that I'm a radio. I'd rather go out and be a colour television set. Actually I'm a bit worried about the way that the band have fallen into it so easily! Remember they were into hard blues, but now they enjoy the costume bit." - Bowie (1972)

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Space suit consisting of a zip-up jacket and matching trousers made of heavy, stiff metallic silver fabric, with stripes in hot pink, silver, and electric blue. The sleeves have shoulder accents, with thin orange and silver stripes alternating with thicker lime green stripes. The stripes are also found on the thick pointed collar. The wristbands and waistband of the jacket are made of black and colored elastic to give it a tapered look. Capri-type pants with thick stripes in hot pink, blue, and thinner silver stripes complete this bomber type suit that Bowie often wore while singing "Space Oddity" live.

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"But I wasn't going to spend that! I had these made for 8 instead" - Bowie (1993)


A hand-knitted jumpsuit in red and white, and outsize white boots by Kansai Yamamoto (May 1971)

Ziggy Stardust boots made of PVC with plastic platforms which were a copy of a pair of designer Kansai Yamamoto originals that Bowie saw in a Harper and Queens magazine costing 25.

Tight black mesh long-sleeve top, worn with form-fitting black trousers outlined in red and silver sequins along the waist and outside seams. A band of sequins runs around the bottom of each leg, slightly above the ankle. Bowie wore the original for the first time at the Rainbow Theatre in London on 19 August 1972 and ended his Hammersmtih Odeon Farewell Gig on 3 July 1973 wearing this costume.

Continued on next page

---This page last modified: 10 Dec 2018---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)