How does the 'Best Dressed Brit' do it?
Andrew Trendell
11:12 16th October 2013

This week, The Thin White Duke Mr David Bowie was voted 'the Best Dressed Briton of all time'. ALL TIME. Never mind your Gallaghers, your Beatles, your Paul Wellers, Vivienne Westwoods, Paul Smiths and even your Alexander McQueens - Bowie even ranks ahead of the sharply-dressed Queen Elizabeth I and iconic Duchess of Devonshire Georgina Cavendish. 

Thousands of years of British style and one man reigns supreme. But how? How can one freaky, ageing Londoner surpass all others to be labelled not only as the coolest rock star of the last century, but the most stylish British human being in all of our history? 

Simple: He has always embodied the style of the time, moving like a chameleon from era to era. Bar a few minor slip-ups, he's always grown old gracefully and stayed true to his artistry.

Well done, Bowie - we salute you. 

While many of his peers and contemporaries have either faded into obscurity or aged into embarassing elder statesmen of cringeworthy dad antics - Bowie is still the king of cool. Here's how to grow old gracefully in the style of David Bowie. 

The past belongs in the past
The V&A exhibition taught two things: 1) That Bowie's influence crosses genres, decades and mediums, and 2) That he moves on relentlessly. As iconic as Bowie's life as Ziggy Stardust was, he killed him and tried something else, again and again. As tempting as the multi-million offers must have been, you just won't see Bowie prancing about in a leotard and facepaint in his sixties. The past belongs in the past - take note, Kiss and Alice Cooper. 

 

What mid-life crisis?
Your dad may reach an age where he gets a piercing, dyed hair, tattoos and a motorcycle. When Bowie was in his forties (yeah, he had piercings and dyed hair etc) he was making bat-shit mental gothic artrock..and something that was a bit like drum and bass. Either way, he had his finger on the pulse and looked and sounded amazing. 

 

He's a walking mannequin
Tommy Hilfiger, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton - the list of designers who clamour to pin their wares on the coolest man on Earth is endless.

 

Survival
Most icons have their fair share of embarassing moments. Macca is still plagued by 'Frog Song', Prince has his attempt at hip-hop, and Bowie is no exception. The Labyrinth is a thing that happened and we all have to live with it. Fortunately, while it may be unnerving enough to make the moon cringe, it panders to two of Bowie's best sides: the eccentric and the mainstream genius.  Who else could survive this, go on to still prove himself relevant in decades to come and go on to be crowned coolest Brit of all time? (As a result, we'll even forgive him for 'Dancing In The Street'). 

He can laugh at himself
From his self-depricating on-stage humour to his appearance in Extras, Bowie's humour seems to be one of the main factors in keeping The Man Who Fell To Earth's feet firmly on the ground. We don't see David Gilmour or Pete Townsend in any rush to take the piss out of themselves. 


He's still the go-to guy of cool

How does he do it? This year alone, he's appeared on the cover of NME three times without even uttering a word. No interviews, no public or live appearances, no constant Tweeting about what he's had for lunch - and yet he's dominated every sphere of culture throughout 2013. From the V&A exhibition to the Radio Soulwax 'Dave' mini-movie and the worldwide celebration every time he drops a star-studded music video, Bowie's absence has proven to be more of a presence, letting his art and legacy do the talking without entering the public realm. He's made Arcade Fire's new album even MORE of an event, forced LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy to come out of remix retirement and Louis Vuitton still wants him to be the face of his latest ad campaign. No one is more in demand than Bowie. If you need someone to spice things up a bit then...


He's not really human, is he?

Who else could star alongside Tilda Swinton and make it look like a perfect mirror: Andrognynous, sphinx-like, immortal, incredible.


 

All of these men are 66-years-old
Only one of them looks like David Bowie


 


You see, Bowie just doesn't age like you or I
He looks like some kind of awesome shark



He doesn't even look old in a flat cap 

It just doesn't seem possible