Bowie is Britain's best dressed

Bowie is Britain's best dressed

It was his iconic campy cross-dressing Ziggy Stardust persona, based on an androgynous rock star from outer space, that set David Bowie's name in stone in the 70s.

But does that justify BBC History Magazine readers' choice in naming him the best-dressed Briton in history?

The 66-year-old musician topped the bizarre poll with almost half of the over-4,000 votes.

Perhaps he won because he is, after all, the only living personality in the top 10, who can still dress up.

He beat the likes of Duchess of Devonshire Georgiana Cavendish (died in 1806), Queen Elizabeth I (died in 1554), King Henry III (died in 1272), parliamentarian Samuel Pepys (died in 1703) and stage actress Ellen Terry (died in 1928).

Wait, BBC History Magazine nominated these figures based on... what exactly?

They were dead way before there were paparazzi, and some before there were even cameras, so how do you know their so-called "sartorial style and impact on British fashion history"?

From paintings in museums, I suppose.

Granted, from his alter-egos Aladdin Sane to The Thin White Duke, chameleonic Bowie is undoubtedly a style icon who has inspired designers from Armani to Jean Paul Gaultier.

But why not consider others, dead or alive, who have made their mark on sartorial history and dressed well in their day?

We're talking about Elton John, John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury (who cross-dressed too, for that matter). Veteran actress Helen Mirren could have made the cut too.

Perhaps they weren't considered as flamboyant as Bowie, but it's still a headscratcher how they could lose out to the rest in the Top 10.

Maybe BBC should stick to what it does best, which is to "provide impartial public service", not create random lists.


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