Fuelled by Lambrini (a throwback to early teenage years that I will not apologise for), me and my friend spun each other round singing “Let’s Dance” at last night’s Brixton street party to celebrate David Bowie’s life. Stumbling home we reasoned that the entirety of London should have been there with us and outlined all the ways people would have had Bowie in their lives without consciously realising.
The most currently clear way is in fashion. As LC:M rolled to a finish yesterday, Xander Zhou closed the show with “Heroes”, a model at Burberry opened her palms on the runway to reveal “Bowie” written across her hands and there was glitter everywhere. Bowie was the most obvious pioneer of the gender fluidity that’s become synonymous with London style.
Last night, boys in dresses and a rainbow of makeup came and danced with girls wielding tinnies and lightning bolt face paint. I obliterated a lipstick painting Bowie’s most famous face onto friends. It was the kind of send off that only someone as dearly loved as Bowie could have received. Videos were projected onto the walls of Brixton buildings and the Ritzy and Academy put out their black letters in tribute to the local hero. Hundreds of fans lined the streets bearing candles, flowers, guitars, a tuba and a united happy front.
And that was the best thing about last night, I only saw one person cry. The hundreds were there to remember, to dance, to scream “tremble like a FLOOOOWER,” and to reassure each other that Bowie’s legacy would outlive him and even themselves. A man twice my age (therefore responsible adult age) explained he’d taken a week of grievance leave off work, clutching a bottle of vodka, beaming. The best kind of grieving I’ve ever seen.
Here’s a public plea, that we do this on 11th January every year and remember the man who changed the landscape of fashion and music irreversibly. Rest in peace David Bowie.