Bowie and Bristol Fashion

Posted on by Fay Curtis.

photograph of a bright flowery catsuit with bell bottomsWe’ve got Bowie fever! To celebrate our Bowie Night on Thursday 19 June (now sold out), Helen McConnell, Collections Officer – Public History, takes a look at objects in our collections from the 1970s and the era of Ziggy Stardust.

In the early 1970s, David Bowie reinvented himself as Ziggy Stardust. He dyed his hair red and wore androgynous catsuits.

This wonderful catsuit from our costume collection is the mainstream fashion version of Bowie’s extreme dress. The psychedelic print, bright colours and bell bottom trousers are characteristic of youth fashions of the early 1970s.

Black and white photograph of a woman kneeling with her head on her handIt was an exciting time and Bristol had its very own trendsetters. This is Sally Creitzman, who was a professional dancer in the 1960s and ’70s.

Sally wore these amazing platform shoes (below) when she went out dancing. She remembered that a friend had a pair of shoes with a live goldfish in the platform!

The shoes are now in our collection and are on display at Blaise Castle House Museum, where you can see fashions from many different eras.

photograph of a pair of black platform shoes from the 1970s

We’re very much looking forward to being dazzled by your outfits on the night – the bolder the better!


2 comments on “Bowie and Bristol Fashion

  1. Michael Lewis

    Strange catsuit ! P Galore in the early Bond film wore a catsuit – and it clung tightly all over, rather like, you know….. a cat’s skin…. Which is where the name came from, referring to a catlike suit. The clue’s in the title, really. What you have here is very typical 70’s trouser suit – which is a indeed in a very similar pattern to Bowie’s ” flower power ” catsuit.


    1. Helen McConnell

      Hi Michael! Thanks for the comment.

      This is a one piece garment, not the two pieces which would normally be associated with a trouser suit. These were quite popular in the 1970s, and seem to have been known variously as catsuits and jumpsuits.



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