David Bowie has been called rock’s greatest chameleon. Always looking to transcend cultural norms, Bowie reinvented himself many times throughout his five decade musical career. For Bowie, “Changes” was not just a song, but a guiding principal for life.
With this in mind, there are tons of ways to pay tribute to the Starman this Halloween. From the glam-rock icon Ziggy Stardust, to the flamboyant villain Jareth the Goblin King, here are some of our favorite David Bowie Halloween costumes.
Ziggy Stardust, the androgynous alien rock star, brought a message of hope in the face of impending destruction. Like a cartoon character come to life, Ziggy is part sci-fi superhero part rock ‘n roll god.
A striped jumpsuit with metallic accents and red platform boots makes up the outfit. The flame-red hair can best be described as a cool, futuristic mullet. Ziggy’s shadowed eyes and “Snow White tan” makeup were based on the look of Alex DeLarge from the movie A Clockwork Orange. In addition, he wears an astral sphere on his forehead to signify his celestial nature.
Some Ziggy Stardust costume-wearers chose to go with the famous lightning bolt makeup, which Bowie wore on the cover of his Aladdin Sane album.
The Thin White Duke
The Thin White Duke has been described as a “mad aristocrat”. Cold but stylish, the Duke was inspired in part by Bowie’s character Thomas Jerome Newton, from the movie The Man Who Fell to Earth.
The Duke wears a cabaret-style wardrobe: white dress shirt, black pants with a black waistcoat. You can take your costume a step further with a pair of black suspenders and a felt fedora.
His copper-colored hair is slicked back with a strong wet look gel or mousse. Consider using a copper hair dye if you have darker hair.
Rebel Rebel is about a boy who rebels against his mother by wearing makeup and women’s clothes. This costume is based on the outfit Bowie wore when performing this song live on the Dutch TV show TopPop in 1974.
Features of this costume include red dungarees, black boots, a blue silk scarf with white polka dots, and Bowie’s signature red mullet from the Ziggy Stardust days.
Most importantly, don’t forget the eye patch – which you may have left over from a previous year’s pirate costume.
Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth
David Bowie’s most well-known film character makes for a great Halloween costume because he is both creepy and oddly charming. Jareth is a master of disguise in his own right. He is able to transform into a barn owl and a blind beggar at a moment’s notice.
For your Jareth the Goblin King costume you’ll need a pair of silver leggings, a white, frilly, medieval costume shirt, a black vest or waistcoat, black gloves, and a pair of black boots. You’ll also need a long, wild blond wig.
Now practice the moves to the Magic Dance and you’re all set for Halloween. Magic spells and a cute baby are optional.