Limited Edition Tilda Stardust Leggings $30 at Etsy
The item that inspired this gift guide is, itself, inspired by the Tilda Stardust Tumblr, whose mission it is to convince the world that David Bowie and Tilda Swinton are the same person. As a proud owner of these leggings, I can assure you that every fan of either icon needs a pair. And if you want them, act fast — only 1000 will be made, and some sizes have already run out.
The Next Day Extra $26.99, Insound
The Bowie super-fan in your life surely already owns The Next Day, maybe on vinyl, but this recently released two-CD deluxe edition contains an entire disc of bonus material, including unreleased tracks and James Murphy remixes. There’s also a DVD compiling the four strange and excellent music videos for the album’s singles.
The Bowie Collection $80-360, Suckers Apparel
The company that recently attracted a whole lot of attention for making clothes inspired by Twin Peaks also boasts a far more exciting line that evokes Bowie’s many 1970s personae. From leggings and bodysuits to dresses and the above Halloween Jack tribute outfit, it’s fearless fashion for fans who don’t mind showing some skin.
David Bowie Is… $55, Abrams
Stateside Bowiephiles burned with jealousy for our British counterparts when, earlier this year, London’s V&A hosted David Bowie Is…, an exhibition that included everything from costumes to handwritten lyrics to Bowie’s own instruments. The show will make its only US stop at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art next year, but if you can’t make that either, at least there’s the catalog, which includes essays by the likes of Jon Savage and Camille Paglia (the latter of whom promises to be trustworthy on this topic than most).
“Let’s Dance” teapot $65.34, Etsy
For the true Anglophile, there’s no better gift than a hand-painted teapot that juxtaposes “Let’s Dance” lyrics with Bowie’s Aladdin Sane-era lightning bolt.
Glam Rock: Dandies in the Underworld by Alwyn W. Turner $40, Indiebound
Another new book that comes via the V&A (and makes use of its collection), Glam Rock looks at how Bowie and his contemporaries — from T. Rex to Alice Cooper to Rocky Horror — shook up popular culture, with reverberations that are still being felt today.
Billy Stardust poster $50, Etsy
There are a lot of David Bowie posters on Etsy. There are, in particular, a lot of Aladdin Sane mash-up posters. Most of them are awful. This one, which is actually a T-shirt, is the worst thing I’ve ever seen (and it’s not because I have any particular antipathy for Obama!). But Billy Stardust, here? Tasteful, elegant, beautifully executed, and quite possibly the only poster of its genre that you need even consider purchasing.
The David Bowie Story by George Tremlett £10.99, eBay
There is a new Bowie bio every year, but Tremlett’s quickie 1975 paperback was the first, and one of many such volumes by the author. Although those looking for a thorough and up-to-date biography are advised to explore other options (Marc Spitz’s Bowie: A Biography is well worth reading), none of those options will feature such an incredible cover. It’s long been out of print, so seek it out on eBay or at your used bookseller of choice.
Oh Yes We Can Love: History of Glam Rock $60.58, Deep Discount
While the Brits are fighting over the absence of child molester Gary Glitter from this compilation (an exclusion that unquestionably warps history, yet one I’d be angrier about if I thought Glitter’s contributions to glam had been particularly valuable), those of us across the pond just wish it had gotten a US release. Thankfully, it is available from various outlets as an import. The 15-disc set tracks glam rock from its diverse influences (Little Richard, Noël Coward, Jacques Brel) through its early-’70s heyday to everything it had a hand in creating, casting a wide net to include punk, Morrissey, and Goldfrapp. Aside from Glitter, there are some notable holes: no Brian Eno solo material, a very minor Bowie inclusion that probably has more to do with limited access to his catalog than poor taste. Still, Oh Yes We Can Love is a stunning summation of not just an era but a sensibility.