The men’s hat shown above (Borsalino size 5) made by Charles Piotet of Lausanne was once owned and worn by him, and was monogrammed to the band DB. Omega noted that “the owner was of the belief that this is the hat, or one of the hats worn by Bowie in early scenes of The Man Who Fell To Earth”.
However, it also says in 2015 the musician Moby shared an image online of a hat by the same maker and in the same style that he described as ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth Hat’ gifted to him by Bowie – suggesting that this example is one of several owned by Bowie during the period.
The hat was consigned from the collection of renowned Bowie super fan and collector Ton Van Der Horst who ran a popular Dutch fanzine, The Voyeur. It had been purchased from a Berlin resident whose aunt was acquainted with Bowie during the film period. Bowie gifted the hat to her (the aunt). Included in the lot was email correspondence between himself and the seller, as well as photos of the aunt in question with Bowie in Berlin.
It sold for £18,500 to an overseas buyer against an estimate of £2000-3000 at the sale on January 26.
A suit once owned by Bowie was offered at Devon saleroom Auction Antiques (25% buyer’s premium) on March 25. It was consigned by Jayce Lewis, a musician and lifelong friend of Steve Strange (1959-2015), of 1980s Visage fame, from whom he inherited it, along with other items from the Strange estate.
Strange acquired the suit in 1982 at the Blitz club in London, which he owned and ran in the 1980s. Lewis said: “Steve told me that he found out that Bowie was going to attend his club one particular night, so they put the regular procedure in place of getting him into the club via a discreet entrance. From there Steve would take Bowie and his entourage into his office where they could all hang out chatting and smoking etc.”
Apparently, Bowie was not in the best of shape on the night, so he did not want to be seen by the press or fans.
After being escorted into Steve’s office he sat down in such a slump that the insides of his cigarette fell out on to his suit and burnt the pocket along with a few other areas. He quickly asked his female assistant to fetch him his bag/suitcase from the car in order for him to change, discarding the suit on the floor near the sofa, where it was forgotten about. Later that night Strange spotted it and took it home, where it remained until his estate was sold, along with all of his other possessions.
The suit, by Issey Miyake, sold under estimate at £8000.