David Bowie‘s iconic style influence will always remain unparalleled (check out some of his fashion evolution here). To celebrate his boundary-pushing ways, Bowie’s trusted hairstylist Teddy Antolin and British designer Elizabeth Emanuel are sharing some of their memories of the late singer, who passed away at 69 after a courageous battle with cancer.
“All of his hairdos were always a collaboration between him and I, and we always talked about the look,” Antolin tells PEOPLE about working with the star in the late ’70s and ’80s.
Around that time Antolin says they wanted to “keep it modern,” so he channeled one of the most popular hair looks of the decade.
“In the ’80s I was doing the mullet and my inspiration was Olivia Newton-John in ‘Let’s Get Physical.’ David’s hair was long in the front and back and short on the sides… it was sort of like Elvis Presley if Elvis had a mullet and was sexier.”
As for his iconic Ziggy Stardust days, Antolin explains the power and influence behind the look. “[Bowie] with full-on makeup, looked unearthly, another sex and there was something about David that transcended fashion and he made it unique and you wanted to be like that.”
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And that was thanks, in part, to his knowledge of style. “He was very focused and he knew everything about fashion, hair and makeup — it was fun. I would color his hair with blonde streaks and sometimes make it bolder and he never complained. He understood why.”
For designer Emanuel, she says the singer had a great influence in her work.
“He had that look about him, with the very pale skin, and had amazing makeup and you didn’t know if he was a man or a woman and it didn’t matter,” she shares. “It was pure style, and it didn’t look like he was forcing it. He had this charisma. He just transformed himself and that was magical for me.”
She adds that when she and her former husband David Emanuel were working on Princess Diana’s wedding dress, it was Bowie who gave them the confidence to push the envelope thanks to his artistic, visual inspiration.
“Wedding dresses were very much of a time and all very similar up until then but he brought in a brave new world, he was the one who started that movement that you could be anyone and use your imagination.”
What’s your favorite Bowie style and beauty moment? Share them in the comments below!
–Colleen Kratofil, with reporting by Liz McNeil and Simon Perry