Belfast Telegraph

Bowie 'is best-dressed Briton ever'

David Bowie has been named the best-dressed Briton in history - beating two queens and a duchess to the title.

The 66-year-old Starman singer, whose hits have included 1980 track Fashion, topped a poll for BBC History Magazine.

The eclectic list sees Bowie, whose Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit and Union flag coat recently went on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in top place.

He is followed by Elizabeth I, who is credited with "perfection" when it came to her wardrobe throughout her long reign.

Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, the 18th century aristocrat who was played by Keira Knightley on the big screen, is third.

The socialite is thought to be the first English woman to wear a chemise a la reine, a thin muslin dress which sparked controversy because it resembled an undergarment.

George "Beau" Brummell (1778-1840), who is said to have taken six hours every day to get ready and had his boots polished with champagne, is fourth.

His outfits are seen as the forerunner to the modern suit and tie.

Edward VII's wife Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), who adopted a feminine version of the male suit, is fifth followed by Anne Messel (1902-92), the society beauty who became the sixth countess of Rosse and who, unusually for the time, collected clothes worn by her ancestors.

Henry III (1207-72), the first English king for whom there are detailed household records describing the purchase of his clothes and jewellery, is seventh followed by the late 19th and early 20th century English actress Ellen Terry.

Whig politician Charles James Fox, who was known as "the eyebrow" to his friends and wore red-heeled shoes, and diarist Samuel Pepys, who spent large sums of money to look good, complete the list in ninth and 10th place.

BBC History Magazine editor Rob Attar said: "David Bowie has received many accolades in his glittering career, but surely none of them compare to being voted the best-dressed Briton of all time.

"Bowie had to overcome a king, two queens and a political heavyweight to triumph in our poll, and in doing so has struck a blow for 20th and 21st century fashions."

The poll featured 4,067 votes on the BBC History Magazine website.

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