David Bowie (wearing an eyepatch) performs 'Rebel Rebel' on the TV show TopPop on 7th February 1974 in Hilversum, Netherlands. (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
Movies - TV
There Was A Method To The Madness In David Bowie's Labyrinth Costume
The 1986 Jim Henson film “Labyrinth” follows teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) as she tries to rescue her baby brother from Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie). Though not a critical or commercial hit, “Labyrinth” has become a beloved movie over the years and has plenty to offer, from its masterful puppeteering work to Bowie's massive codpiece.
One of the film's oddest, yet most memorable design choices is David Bowie’s impressive pants bulge that makes many viewers wonder how the costume crew "got away with it." However, conceptual designer Brian Froud intentionally played with feelings of terror and sexuality for Jareth, due to the protagonist Sarah's psychological journey.
Sexuality is frightening for those on the verge of puberty, and Froud says Sarah’s imminent sexual awakening was the theme behind Jareth’s design, which is "an amalgam of the inner fantasies of this girl." Jim Henson's son says his dad was on board with the codpiece: "my dad was like, 'This is great, this is what the movie's about. She's 15 and she wants to be treated like an adult, but whoa, that thing's scary!'"