The world is swarming with “Little Monsters,” and frankly, we’re concerned the Goddess of All Fashion Weirdness, Bjork, may have been left behind in the rush to cop Lady Gaga’s sex-robot-on-acid look. In celebration of Bjork's latest album, Biophilia, and her incredibly odd joie de style, we’re providing a handy refresher course of Bjork’s finest fashion moments.
1. 2000 Golden Globes
With this look, Bjork said, "Okay, friends, given that I'm nominated for Best Actress, I guess you've convinced me to tone it down a little." And from far away she looks pretty restrained — demure, even — though her role in Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark was anything but. Oh wait, that’s Michael Jackson’s face in sequins on her skirt. And why stop there? The only thing that goes better with Michael Jackson than small white boys are owls. More specifically, an owl-shaped treasure chest on a string. But she also wore a tube of polar bear that she presumably skinned herself before fashioning it into not a shrug, not a stole, but some kind of straightjacket/Saran Wrap thing. Finally, we get to her hair: Bjork, the red carpet is not a place to reference Coneheads.
2. 2001 Academy Awards
Though over-exposed, I felt this dress had to appear somewhere on the countdown, because in all fashion honesty, it's about as famous as the Mona Lisa, and it’s only been around for decade. Bjork accessorized her overgrown tutu with a sheer sparkly body suit, egg-shaped purse, and several actual eggs that she left scattered about the red carpet that night. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Yeah, but how many times will she wear that? Once?” But Bjork actually made good use of this dress, wearing it on the cover of the album Vespertine before auctioning it off for charity, with the proceeds going to OxFam.
3. Fashion Rocks 2003
This is what happens when two crazy minds collide. The late Alexander McQueen, notorious designer and fetishist of all things totally fucked up, is approached by Bjork, who requests that he bedazzle her face in return for her live performance during his catwalk show. Deal? Deal. He covered her in white geisha paint and gave her Samuel L. Jackson’s ‘fro from Unbreakable, as well as a dress that cost 1,000 ostriches their lives. She then performed atop a super-powered subway grate. Ultimately, McQueen’s couture designs were overshadowed by Bjork’s festival of insanity — probably not what he had in mind when he pulled out all the stops on this one. This one is Bride of Frankenstein meets Tim Burton’s high-school sketchbook.
4. 2008 Volta World Tour
Ever seen those darling Dior Cherie commercials where a pretty girl is carried over Parisian rooftops by a bunch of colorful balloons? This is not that. This is “99 Luftballoons” gone disco. By 2008, Bjork had been having really weird sex with Matthew Barney for a few solid years, and the results are reflected in her newfound appreciation of headdresses. I call this look “Day-Glo Tribble attack victim.” But how to accessorize a giant clown wig made up of thirty-seven smaller clown wigs? How about with a super ‘80s Barbie dress in metallic pink with bat wing sleeves and a supernatural sheen? Perfect. I want some of whatever she’s on.
5. 2008 Big Day Out New Zealand
In my time in the fashion trenches, I’ve seen some shit, man. And this outfit frightens me. Profoundly. Not in the Lady Gaga “nipple clamps n’ gas masks” kind of way: that’s too easy. Clad in a gigantic, flowing, Mexican blanket-cum-muumuu, Bjork hypnotizes and terrifies with her Crayola vomit palette. To top off this enormous monstrosity, Bjork has placed a bulbous piñata atop her head, possibly to keep the aliens from stealing her thoughts, or possibly just to appear larger and more threatening, like a cobra. The longer I look at this photo, the more I feel like I’m being prepped for some kind of Mayan sacrifice.