It’s necessary to start slowly. This is Bjork being like, ‘Ok guys, I’ll tone it down since I’m nominated for Best Actress and all’. And from far away she looks pretty, demure even though her role in Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark is 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. Purses made of owl of course, or an owl shaped treasure chest on a string, what a nice accessory to finish off this otherwise subtly weird ensemble. But no, because Bjork is an extra kind of weird, she throws on a tube of polar bear she skinned in her native Iceland, fashions it into not a shrug, not a stole, a god knows what, poofs her hair into a cone-head beehive, and gives everyone a look that can only be interpreted as ‘I really don’t give a fuck’ and sashays over to the Golden Globes.
Though clichéd I really felt it had to appear somewhere on the countdown, because in all fashion honesty, this swan dress is probably about as famous as the Mona Lisa, and it’s only been around a mere decade. Aside from Bjork, a highlight of this photo is the onlookers smiling while inside their heads having a big old ‘LOL wut?’ moment. Bjork accessorizes this overgrown tutu tastefully with a sheer sparkly body suit and a broken swan neck. Oh really Lady Gaga, you can turn your hair into a bow? Well Bjork can turn her dress into a swan. That’s magic. Most people are probably like, ‘Yeah, but how many times will she wear that? Once?’ Nope, she made good use of this dress, wearing it on the cover of the album she released this year, Vespertine, and auctioning it off for charity likely for some ungodly sum. Other weird shit Bjork was up to this year- ever seen the videos for Pagan Poetry or Cocoon?
Fashion Rocks 2003
This is what happens when two crazy minds collide. The late 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. Then he covers her in white geisha paint, gives her a lopsided fro, and a dress with a train that cost 1,000 ostriches their lives. She performs atop a super-powered subway grate which lends the ostriches fierce rigor mortis. No one even notices McQueen’s couture designs, because who can see past that scary bitch Bjork? This is Bride of Frankenstein meets Tim Burton’s favorite sketch, and Bjork wins again because unlike Gaga, she eagerly sacrifices aesthetic appeal for primal shock value, and she delivers.
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 that resemble the anemones surrounding Bjork’s face? This is 99 Multi-Colored balloons gone disco. By this time, Bjork has been having really crazy weird sex with Matthew Barney and the results are reflected in her newfound appreciation of headdresses, perhaps adopted after she donned a heavy head of hair in Drawing Restraint 9. But how to accessorize a giant clown wig made up of 37 individual mini clown wigs? Why not with a super ‘80s Barbie dress in metallic pink with bat wing sleeves and supernatural sheen. I want whatever she’s on.
2008 Big Day Out New Zealand
This outfit frightens me. Probably to the point of nightmares. And not in the Lady Gaga nipple clamp gas mask type of way, no, that’s too easy. Bjork goes in for the scare with pure, mad, deliberate design. Clothed in a gigantic, flowing Mexican blanket-cum-muumuu, the psychedelic design both hypnotizes and appears at once like Crayola vomit. To top off this enormous monstrosity of an outfit, Bjork has placed a bulbous piñata atop her crazy head, while daring you to focus on the schizophrenic melodies of her award winning music. Talent to at once delight and frighten a stadium’s worth of fans only comes around once a century. Bjork kicks Gaga’s skinny heel-wearing ass barely even lifting a pinky’s worth of weirdness.
*edited version appears on nerve.com