A celebration of Prince and David Bowie's rule-breaking and gender-defying fashion

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2016 was a hard year for lovers of fashion and rule-breaking. Within a 12-month period, we lost David Bowie, Prince, Bill Cunningham, Zsa Zsa Gabor and China Machado, all iconoclasts who succeeded in forming a fashion sense all their own.

That's particularly true for Bowie and Prince, who shared an equal distaste for dressing with just one gender in mind, slipping into platform shoes and women's blouses, as well as caking on makeup from time to time.

Currently, there are men in the entertainment industry who are pushing these same boundaries — like Young Thug or Jaden Smith— but no one, it seems, has really taken on the torch of dressing really, seriously without gender in mind at all, embracing heels and bright colors just as much as skirts.

So, as an ode to their fashion legacies, here is a look back at both David Bowie and Prince's most iconic and rule-breaking looks throughout the course of their lives:

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Prince and David Bowie's rule-breaking looks
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Prince and David Bowie's rule-breaking looks
LOS ANGELES - 1973: Musician David Bowie performs onstage during his 'Ziggy Stardust' era in 1973 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 26 : Singer song-writer and musician Prince performs at the Roxy Theatre on November 26, 1979 in Los Angeles (now in West Hollywood), California. (Photo by Sherry Rayn Barnett /Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1973: Musician David Bowie performs onstage during his 'Ziggy Stardust' era in 1973 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS - AUGUST 3: Prince performs a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theatre at First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 3, 1983. (Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL -- 'The 1980 Floor Show staring David Bowie' Episode 210 -- Aired: 11/16/73 -- Pictured: (l-r) David Bowie, Ava Cherry during his last show as Ziggy Stardust filmed mostly at The Marquee Club in London, England from October 18-20, 1973 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
American singer, songwriter and musician Prince collects the award for Best International Artist at the British Record Industry Awards, aka the BRIT Awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, 11th February 1985. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)
A full length portrait of David Bowie performing on the Dutch TV show TopPop playing the song 'Rebel Rebel' and wearing an eye patch on 7th February 1974 in Hilversum, Netherlands. (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
LOS ANGELES - JULY 26 : Singer song-writer and musician Prince performs at the Hollywood Palace to promote the opening of his film 'Purple Rain' on July 26, 1985 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sherry Rayn Barnett /Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LONDON - MAY 12: David Bowie performs live on stage at Earls Court Arena on May 12 1973 during the Ziggy Stardust tour (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
INGLEWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Prince performs live at the Fabulous Forum on February 19, 1985 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - 1973: Rock and roll musician David Bowie poses for a portrait dressed as 'Ziggy Stardust' in a hotel room in 1973 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1986: Musician Prince performing live in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Corio/Michael Ochs Archives)
LOS ANGELES - 1973: Musician David Bowie performs onstage during his 'Ziggy Stardust' era in 1973 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Prince performs on stage on the Hit N Run-Parade Tour, Wembley Arena, London, August 1986. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 1991: David Bowie Concert And Party, Astoria Theatre, Club Top, Davidbowieretro (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Recording artist Prince performs with singer Mary J. Blige onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
British singer David Bowie performs in a concert during his worldwide tour called "A Reality Tour" at T-mobile arena in Prague, June 23, 2004. REUTERS/David W Cerny DWC/WS
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Clearly, for both men, rules were to be broken, and we're so glad they did.

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