How One Model Paid Tribute To David Bowie On The Burberry Runway

Photo: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images.
The influence of the late, great David Bowie is felt everywhere — from music to beauty and beyond, and his celebration of the individual and the different rings especially true in fashion. As the world reacts to the icon's passing at age 69, one model paid her own personal tribute to Bowie at Burberry's fall '16 menswear show.

On the last day of the London Collections: Mens shows, model Hayett McCarthy walked down Burberry Prorsum's runway at Kensington Gardens this afternoon. As she approached the photographers at the end of the catwalk, the model revealed the word "Bowie," written on the palms of her hands. McCarthy's display was not a planned element of the runway show, but rather "her own personal tribute to the musician," a representative for Burberry told Refinery29. The loss of Bowie was also noted by designer Paul Smith, who created the promotional T-shirt for Bowie's latest album, Blackstar. Smith spoke of the performer at his London Collections: Mens presentation, which was a recreation of his original Nottingham shop, complete with images of Bowie displayed throughout. "This is a model of my first-ever store, and so simply he had to be a presence given he was an embodiment of the spirit of the '70s," Smith told The New York Times. "David was a master of reinvention, and he never got it wrong. I feel very fortunate to say that he was both a friend and a customer.”
Photo: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images.
An impromptu tribute by a model, unsanctioned by Burberry, wasn't the only Bowie-ism at the British house's showing. Bowie's music was playing as guests entered the Burberry venue. The collection's makeup aesthetic also involved a timely Bowie homage, and the show's Ziggy Stardust-inspired eye makeup was another nod to the artist. “I was just going to put it on one male model and then suddenly they all wanted it," Christopher Bailey, the brand's chief creative officer and CEO, told The Telegraph. Bowie's farewell affected the show's entire vibe as well. According to Bailey: "It didn’t feel right to do a show that was celebratory today, when the news is so profoundly sad."

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