David Bowie passed away today, aged 69 following an 18-month long battle with cancer. It was also the last day of London Collections: Men. Bowie’s influence on fashion was profound and so it came as no surprise to see London’s designers pay tribute to the icon.
At Burberry, two of Bowie’s greatest hits – “Changes” and “Oh You Pretty Things” – were played before and after the show. During the show itself, Hayett McCarthy, who was featured in the brand’s SS16 campaign, opened her hands to reveal Bowie’s name written across her palms. According to a representative for the brand, this was instigated by the model herself. Aside from McCarthy, other models had touches of Ziggy Stardust-esque glitter applied under their eyes – which were reportedly the result of last minute decisions made in response to the news.
Sir Paul Smith, who was a friend of Bowie’s and recently designed a t-shirt celebrating his new LP Blackstar, included a framed photograph of him and the musician together at his presentation. Smith also posted a picture of the photograph on Instagram with the caption, “With great sympathy.”
And it wasn’t just designers showing their respects to Bowie – one attendee at this afternoon’s shows wore a rosette with a picture of the musician printed onto the centre on his lapel.
Other tributes were less planned – this season Katie Eary took inspiration from The Sacred Triangle – Bowie, Iggy & Lou 1971-1973, a film documenting the era when Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed worked closely together. The influence translated into silver trousers, silk shirts and crushed velvet jackets.
If today proved anything, it was that Bowie was and will remain one of fashion’s most treasured icons.