20-year-old topless photo of Gisele unearthed

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Gisele Bündchen has written about her modelling career in a new memoir. Picture: Tiffany BakkerSource:Supplied

MODELS are often expected to do some pretty bizarre stuff all in the name of fashion, including getting very naked at very public events.

Now Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen has revealed she almost gave up on her model ambitions after realising she was expected to walk topless on the runway.

During the 1998 Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer show, a then 18-year-old Bündchen was told she would need to be naked from the waist up.

In her new memoir Lessons: My Path To A Meaningful Life, Bündchen reveals a makeup artist stepped in at the last minute and covered her chest in a thick white paint, to retain some of her modesty.

“As soon as Val, the makeup artist, saw the situation, she said she would paint a top on me using white makeup,” Bündchen wrote in her book.

“Val told me how beautiful it looked and said that the runway was so dark nobody would know. If Val hadn’t shown up then, I seriously doubt I could have walked the runway,” she recalled.

The topless runway walk was saved by a makeup artist who ‘painted’ a top on the young model. Picture: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The topless runway walk was saved by a makeup artist who ‘painted’ a top on the young model. Picture: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

As a teenager, Bündchen spoke limited English and was so excited to work in her first international show, after beating thousands of girls who had lined up on the street to audition.

She went to multiple fittings, was fitted with a black wig and heavy eyeliner and assigned her looks — one of which was a skirt, with no top.

When she asked where the top was to go with the skirt, someone on Alexander McQueen’s team replied: “There is not top.”

Model Gisele Bündchen at the 2005 Victoria’s Secret show. Picture: Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Model Gisele Bündchen at the 2005 Victoria’s Secret show. Picture: Evan Agostini/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

She began to cry and was horrified at what her parents would think if they saw photos of the show.

“I was a good girl. I was a tomboy. I was someone whose big breasts had embarrassed her since she’d hit puberty. I was a girl gripped by the fear that my family would feel so embarrassed they would never talk to me again. I was terrified,” she wrote.

Gisele Bündchen at the 2005 Oscars. Picture: Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Gisele Bündchen at the 2005 Oscars. Picture: Vince Bucci/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

But thanks to her makeup artist’s intervention, she walked the runway successfully.

“No one could tell what was rain and what was tears,” she said.

And that show was the beginning of a decades-long career for the now 38-year-old model, who went on to walk for Victoria’s Secret and some of the biggest fashion designers in the world.

“It turned out that walking in Alexander McQueen’s show was the beginning of my international career,” she wrote.

Author Shanelle Green

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