Let’s talk about outrageous clothing lines! Fashion doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to blackface. Every year, it seems a new blackface controversy surfaces, with a new model at the center. This year, it was Gigi Hadid, who appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia sporting what some saw as a suspiciously dark tan. As BBC pointed out, many of Hadid’s followers were quick to point out her darkened appearance in the image, which was shot by Steven Klein. Others flat out called the image blackface. The criticism prompted the 23-year-old model to apologize. She shared a statement on Twitter along with a photo of herself post-shoot, with bronze makeup still on her face.
Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 1995 Collection, “Highland Rape”, McQueen was one of the greatest provocateurs in the fashion industry, so it’s no surprise that another one of his shows makes this list. For his Fall/Winter 1995 show, Highland Rape, McQueen sent out models bruised and battered wearing tattered clothes of tartan and lace. With some thinking that McQueen was promoting violence against women, the backlash was swift. But, in McQueen’s eyes, the show was meant to represent the ethnic cleansing of the Scottish Highlands by British soldiers during the 18th and 19th centuries and the ensuing controversy upset the designer, especially since he cared so much about designing clothes that empowered women.
Designers Refusing To Dress Melania Trump, After the election of Donald Trump, several designers grappled with how to handle dressing the new First Lady, Melania Trump. Sophie Theallet wrote a public letter stating that she would not be dressing Melania (despite the fact that she had done so for former First Lady Michelle Obama) because of her husband’s policies. Following the letter, other designers followed suit including Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. For her first Presidential appearance at the inauguration, Melania ended up wearing an American designer, Ralph Lauren.
Noted for his peen-peeping garb (see above) Rick Owns has never been shy of pushing the boundaries when it comes to clothes. This was apparent at his show, entitled “Cyclops”, which featured models carrying other (human) models as accessories and backpacks. Besides looking seriously weird, many thought that the stunt dehumanized the models, in a grotesque and monstrous-seeming gesture in keeping with the show’s title. But in fact, it also commented on the fashion industry’s enslavement of people around the world in the pursuit of cheaper and more plentiful garments. The disparity between the makers and the wearers of the clothes was brought into direct visual focus in this bold move by the designer, whose advice to young designers hints at the controversy surrounding his collections: “Learn to not take anyone too seriously and learn to listen to your gut. There are so many ways to learn – not just academically.
Another upsetting fashion line is Headhunters Line, a very bold fashion line that already generated a lot of controversy. Sex, guns, controversial message, this fashion clothing line has them all. See more info on Headhunters Collection.