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Top 5 Most Scandalous Fashion Shows

VO: Lisa Yang
It’s not called a fashion statement for nothing. For some, their designs have gotten the label into some controversy. Vivienne Westwood for example got into a bit of trouble when her gypsy inspired line was criticized for being insensitive to the Roma’s struggles. The infamous Victorias’ Secret incident when model Karlie Kloss donned an inappropriate Native American headpiece and when John Gailliano’s 2000 Spring/Summer collection was criticized for making fun of the homeless crisis.
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Top 5 Most Scandalous Fashion Shows


High fashion can be inspirational and beautiful, but it can also be highly controversial. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 5 Most Scandalous Fashion Shows.

For this list, we’re looking at the runway shows that have caused the biggest stirs and most debate.

#5: Vivienne Westwood Men’s Spring/Summer 2009

In 2009, tensions between Italians and the Roma community were running high. Designer Vivienne Westwood, who debuted her latest menswear collection in Milan that year, had created a runway look that was “gypsy inspired.” Rather than using traditional male models to display her wares, she had members of the Roma community walk the runway. While her intentions may have been admirable if she was attempting to include people from the group that inspired her collection, critics were unhappy with the decision as it romanticized the Roma’s struggle.

#4: Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012

The Victoria’s Secret annual fashion show is always spectacular, but in 2012, the company made a major misstep. While the majority of the show featured your typical scantily clad models parading the latest lingerie from the company, supermodel Karlie Kloss walked out in an elaborate Native American style headdress, spurring accusations of cultural appropriation. In the end, the company issued an apology for putting the outfit on the runway, and said they would be pulling the look from the final television broadcast of the show.

#3: John Galliano's Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2000

In 2011, Dior designer John Galliano made headlines after going on an anti-semitic rant in a Parisian cafe. Many years before that however, Galliano was causing a stir with his 2000 Dior Haute Couture collection. The collection was dubbed “Haute Homeless” and featured models sent down the runway wearing outfits made of newspaper, bits of plastic and safety pins. Galliano, unsurprisingly, was criticized for making light of the homelessness crisis. It's up for debate if this was the inspiration for Zoolander’s “Derelicte” collection the following year, but there are some definite similarities.

#2: Rick Owens Men’s Fall/Winter 2015 Collection

While people are used to seeing female models strut down the runway baring nipples, buttcheeks and more, it came as a surprise when designer Rick Owens debuted his Fall 2015 collection that featured some male nudity. While the models were mostly shrouded in the designer’s elaborately draped ensembles, there was one body part that could be seen peeking out on many of the models. Yes, that body part. At first the audience likely wondered if this was a wardrobe malfunction, but as more models appeared with their privates on display it became obvious it was a ... bold?... design choice.

#1: Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1995

In one of the designer’s first ever runway shows, long before he was a household name, Alexander McQueen displayed models with torn clothes, exposed breasts and bruise-like makeup. The show, titled “Highland Rape”, is one of the most talked about in the recent history of fashion. McQueen denied accusations of misogyny, stating that his intention had been the exact opposite- he wanted to bring attention to issues of sexual violence. McQueen continued to shock audiences throughout his career, with the other standout moment being his Islamic-themed 2000 show entitled “Eye”.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think of these fashion shows? For more shocking top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.


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