On the Heels of #FreethePeen, the 10 Most Controversial Runway Moments in Fashion History

Rick Owens FW15. Courtesy of Rick Owens

I’d never describe runway shows as “boring,” but busy showgoers can get a little, er, distracted every now and then. With the confident assurance that countless images will be on style.com almost immediately after a show closes, texts are sent, and shows viewed more through phone camera lenses than actual eyes.

Now and again a designer does something shocking enough to make everyone calm the f down and concentrate. 

1. Rick Owens Frees the Flaccid Peen

Rick Owens Menswear Fall Winter 2015 Collection Fashion Show in Paris

Rick Owens FW15. Courtesy of Rick Owens

You saw this, right? The Rick Owens show last week was very NSFW–but only in a blink, or you miss it kinda way. Of course, the cameras immortalized the nekked peens that went down the runway.

2. Kate Moss Struts With a Cig 

Kate was just living life on the Louis Vuitton runway. But her lungs were just losing it. :/

3. The Streaker at Prabal Gurung 

Honestly, this dude’s attempt to shock was met with a blasé world-weariness by fashion-folk. He was removed from the stage and Prabal’s show continued.

4. Indian headdresses at Victoria’s Secret 

Whoever thought it was okay for Karlie Kloss to strut it out in a massive Native American headdress was wrong. Ultimately, the look was pulled from all broadcasting and promotional material.

5. Iris Van Herpen and the time she vacuum sealed models on the runway in Paris

Of course, the idea was a comment on models being like products, and the inherent voyeurism that occurs at fashion shows. In practice, however, the models, shrink-wrapped, vacuum packed, and hooked up to oxygen tanks looked supremely uncomfortable.

6. In 2009, a seven months pregnant Jourdan Dunn walked Jean Paul Gaultier

Her 7 months of pregnancy did not dissuade Gaultier from casting Jourdan Dunn. He simply padded her tummy to match the iconic/conical boobs and sent her down the runway.

7. Alexander McQueen’s Highland Rape collection

As seen here on Sarah Jessica Parker

The Highland Rape collection was McQueen’s 4th, and the clothes were making statements more than preparing to be sold on department store racks. It was in fact a reference to the turbulent historical relations between Scotland and England. Many took the tattered clothes and bruised women to represent an extremely offensive view of women, but to hear the late Lee McQueen discuss it, his intent was in fact, quite the opposite–meant to challenge the problems of perception women still face in society and place them in positions of empowerment.

8. Dolce & Gabbana’s Racist Earrings

These earrings referenced “Blackamoor” imagery which harkens back to slavery.

9. Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Hasidic Collection

Maneschewitz wine was sipped and the runway was lined with menorahs. While there was plenty opportunity for offense to be taken, most editors reported feeling it had been tastefully done, and that inspiration can come from anywhere.

10. Galliano for Dior’s “Homeless” collection

To position homelessness as chic is inherently controversial. Of course, 14 years later, Galliano still courts controversy. He explained that he’d been inspired by the homeless people he saw along the Seine on his jogs. This was also the collection that brought the incessantly talked about Dior newspaper silk print. #derelict, Catinka.

Research contributed by, and special thanks to Jen Schnepf


10 Times Katy Perry Was the Coolest Girl at the Party

Photo: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

She’s may have the eye of the tiger, but she also has the eye of every partygoer when she walks in. Katy Perry is just a fun girl; she changes the color of her hair as often as Justin and Selena break up — a lot — she sings about kissing girls, and jumps off bars in college towns. She’s the friend that always knows how to have a good time yet can uplift you and let you know you’re a firework. That’s why she’s always the coolest girl at the party.

1. When she poked her head out of tee-pee like a fun childish infant. JULIANNE HOUGH and ANITA PATRICKSON Host HARPER'S BAZAAR Coachella 2014 Private LunchPhoto: Aleks Kocev/BFAnyc.com

2. When she had green hair, wore 3-D glasses, a mesh top, and hugged Alexander Wang.Alexander Wang X H&M Coachella PartyPhoto: Angela Pham/BFAnyc.com

3. When she had blue hair and made questionable hand gestures next to ‘Ye.KANYE WEST Fall 2012 AfterpartyPhoto: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

4. That time she had a hotter date than you. Street Style at COACHELLA Day Two [EXCLUSIVE CONTENT] - Weekend OnePhoto: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

5. When she had a deep thought while posing next to Riccardo Tisci.MADEMOISELLE C Screening After PartyPhoto: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

6. When she stuck out her tongue to only reveal the best grill ever made. No.8 & Black Dog Present LDVHospitality's No.8 MTV VMA After Party hosted by Pharrell, Terry Richardson & Miley Cyrus - [ EXCLUSIVE CONTENT ]Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

7. When she was all rock-n-roll next to Dolce & Gabbana.The Metropolitan Museum of Art's COSTUME INSTITUTE Benefit Celebrating PUNK: Chaos to Couture - Red Carpet ArrivalsPhoto: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

8. That time she snatched the award out of Vera Wangs Hands.The 2013 DELETE BLOOD CANCER Honoring VERA WANG, LEIGHTON MEESTER, AND SUZI WEISS-FISCHMANNPhoto: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

9. That time Katy brought the biggest Chanel to the party. CHANEL SS14 Paris Fashion WeekPhoto: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

10. And that time she didn’t even get up to pose for a photo, cause she’s the ultimate party girl, sorry!MOCA's 35th Anniversary Gala, Presented by LOUIS VUITTON - INSIDEPhoto: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com

STYLE SCOOP: Uncle Karl Is Lazy, L’Wren Laid To Rest, Tom Ford Launches E-Commerce

L’Wren Laid To Rest

In a funeral Tuesday at the Hollywood Forever funeral home, L’Wren Scott was laid to rest. Family and close friends attended, remembering Scott with prayers and song.

For Party Girls

Alexander Wang explains the shoes-avec-lighter-cases in his fall collection.

Dressing For The Season

Need a spring frock? Try Carven.

Checking Out

The Missoni Hotel will no longer bear the fashion family’s name. After five years, the Missoni clan and the hotel will no end their partnership. The hotel will remain open.

If You’re Lazy, Then What Am I?

Uncle Karl “always” thinks he’s “lazy”. He also condemns the selfie.

Finally Fashionable?

Google Glass announces a partnership with Luxxotica — tech-y Ray Bans to follow.

Dolce & Gabbana Going To Jail?

Not if the prosecutor has his way. Wait, what?

Getting To Know The LVMH Prize Finalists

WWD has a word with each of the twelve.

Breaking The Bank For Fashion

Tom Ford launches e-commerce at TomFord.com — beauty and accessories for now, with RTW to follow. Trouble in bank account-land.

Naomi Bites Her Tongue. Ish.

Naomi Campbell sort of kind of speaks but not on Anna Wintour’s decision to put Kimye on the cover of Vogue, a place that formerly meant something.


Anja Rubik, Video Vixen

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Monica Bellucci & Bianca Balti Pose As Italian Kin for Dolce & Gabbana

If you were the mother of both actress Monica Bellucci and model Bianca Balti, you would deserve some kind of award. I mean, to birth two human beings that attractive is at least worthy of early retirement. For Dolce & Gabbana’s spring 2012 campaign, the designers imagine a world where these ladies are sisters in a tight-knit Italian family and do normal Italian things like dance to their brother playing the mandolin amidst a picturesque setting. 

Shot by photographer Giampaolo Sgura in Southern Italy, Bellucci and Balti are featured in D&G’s feminine-focused creations, contrasting the masculinity represented in the Italian fashion house’s previous fall campaign. See fourteen more stellar images here

Every Week is Fashion Week: Fashion News You Need to Know

Heading to cocktails at Omar’s tonight? Before ordering a glass of Veuve, brush up on the recent happenings in the world of fashion.  

Did you buy that backpack because The Man Repeller told you to? The Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Holmes discovers that The New Style Influencers Are Digital:  

With an influencer campaign, return on investment is easy to measure. Using a trackable link embedded in a blog post, brands can judge referring traffic and in some cases sales, says Amy Rapawy, Jones Group senior vice president of marketing for contemporary brands. With content created for a social site like Instagram, a brand can compare likes and comments with e-commerce traffic for the same period.

Bill Cunningham shows us that the colors aren’t fading as the leaves turn for fall in Sunset, his latest photos for The New York Times:

Joyous sunflower colors were a favorite of many women during Fashion Week, on shoes and print dresses.

There’s trouble in Sicilian paradise. Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s legal troubles have crept up around their necks. The court case’s latest updates from Luisa Zargani of WWD:

Brambilla wrote that she believes the designers were “certainly” aware of the fact, as they had sold their brands to Gado and “evidently knew its structure and purposes, as it is certainly not believable that the designers had given up control of the actual ownership of the brands.

Have you visited Prada, Marfa yet? The legal reason you may be out of time, from The Fashion Law:

The store is never open and is intended to never be repaired, allowing it to slowly degrade back into the natural landscape – the point of the installation. As of this week, Prada Marfa might meet its end sooner than expected. 

Tamara Mellon’s side of the Jimmy Choo conflict, explained in They’re MY Choos for The Daily Mail:

It became clear that money ‘flying out of the store’ was the least of our worries. I was facing up to the harsh realisation that Jimmy was not going to be the creative partner I’d hoped for.  Producing shoes for his couture clients was all he cared about and all he did.

Crazy: Dolce & Gabbana Are Going to Jail for Hiding $540M

Following investigations that began all the way back in 2008, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been found guilty of tax evasion. They were reportedly hiding a whopping 416 million euros (or approximately  $540 million) from tax authorities. The Italian design duo are sentenced to one year and eight months in prison. The intense ruling was appointed by Judge Antonella Brambilla in Milan after a three-hour jury room session. Although D&G were not present for the sentence, WWD reports that they’re expected to appeal the decision. To illustrate the fact that $540 million is a pretty huge deal, read on for a list of pricey items that you can get for that amount instead. 

1,407 of Dolce & Gabbana’s $383,609 gold-framed sunglasses


13,846 of The Row’s $39,000 crocodile skin backpack:

360 of the $1, 500,000 Red Tibetan mastiff (aka the world’s most expensive dog):
 138 of the $3,900,000 Lamborghini Veneno:

British Neo-Soul Singer Paloma Faith Takes a Gamble on Stateside Success

Last year, scientists at the University of Bristol announced they’d come up with a formula for predicting whether a song will crack the Top 5 on the U.K. pop charts. The software analyzes such factors as tempo, beat variation, harmonic simplicity, and something called “tertiary time signature,” then measures it against 50 years of data. The algorithm spits out a binary verdict: jam it or slam it.

Sadly, no such science exists for the larger question: whether bona fide U.K.-bred pop stars will find mainstream success in America. For every Amy Winehouse and One Direction, there are a hundred Duffys and Lady Sovereigns: artists who are talented, interesting, and seemingly marketable, but who land at JFK with a resounding thud. True universality requires some quality scientists have yet to discover. But the rewards for popularity among the American audience—which is five times larger—keep the challengers coming.

The latest and greatest hope from across the pond is named Paloma Faith. The coquettish 27-year-old from Hackney, London—“It’s like the equivalent of Harlem,” she says—seems to have everything we Yanks want in a pop star: model-good looks, a highly cultivated sense of style, an engaging personality, a poetic backstory, and, most importantly, soulful, radio-friendly songs that speak to the themes of love, sex, loss, and betrayal. If there’s a reason she won’t succeed here, I can’t find it.

And so she’s coming to America. Faith is making the rounds before the U.S. release of her second full- length album, Fall To Grace, in November. This dog- and-pony show involves meeting with an endless stream of journalists like me and playing a few industry showcases to build up buzz. Her entrance is certainly impressive. There’s no missing Faith as she walks into Ladino, a kosher tapas restaurant on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, on a sunny late-summer afternoon.

She’s on the petite side, but she’s dressed exquisitely in an aquamarine Dolce & Gabbana number with a cute little hat that brings to mind a ’60s-era Pan Am stewardess. The lunch crowd looks up from their kashrut ceviche, in awe. Faith is polite, composed, and somewhat laconic at first, at least until an American-sized mound of guacamole arrives and seems to open her up. And she’s gorgeous—skin like a china doll, penetrating hazel eyes, and a perfect nose like I’ve never seen. She has the kind of beauty that makes you think she’d be a fool not to aim for a career in showbiz, like how a kid who’s seven feet tall by the age of 16 really ought to give basketball a try, just to work the odds.

Probably not for the first time today or the last, Faith delves into her background. Born to an English mother and a largely absent Spanish father, Faith was always creative, but she daydreamed in grade school and earned poor marks. One day, she decided to make a change, and in just five months, moved from the bottom of her class to the top. At 18, she enrolled in a dance college in the north of England but hated it. “It was the worst thing I’d ever done in my life,” she says. “It wasn’t creative. It was all about physically changing your body so that you could fit somebody else’s creative idea and not have your own. But I’m stubborn, so I stayed and finished it.”

Still craving higher education, she went on to earn a master’s degree in theater directing at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design. It was during this period that she began to embrace the idea of a career on stage. Her early jobs tended toward the bizarre.

“I was a magician’s assistant. I was a ghost on a ghost train. I did dark and twisted solo cabaret shows. I did weird performance art things,” she recites. “I was living a life that was really eclectic and managing to make ends meet.”

The ghost train to which she’s referring is Carnesky’s Ghost Train: a creepy, campy Blackpool carnival attraction designed to titillate British seaside vacationers. To get an idea of her cabaret chops, watch the video for her song, “30 Minute Love Affair,” which follows her through a sex shop to a bleak, noirish theater, where she belts out the emotional ode to ephemeral pleasures, Dietrich-style.

“As I incorporated singing into my act, people started saying ‘I love your voice,’” she continues. “But I felt that I wasn’t really a singer. The singers I really admired—like Etta James, Jill Scott, and Aretha Franklin—were, in my mind, better than I was, so I didn’t feel confident enough to call myself one.”

But, with the industry increasingly taking notice, she began to tone down the performance art while focusing on her voice. “The first showcase I ever did for a label, I incorporated some of my performance art with my singing, pretending to bleed and stuff on stage,” she says. “They came up to me afterward and said, ‘Um, we love your voice, we love your songs, but you really need to stop all that other stuff,’ so I moved away from it.” She pokes a fork into a dish of bacalao, a portrait of a performance artist tamed.

As she recorded and toured in support of her first album, 2009’s platinum-selling Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?, Faith found her niche, embracing a surreal version of cinema’s golden era, where reality seems twisted yet everything is beautiful. “I’ve been trying to make it like a dark fairy tale,” she says. “I want my music to have a timeless quality, neither in the future nor the past.”

As with every success story, she’s had a little help along the way. One unlikely mentor was Prince, who was enchanted by her music and decided to offer some advice, and an opportunity. “He knew my first record—the obscure tracks, not just the singles—and it was an amazing turning point for me because I was midway through writing the record I’m promoting now and it gave me a bit of a kick,” Faith explains. “He had this festival called the NPG Festival [in Copenhagen] last year and he invited me to go and play at it, so I thought ‘now I have to up my game to place myself in an international market.’”

“It was just like a real learning curve, and he was trying to educate me on things,” she continues. “I came back and said to my manager, ‘This is what I need to change. I need to get rid of some band members, get busy, do more rehearsals, and focus on the music more than the superficial elements.’”

Fall to Grace is already out in Britain, and Faith is already a star. (She carried the Olympic torch before the summer games, running in high heels no less.) But now Faith, and Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid, are trying to work the same magic in America that has proven so successful at home. She says she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to perform in America—she’ll be touring this fall—but she’s not about to make any concessions for our differing tastes.

“I’m not going to try desperately hard to become what I think America wants,” she says. “I don’t know what America wants. I just know what I am. That’s all I’ve got.”

True to her word, the following evening, at yet another industry showcase in Manhattan’s Edison Ballroom, Faith seems to be her chatty English self, bantering between songs and making jokes about her body’s “jiggly bits.” As a crowd of black-clad music industry types press against the stage, entranced by the young talent but studiously blasé as New Yorkers tend to be, Faith runs through a selection of hits from both her albums. There are hints of passion from the audience: A woman waves her hands in the air to the music, one of those quasi-religious motions that seem designed to broadcast just how much the listener is feeling the moment. I’m certainly enjoying the show, though I’d like to see her in some kind of smoky lounge, while sitting at a small, round table sipping a martini. Long before her encore, it’s clear that New York, like Prince, will be happy to give Faith a chance. She’ll be huge in L.A., too. But only time will tell whether Faith can make converts of the rest of America.

Follow Victor Ozols on Twitter.

FashionFeed: Dolce & Gabbana Likes Justin Beiber, Carine Roitfeld Likes Vodka

● In today’s random news, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are apparently throwing the Biebs a party when he stops in Italy for his world tour. [Refinery] ● In a recent interview, Carine Roitfeld revealed that she likes a little vodka in the evening. We have more in common than we realized! [Der Spiegel]

● Taking a hint from the rest of the fashion world, Barneys capitalized on social media by hosting a blogging event that included an interview with Joseph Altuzarra. [Style] ● Gone are the days of searching high and low for a bottle of Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray. The brand is now stocked out at all Sephora locations in North America. [WWD] ● Christian Louboutin is suing Yves Saint Laurent for designing a new heel with red soles. [The Cut]

Le Smoking: Tux Luxe in Milano for Autunno.

Designers seem to be channeling the spirit of the Le Smoking jacket en masse in Milan this week. With inspirations stemming back to 70s Anjelica Huston and Bianca Jagger to the man who gave the style its namesake; Yves Saint Laurent. However, unbeknownst to most fashionistas and fashion blogs of today who always credit Chevalier Saint Laurent with the popularity of the look, the real originators of Le Smoking were the legendary entertainers of the 40s. Particularly strong and independent women of the 40s sported tuxedo looks. In particular Anna May Wong, the original ‘dragon lady’; Marlene Dietrich, who’s low voice invoked her to sing songs normally reserved for men; and Josephine Baker, who was known to have several affairs with women. These strong women were all breaking the mold of classic womanhood by wearing tuxedos all the while inadvertently pushing womens liberation and equality. From the 40s groundbreakers, to Saint Laurent’s naming and re-establishing of Le Smokings chicness, to its renaissance on Milan’s runways today; the jacket will always be a staple of the elegant strength of the woman. imageimageimage These looks from Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, and Emilio Pucci all channel the originators of Le Smoking: Marlene Dietrich, Josephine Baker, and Anna May Wong. imageimageimage