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The Gloriously Unwearable Side of Fashion Week

Thumbing through snapshots of Fashion Week, you might get the idea that it was nothing but good ideas and great clothing, just aching to leap off the runway—but it’s not so.

For every mouthwatering-but-wearable suit, there are two more that you’d never dream of putting on your shoulders, that made it to the runway only out of artistic bombast and the enduring provocateur spirit.

It’s not a bad thing (it certainly makes things more interesting for writers), but we thought we’d take a moment to look past the gushing prose and see how five of the most outlandish outfits look in the harsh light of commerce. We’ve even picked out the rare situation when you could wear them, if you’re feeling brave and wealthy...

We dissect five of Fashion Week’s finest looks»

Loose Threads: Veil Edition


We’re used to seeing this sort of thing on runways, but when it goes retail, we feel compelled to sound the alarm bells before some fashion-forward lady friend of ours makes an impulse buy and finds herself looking at the world through her own personal beaded curtain.

In all sincerity: If you wear this, you will trip and hurt yourself.

And possibly jingle when you walk.

The Emperor’s New Top


It only takes a few pictures like this to justify an entire season’s worth of runway shows.

Yes, it’s inspired by African fertility statues. Yes, it’s a complex statement on the nature of erotica. But it’s also a plastic pair of tits, and everyone involved—from the poor model to the savvy buyers in the front row—is walking exactly the same line.

It Beats Working


Runway fashion is easy to mock… so what the hell, let’s give it a go.

Best Week Ever has summed up the S/S 09 runway season with a set of 25 models forced to dress outside any normal conception of dignity. There are a few missteps, particularly the inclusion of an impeccably dressed older gentleman, but otherwise it’s a pretty good census of the most ridiculous and downright off-putting getups to grace this year’s runways.

See our favorites»



We’re trads at heart, so we’re always happy to see someone putting a new spin on the staples of tradwear. (That would be the suit and the tuxedo, in that order.)

Viktor & Rolf slipped underneath our radar when they skipped out on the major runway shows, but by the looks of these press pics, we were missing out on quite a lot. The high-cuffed pants are straight out of the Browne playbook, but between the wildly patterned blazers, shimmering socks and boldly mixed high-top sneakers, there’s a lot here that isn’t indebted to anyone.

None of this is quite ready for Barneys, but we wouldn’t be surprised if there was a Uniqlo collaboration in their future.

See the slideshow»

The Top Hat


Runway fashion is easy to mock, but it can still knock us off our feet from time to time.

For instance, the Moschino Fall 2009 collection that just took its turn in Milan. There are at least five jaw-dropping outfits, which is a higher average than most lines, but even more impressively, they make the case for the bowler hat far better than we ever could.

Maybe we’ve been a bit too 20th century with our nostalgia.

See the other four looks»