Why Is High Fashion So Ugly?

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(Like, what is this giant corduroy suit? No, really… it looks like she spent a debaucherous evening with a very large, kindly elderly gentleman who gave her this to wear for her walk of shame home.)

This weekend I was flipping through the Wall Street Journal’s fall fashion magazine, and as I have found myself doing lately whenever I browse high fashion spreads, I was left completely baffled and shaking my head.  Why is it that editorial fashion is so painfully ugly right now?  Of course, there are all sorts of people with various style desires, but I can’t help but feel that in the past year or two there is a prevalence of straight up hideous, ridiculous fashion on the runways and only a small percentage of wearable, beautiful looks.  Fashion can be art, and there are designers that are known for producing items strictly to be appreciated in that sense, but when mainstream designers start making things that just seem unwearable, and fashion magazines fill their pages with those looks, I feel frustrated!  I want to see things real people can wear- even if unattainable price-wise, the inspiration is the most important part and something we can all use to guide us in creating our own versions of those high fashion looks.  Flattering cuts, interesting patterns, colors, layers and textures, pretty dresses!  But this stuff below? No thank you.

I would lose my mind in a jacket with sleeves like this. How do you get naything out of your purse or text your girlfriend about another celebrity breakup?  And that sweater dress? I’m itching just looking at it (and reminded of 80’s Bill Cosby sweaters- not a reference you want to draw right now).

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Even designers I used to love, like Celine, trotted out strange hemlines and sleeve lengths and bizarre layers and pattern mixes I would never expect to see on any real human being in public (who is sober and of sound mind and body).

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Do you know anyone who would wear these crazy numbers?

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Look at Chanel. CHANEL. Pretty sure Coco would not be so keen on these looks.  It feels like it’s ugly just for the sake of being “weird”.  Why is beautiful so bad?  Why do we have to try to make ankle socks with flat Mary Jane’s happen?  Let’s just NOT, okay?

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Don’t even get me started on the mess at Moschino. INSANITY.  Disgustingly expensive insanity.

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 20: A model walks the runway at the Moschino fashion show at Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Autumn/Winter 2014 on February 20, 2014 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images) moschino

And it’s not just the clothes! The hair and makeup has gone the way of gross too. The whole greasy hair trend?  Is looking like you haven’t showered in a solid two weeks and gone to Soul Cycle everyday COOL?

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OMG, and the shoes. THE SHOES! Look at these! They are Gucci and $1,800!!! It looks like some mental patient went to the Westminster Dog Show, stole and skinned two Yorkshire Terriers and put them on their feet.  And big department store buyers are BUYING this for their stores thinking people will purchase these!? GAH!

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These are less ridiculous, but still- $1,150 for these Valentinos? Valentino made these??

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Like I said, this is just my opinion, and maybe there are some out there who like the “ugly is cool” trend- but I just want to look nice. I don’t need to make some huge statement when I get dressed, I want my clothes to compliment me as a person, not take over.

What are your thoughts? Have you felt this way lately?

88 comments

  1. Erin, I 100% agree with you! The good news is fashion moves in cycles and every trend is a reaction to the last trend, so the bat shit crazy look will be gone soon. No one (except for fashion victims) really buys those crazy runway looks, they’re usually toned down for market. By the way, Banana Republic has been killing it lately. Marissa Webb has been moving it in a direction that makes me think she was more responsible for JCrew’s previous success than Jenna Lyons (I know- I feel terrible saying that as I love Jenna Lyons, but I haven’t shopped in Banana Republic in YEARS and now I want everything, while JCrew is just not doing it for me lately). And to all the ladies saying they love the high waisted look and it looks great on them, have your best friend take a picture of you from behind, it’s not pretty. “I wish my butt was longer,” said no one ever.

  2. Oh my God. I love your soapbox posts. They are always so spot on and hilarious. I will continue to die from laughter for many days to come. Thank you!!! Keep them coming.

  3. Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Honestly, you are just spot on, and I love it. love the commentary, and would actually probably watch a fasion show or a red carpet event if you could be MC-ing. Love you Erin, keep it funny, keep it real. xx

  4. Hilarious post! I agree with you 100%! Wow, what a disappointment. I mean, Sponge bob ? McDonald’s uniforms? Greasy hair? I’d be the first to defend art, but this doesn’t look like it. It seems the designers have truly run out of ideas.

  5. I couldn’t agree more. I used to love browsing street-style blogs, too, and those clothing that women (and men) are wearing to fashion shows is just as ugly as what’s being trotted down the runway! Bring back beautiful clothes!

  6. Nailed it!! What are these fashion magazines photographers, designers ??, editors on anyway?!?!? It’s positively revolting (for the most part.) franki

  7. I could not agree more with your observations. I got a kick out of your comments- especially as you got more and more worked up about it. I love your fashion critique pieces and always laugh. Keep up the good work!

  8. So true! that is why I want style icons that are more relatable, and why I have blogs like yours tagged in my favorites so I can get style inspiration from REAL people, with clothes that are worn to show up in real life :)

    That’s why I don’t care to buy magazines like Vogue , because I cannot find a single page of things I’d like to wear!

  9. uh oh. I think I am going to stand on the side of it is new and it makes you think, and it is certainly not boring. you have no idea where some of these far out ideas will show up in the clothes for “the proletariat”.
    just because it is ugly..doesn’t make it invalid.
    fashion needs to be challenging or it stands still..which is never a good thing..or we would all be wearing girdles..or bustles.
    these concepts just might be on their way to something amazingly beautiful. wait and see.

    1. yes- thank you Lisa!
      I work in fashion and its my job to translate what goes down the runway into commercial, wearable clothes that we all want to wear. The story behind the clothing is what is important right now, not necessarily the clothing itself, which is why some of these pieces seem incredibly ugly or out of left field. Yes, the Moschino show was ridiculous, but Jeremy Scott likes to comment on society, and wearing McDonalds and spongebob on your outfit is actually no more ridiculous than say, a little green alligator on your polo shirt? or the words SOULCYCLE down your leg. If we are ok advertising those brands, why not something even bigger? Anyway, i’ll get off my soapbox, but for a lot of the designers the story is the message, not the clothes. and for Moschino, you’re right- the joke is on us!

      -Stefanie
      http://www.thestylesafari.com

  10. Yes, Erin. You are so right. Sometimes I think it’s just me, as I am past the age where I could get away with many articles of clothing that are out there, but when I hear this coming from a young person, I know I haven’t lost my mind. It’s really hard to believe that people will buy this stuff. In addition to being so ridiculously overpriced, it’s so poorly made. Reading your post made me laugh out loud – thanks!

  11. You have pulled the curtain back! Thank you for being a voice of reason. No one in their right mind would purchase or wear any of these items. What is wrong with looking pretty???

  12. Maybe Gucci is going for a Star Wars theme. It looks like they skinned Chewbacca to make those shoes!

  13. TOTALLY agree! As a personal stylist I can tell you first hand people are not buying this crap. It’s purely for the sake of art (I hope). I haven’t subscribed to any of these high-fashion magazines in the past several years. I’d rather just buy an issue here and there. They don’t do anything for me or my clients – isn’t it ironic?

  14. another one… I am 100% agree with you!
    I don’t know why these clothes are so expensive, we don’t even see anyone dressing them, but ok. Dior, Elie Saab, they have great couture, but this, come on!

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