Fashion, like any industry, is not immune to scandal and controversy. From startling socio-political messages, to bloody murder, its most shocking moments do not necessarily involve clothes being paraded down the runway. The stories below offer a glimpse into what, why, and how it all transpired.
Brook Shields Advertises Calvin Klein
In 1981, 15-year-old actress Brook Shields sent conservatives into overdrive when she appeared in an advert for Calvin Klein jeans. The problem was not that Shields modelled. It was her saying that nothing came between her and her jeans; the implication being that she does not wear any underwear. Coupled with a smouldering look and sexy poses, it was a suggestion of underage sexuality that saw the advert banned by some TV networks.
Flies In a Jacket
Back in 1997, long before Samuel L. Jackson said anything about Snakes On a Plane, designer Andrew Groves gave us flies in a jacket. The ghastly gimmick happened at his runway debut, which took place in a bus shed as part of London Fashion Week. It may have been a debut show, but the audience included the likes of Manolo Blahnik, journalists from Vanity Fair, the New York Times, American Vogue, and the International Herald Tribune, and pop-rock singer Saffron Spanckling of Republica. Unfortunately for them, a model wearing a jacket filled with hundreds of flies sashayed down the ramp, pulled open the garment, and sent the insects buzzing out into the crowd.
Murder of Gianni Versace
Acclaimed fashion designer Gianni Versace was a friend of Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as Naomi Campbell, Cher, Eric Clapton, the members of Duran Duran, Elton John, Madonna, Kate Moss, the Notorious B.I.G. Sting, Tupac, and many other celebrities. He was 50 years old when on 15 July 1997; he was shot outside his home in Miami, Florida, by Andrew Cunanan. Versace’s killer was obsessed with the designer, with whom he claimed to be friends. The designer, whose clothes are easier to buy when you are an eSports betting Australia winner, was the last death in a three-month-long killing spree by Cunanan, who committed suicide just over a week after killing Versace.
Blackface In Vogue Paris
By 2009, Vogue Paris was already familiar with its photo shoots stirring up controversy. Readers expected it of the magazine thought of by many as one of the bibles of fashion. However, nothing could have prepared them for the 14-page shoot with Dutch supermodel Lara Stone. Several pictures showed Stone in blackface. Her body had been painted and her hair teased out to make her look like a black woman.
Oliviero Toscani for United Colours of Benetton
Almost every United Colours of Benetton advert created by photographer Oliviero Toscani has managed to upset someone somewhere in the world. His work in the early 90s pushed boundaries for the time. Among the scenes featured in campaigns in 1991 and 1992 were the clothing of a Bosnian war victim, an emaciated David Kirby on his deathbed, the body of Mafia murder victim Benedetto Grado, and an image that is suggestive of an interracial lesbian couple with an adopted Asian baby.