Most controversial moments of 2014
Most controversial moments of 2014

Most controversial fashion moments of 2014

From Kim Kardashian's Paper magazine cover to American Apparel's banned ad, here's a roundup of the most talked about moments in the industry

Linda Sharkey
Wednesday 24 December 2014 14:49

The fashion world has had many memorable moments in 2014, from Kim Kardashian on the cover of Paper magazine to American Apparel’s banned ads and Lara Stone’s post-baby body photoshoot, so as the year comes close we round up the most talked about.

Controversial brands

American Apparel might win the prize. Its controversial founder Dov Charney was fired, rehired and fired again after board concluded he violated company policy in internal investigation. Fashion executive Paula Schneider replaced him.

The brand’s “Back to School” ads showing models in mini-skirt were banned for “sexualising schoolgirls”. Also the label had put pubic hair on their New York store mannequins and featured a 63-year-old model in lace underwear for its lingerie campaign.

Dov Charney, the founder and former CEO of American Apparel

Some other high-street giants also made the headlines over controversial garments, such as Zara, which came under fire for selling a striped children’s shirt embellished with a yellow star -it was compared with the uniform worn by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps, - and Tezenis, which had to remove a piece of underwear from a range on sale after receiving a backlash of criticism over the phrase “crime scene” printed across them.

Zara's controversial striped children’s shirt embellished with a yellow star

Also, ahead of the 2014 Victoria’s Secret show in London, the lingerie giant had to rename its “Perfect Body” campaign to “A Body for Everybody”.

Controversial photoshoots

In a more positive note, model Lara Stone bared her post-baby body in a topless Photoshop-free photoshoot for System magazine, in which she revealed her real figure after childbirth. And under the same motherhood line, model and actress Olivia Wilde appeared glammed up breastfeeding her baby boy in a fashion spread for Glamour magazine.

Lara Stone bared her post-baby body in unretouched images

Kim Kardashian couldn’t escape from the controversial fashion moments round-up, of course. The reality TV star landed a Vogue cover and spread, in which she appears alongside husband Kanye West, and also posed naked for the cover of Paper magazine, recreating Jean-Paul Gouce’s ‘Champagne Incident’ photo.

Kim Kardashian for Paper magazine

Kimye’s baby daughter North West also sparked controversy after making her modelling debut at 13 months, decked out in Chanel, for CR Fashion Book. The black and white image is accompanied by a Karl Lagerfeld quote that reads: “It’s never too early to care about fashion.”

For the same publication, Lagerfeld shoot Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst in suspenders, following the Austrian drag queen’s modelling debut at the Jean Paul Gaultier Couture show in Paris. Lagerfeld also shoot Miley Cyrus completely naked for V magazine, which was unveiled after the pop star released an artwork collaboration with buoyant designer Jeremy Scott.

Miley Cyrus photographed by Karl Lagerfeld, styled by Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele

Vogue Italia made domestic violence the subject of its April edition, featuring a fashion shoot that look more like stills of a horror film. The result was shocking.

American Vogue attracted a different sort of criticism for an article published online discussing the rise of the big booty and how a large derriere has become ubiquitous, giving celebrity examples such as Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea.

Body image

Skinny-looking mannequins also sparked controversy. Luxury lingerie label La Perla had to remove a model with protruding ribs from its New York boutique, so had to do budget shop Primark following a customer complaint, and Topshop came at centre of row over body image after ‘shocking’ skinny mannequin picture went viral on social media.

On the other hand, social media has been supporting the plus-size trend. #Fatkini was the hashtag trending over summer which saw women of all shapes and sizes embracing their figure and uploading positive images of themselves in bikinis. But while some loved it, others argued it was as bad as the thin models, because it was promoting an unhealthy body.

Controversial celebrities in fashion

Rihanna and Miley Cyrus shocked the amfAR red carpet with two Tom Ford designs from his latest collection. While Rihanna wore a racy dress with floral nipples pasties, Cyrus showed off her figure in a bondage-inspired dress.

Earlier this year, Rihanna did it again wearing a see-through crystal encrusted dress for the CFDA Awards.

Kendall Jenner’s slits-up-to-there dress at the MuchMusic Video Awards has people talking too.


Jean Paul Gaultier decided to leave the world of ready-to-wear collection and focus on his couture and fragrance collection, ending his 38-year run at Paris Fashion Week. He went out with a bang and closed his reign with a big show.

The Jean Paul Gaultier finale

Marking his return to the fashion fraternity for the first time since 2011 is John Galliano, who was confirmed as the creative director of Maison Martin Margiela and is set to present his first show in January.

Overall, designers have been playing musical chairs this year: Mulberry poached Celine’s designer Johnny Coca, Peter Copping was confirmed as Oscar de la Renta’s creative director, Christophe Lemaire left Hermes and Gucci’s creative director left the fashion house.

Culture clash: Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Oh, also, Native American headdresses were banned from being used at music festivals across the world, so you better rethink your gear for Glastonbury 2015.

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