Fashion Treats: From Faux Pas to Fabulous!

Brace Yourself!

Rick Owens Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear and Reese Witherspoon wearing an Ortho Boot

Aesthetics have evolved markedly where fashion and beauty are concerned. It’s all about being unique, individual, and perfectly imperfect. The way I see it, one literally cannot have a wardrobe malfunction, a fashion emergency, or a fashion misstep. In fact, accidents, injuries, and maladies can even be turned into fashion moments.

Rick Owens Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear

Nobody wants to suffer a leg or foot injury or have to undergo surgery. Recovery means weeks if not months of having to forego heels and stilettos in favor of heavy shoes, ace bandages, casts, braces, and orthotic boots. In terms of aesthetics alone, this used to be the kiss of death. Not anymore!

Fashion footwear has gotten so pragmatic and clunky, much of it resembles orthopedic footwear. And really, you can’t tell me there is much difference between corrective leg-wear and many of the items Rick Owens proposed for spring 2018.

Accidental Icon

Christian Louboutin’s iconic red soles

Accidents happen. But they have the potential to become great fashion moments. The red sole of the Louboutin heel is recognized worldwide. It was actually created by accident, rather than by a planned design. The red sole was born one afternoon when a prototype of a shoe inspired by Andy Warhol’s ‘Flowers’ arrived in the hands of Louboutin, who found the shoe a little dull.

Fortunately, an assistant was painting her nails red at the time of the arrival of the shoe, and Louboutin had the unique idea of using it to cover the dreary black sole, and so the iconic red sole was made.

Anne Klein Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear

When Isabel Toledo debuted her spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear collection for the Anne Klein label, included in the lineup, was an “art attack” print. It was inspired by an incident in which her artist husband Ruben accidentally smeared a dress with paint.


So, the next time you accidentally spill something on a beloved piece of clothing, instead of trying to clean it, use it as a blank canvas to channel your inner Jackson Pollack. The recent runways were filled with great examples of paint splattered designs. Among the best were Sterling Ruby’s unisex pieces for spring 2020.

Off -Kilter

Anrealage Spring 2020 Ready-to-Wear

Have you ever inadvertently buttoned your blouse and missed a hole? The next time this happens and a bystander or a friend politely points that out that your shirt is lopsided, just smile and say that you actually did it on purpose. You can explain that it’s all about “off- kilter” fashion these days. If they don’t believe you, tell them to check out images from the Anrealage runway for Spring 2020 Ready-to-Wear.

Sacai Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear

Along the same lines, perhaps you have gotten dressed in the dark only to realize that you are wearing two different shoes or socks. Instead of fretting, just remember that Thom Browne and Sacai’s Abe Chitose have been known to show mismatched footwear and legwear on their runways.

“Holey Moley”

Chanel Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

If you usually throw out or donate clothes with moth holes, maybe you should rethink it. Some of the most iconic fashion designs have been purposely riddled with holes. A few of the more memorable examples, such as this Chanel ensemble, were displayed at the 2013 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition, Punk: Chaos to Couture Punk. More recently, clothes with holes were shown on the Maison Margiela Fall 2019 Couture and Off-White Spring 2020 Ready-to-Wear runways.

Let it RIP

Elizabeth Hurley

The Versace safety pin dress is one of the most iconic dresses in fashion history, and it put Elizabeth Hurley on the map. Wardrobe malfunctions, such as dresses tearing and ripping at the most inopportune moments, are part of life. The next time you need to quickly patch something up, just get a bigger safety pin.

Lumps and Bumps

Comme des Garcons Spring 1997 Ready-to-Wear

Maybe you didn’t listen when your mother reminded you to stand up straight. If you have too many lumps and bumps in the wrong places, celebrate them the way Rei Kawakubo does. They can be considered to be high art!

What Skin Condition?

Winnie Harlow

Winnie Harlow was recently tapped to star in Zac Posen’s Spring 2020 Ready-to-Wear ad campaign. Zac said she was chosen for her “modernistic versatility.”

The inspirational Canadian fashion model is a public spokesperson for vitiligo. She would have been a superstar without this genetic skin condition, but it has really separated her from the pack.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.