The Biggest Fashion Turkeys of 2022

The print and silhouette of this outfit were inspired by toilets and a toilet seat
Photo by Dolly Faibyshev for The New York Times

There are no rules, dress codes are extinct, nothing is off limits, and anything goes. Nothing can possibly be too strange, too ugly, too sexy, or too risqué. Bad taste is rampant. Of course, the notion of what constitutes good taste vs. bad taste is highly subjective if not passe, and anyway, too much good taste can be a snore, while a little splash of bad taste is desirable, as Diana Vreeland noted. I am all for experimentation, creativity, and thinking out of the box, but sometimes the results can be dreadful.

“The Most Dressed” column in the “Sunday Styles” section of The New York Times on November 20th prominently featured a man, Brandon Chu, who made his own outfit for the Thierry Mugler: Couturissime opening night party at the Brooklyn Museum. He explained that the print itself is based on queer semiotics, specifically around cruising in bathrooms, and its silhouette is modeled after a bathroom seat.

Has fashion gone down the toilet — or what? Turkey is on everyone’s minds right now, but when I consider the sizeable bald gamebird, I am contemplating all the fashion follies and fiascos of the past year. As I looked through images from 2022, the phrase, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” often popped into my head.

Julia Fox wearing Valerievi
Photo by Matt Baron for Shutterstock

The CFDA Awards are looking more and more like the Met Gala. Some clearly got it right, while others turned heads for the wrong reasons. Julia Fox has garnered the reputation of being a woman who will try anything: gray hair, no eyebrows, red carpet bikini. This “dress” (if that’s what you want to call it) by the Italian brand Valerievi seems desperate to attract attention in a crowded playing field.

Vera Wang and Vanessa Hudgens
Photo by Aurora Rose for WWD

Then there was Vera Wang. Age is irrelevant, but there is no excuse for a 73-year-old woman to wear crotch-grazing mini, thigh-high stockings, extreme platforms, and braided pigtails. I didn’t make Vera look younger. It just made her look foolish.

Gigi Hadid in Thom Browne
Photo by Matt Baron for Shutterstock

I love Thom Browne’s fearless originality, but many of the guests Thom dressed for the recent CFDA Awards looked ridiculous. Gigi Hadid’s outfit proves that going from runway to reality is not always a good idea, even if you are a supermodel.

The punk hair and make-up did nothing for Gigi or the outfit, and on top of this, Hadid must have sweltered wearing all those textural layers on an unseasonably balmy evening in November.

Janelle Monae in Thom Browne
Photo by Matt Baron for Shutterstock

I adore Janelle Monae; she is the ultimate chameleon. But this is another runway to reality disaster. This outfit looks like they threw in everything but the kitchen sink. It was a hot mess, way too contrived. You needed to figure out where to look first.

Janelle Monae wearing Christian Siriano
Photo by John Shearer for Getty Images

Skin-baring cutouts are all the rage, but the Christian Siriano dress Janelle wore to the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar party is more cutouts than a dress. It hardly needed the addition of humongous white buttons. Truly dreadful.

A Very Pregnant Rihanna Arriving at Dior
Photo by Getty Images

There is so much nudity on and off the runways that it’s easy to become desensitized. But still, there is a big difference between high fashion and pure exhibitionism. We have seen it all and then some, but Rihanna’s get-up at Dior in Paris this past February took the cake.

Kim Kardashian in Prada
Photo by people.com

Kim Kardashian loves to experiment. She stepped out in a cognac leather Prada jumpsuit (from the label’s fall 2022 men’s collection) while in Milan for the spring 2023 runway shows last February. It prompted this reaction from sister Kendall: “It kind of looks like you have a diaper on.” I totally agree!

Burberry Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo Courtesy Burberry

It was announced that Riccardo Tisci is exiting Burberry after 5 years as a chief creative officer just a few days after his spring 2023 ready-to-wear show in London. Tisci might be a talented designer, but his swan song for the heritage house included several real head-scratching clinkers.

Topping the list is a group of jumpsuits with pronounced cutouts strategically placed to emphasize the crotch and inner and outer thigh. Tisci obviously likes them so much that he had them on repeat. Truly hideous!

Tom Ford Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Filippo Fior for Gorunway.com

Tom Ford may be the “Billion Dollar Man,” but Tom’s last collection for his eponymous label was little more than a tawdry sleaze fest. At times, it looked more like Victoria’s Secret. Tom himself is always so impeccable it’s hard to believe he would show something as tacky as these lacey thongs on a runway.

Machine Gun Kelly in Dolce & Gabbana
Photo by Getty Images

You expect to see lousy taste and head-scratching outfits at music awards, and this past Sunday’s 2022 American Music Awards in Los Angeles were no exception. Machine Gun Kelly always tries to outdo himself with edgy outfits, but there is so much violence in the world; do we really need to see MGK in an outfit that turns him into a living weapon? Not to mention that you can get your eyes poked out if you get too close. Ouch!

Bebe Rexha at 2022 AMA Awards
Photo by Getty Images

Red is a powerful color, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Or, in this case, too much of a bad thing, as exemplified by Bebe Rexha. The pop star performed at the 2022 American Music Awards wearing this red dress with train, matching gloves, and thigh-high boots. With its oversized shoulder detail, it made her look like a turkey.

Lil Nas X at 2022 VMA Awards
Left photo by Getty Images

Many fashion followers unwittingly resemble turkeys with their outfits. It’s almost impossible to outdo “Montero” singer Lil Nas X who turned heads at the 2022 VMA Awards wearing a bold sculptural outfit, baring his torso as he swished by in a feathered ballgown skirt frame and enormous headdress.

The singer’s outfit was the work of fashion designer Harris Reed who also designed Iman’s 2021 Met Gala ensemble. As they say, “Birds of a Feather Stick Together.”

Gobble Gobble!

Latest Comments:

  1. You could say Rucci is devoted to beauty but really he’s devoted to truth and beauty is how he finds…

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. Ralph will bring back beauty to fashion. Enough with the sideshow attractions.

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.

3 Comments
  1. I come from the same time in Fashion that you are about. When Fashion was about creating Beauty and enhancing the glamour and sophistication of stunning women and men with class. When the most powerful looks commanded not only attention, but also respect. You wake up all of your readers to where we are now with the educated experience of where we have been in the past and what brings about the CHANGE that is FASHION.

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