Best of the Worst: Spring 2011's Epic Fails

While each season's new fashions inspire many designers to create new and beautiful clothing, for some designers it seems to encourage a kind of fashion brinkmanship.  Brinkmanship, for those of you not in history, is a political practice of (in layman's terms) following dangerous policies until the last possible second.  Brinkmanship is often used in reference to the Cuban Missile Crisis during the Cold War.  In a fashion context, I'd like to think that brinkmanship is a designer's policy of creating sensationalist and downright weird designs to the point that they teeter on the brink of total ruin.  Anyway, this post is dedicated to all those designers this spring who made me question, "WTF?!"

First up is Alexander McQueen.  While the show did have some interesting pieces, others felt like they would have belonged better in the couture shows.  This one, for example.  Is that neck thingy attached to the dress or is it a whole item of its own?  What is that fold doing over her crotch?  And finally, WHAT is going on with that pattern?  It's like a magic eye, but crossing your eyes and staring at it won't reveal anything but a headache (trust me).
Also from Alexander McQueen we have this little gem.  Are those little leather leaves?  While it's a cool idea, in practice it looks like a fine recipe for a Janet Jackson-style public nip-slip.  I also had to wonder about the Pirates of the Caribbean-looking belt/corset.  Nothing about this looks remotely comfortable or practical: you couldn't wear it on a cold day because you would freeze to death, and who would wear a black leather dress on a hot day?  If you showed up to a party in that people would assume you were the entertainment.  It doesn't help that from here those just look like about a hundred nipple pasties.

Now this one from Bottega Venetta really isn't very weird, but any of you who watch How I Met Your Mother will understand me when I say it looks JUST LIKE Barney Stinson's pajamas.  And that was the first and last thing I was capable of thinking about this look.

As far as I'm concerned, a lot of D&G's stuff was a little bizarre.  Then I came across this, and it put me over the edge.  What is Snow White doing on her t-shirt with all her little critter friends?  Where did that come from?  The rest of the show was flowers and tablecloths (I'll get to it)!  Then all of a sudden, Snow White!  It's just... why?  WHY?
Alright, I promised tablecloths, and so you shall have them.  Also from D&G is this plaid/checkered/whatever thing.  It's just too much.  I mean it's not even fitted, so it really does look like she wrapped herself in a picnic blanket and belted it.  And WHO decided that bandanas were coming back in?  I refuse.  REFUSE.  I am very happy to leave those back in fifth grade where they belong.  D&G FAIL.

And now from D&G to Dolce and Gabbana, another WTF moment.  Hopefully you've all seen The Sweetest Thing, otherwise this wont make much sense.  As soon as I saw this dress all I could think of was when Selma Blair's character got a "stain" on her leopard-print dress and had to get it dry cleaned, and then the other girls made fun of her.  This looks a thousand times worse than that.

While I loved Jean Paul Gaultier's David Bowie vibe this season, much like in Alexander McQueen's show this outfit stood out as waaaaaaaayyy over the top.  I quite honestly have no idea what's going on with that pattern.  I think I see some rainbow prisms though... maybe.  It's hard to critique the actual clothing beneath that pattern since it seems to obscure every sensible detail.  I can, however, see some chest flaps, which instantly make me hate it.

Prada.  Prada, Prada, Prada.  Shame on you.  That top looks like someone's scrubs.  And the truth is no one wears scrubs because they want to, they wear scrubs because they have to.  Also, what kind of neon animal did you just murder?  From this angle it looks like the model is slowly strangling it to death, which is far from endearing.  Way to leave the tail on.  That brown and orange combo really should have stayed in the '70s, never to be resurrected.

Also from Prada: this colossal mess.  Well, first off they seem to have re-used the structure of the scrubs top and thrown a collar on that thing.  Then they chose banana print?  Arrrrggggg my EYES!  It looks like the worst kind of fat tourist apparel!  What sane person would pay money for this shit?  Now check out that skirt!  Not only is this one of the worst combos in history, but damn, that skirt is a whole realm of ugly on its own.  I think I see more bananas.  While the structure of the skirt actually interests me, everything else triggers my gag reflex.

Alright, so this image from Lanvin has fine designs, what I took issue with was more... organizational.  The way it worked was the first 9/10 of the models were white and emerging in a traditional "one at a time with generous space between models" format.  Then, the last image of the show was this.  A bunch of black women in a group.  I would reaaaallly like to hear the explanation behind this one because right now I'm thinking the worst.  I mean clearly it's planned.  I have already checked my photo source, style.com, for an explanation of this format choice but no answer was forthcoming, so I am forced to draw my own conclusions.  The style of the clothes (one-shouldered, loose, draped, secured with belts or clips) is reminiscent of Mediterranean and - dare I say it - African styles.  Furthermore, the rest of the show featured solid colours, suits, and some embellished gladiator-style looks.  This one group is the only occasion on which this palm frond print was used.  Combined with the fact that they're all black and in a group is evocative of the word "tribe", which makes me cringe.  Granted, they all look stunningly beautiful, strong, and are sporting some beautiful dresses.  But STILL.  I fail to understand why they couldn't have been dispersed with the rest of the white girls, and why they couldn't each have their own moment at the end of the runway like all the other women did.

Last on the chop-block is Roberto Cavalli.  I was so, so disappointed by Cavalli this spring.  For the last few seasons Cavalli has been one of my very favourite shows, featuring flowing silks, gorgeous luxe fabrics and patterns and impeccable styling.  Then, this spring, there was this:
The second I saw these clothes the first thing I thought of was the hippies who hang out at the beaches in the town I grew up in.  Honestly, this is the kind of stuff they wear: rough leather stitched together with plenty of fringe and not the vaguest idea of figure flattery.  Throw in some inappropriate skin exposure and you have the hippies down to a T.  If I saw someone wearing these clothes I'd probably expect for them to pull out a bong and a didgeridoo to start a jam sesh.  That or ask me for money. Roberto Cavalli, you've disappointed me.