2014, the year of... fashion scandal

This was the year in which Kendall Jenner had her eyebrows bleached away for the Givenchy show and became such an overnight sensation that the other models turned on her like evil stepsisters, telling tales on her, making faces at her, even putting out...

by Dean Kissick
24 December 2014, 9:45am

So many strange things happened as the year unfolded; model Thylane Blondeau appeared on the cover of Jalouse even though she's only 12, Dolce & Gabbana were sentenced to 18 months in prison, party monster Michael Alig was released from prison, boys started wearing crop-tops and girls started dyeing their armpit-hair, a builder fell through the roof during the Fashion East show, Kanye had to defend himself against a braying mob at the Lanvin show and A$AP wrote a song about how Hood by Air hadn't been nice enough to him.

However there were six scandals that really told the story of 2014.

1. Miranda Kerr
With great beauty comes great conflict. This summer, in the most high-profile battle of passion to hit the Mediterranean Seas since the Trojan War - when old King Menelaus besieged Troy in order to win back Helen of Sparta - Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber almost came to blows in Ibiza over Miranda Kerr's honour. Instead of constructing a vast wooden horse outside the city gates, Orlando vaulted an expensive sofa. Instead of cruel Achilles in his chariot, he had Leonardo DiCaprio egging him on. It's an interesting scene to imagine, and one that hasn't harmed Miranda's career one jot; her smiley Swarovski campaign must, surely, be the most ubiquitous image in the world this Christmas.

2. Rihanna
Swarovski also provided the crystals - 230,000 of them to be precise - for the totally see-through dress that Rihanna wore to the CFDA Fashion Awards. After she was thrown off Instagram for showing her breasts, this was a barnstorming riposte; to accept an award nearly naked, and announce on the podium that "fashion should never be frustrating, it should be fun!" Also, as Rihanna has just been appointed Creative Director of Puma, it's a look we might soon see on some of our favourite athletes: Arsenal's footballers, Ferrari's racing drivers, Jamaica's sprinters, all running around with crystal-embroidered bottoms and vajazzle hats.

3. Dr Matt Taylor
After landing the Rosetta rocket on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, British scientist Dr Matt Taylor appeared on television wearing an inappropriate shirt: one patterned with fantasy women in tight PVC. Following an international outcry and accusations of sexism, he had to apologise and ended up sobbing remorsefully on the news. I felt bad for him really. But even interstellar scientists need stylists nowadays; and, in the same way that Jean Paul Gaultier designed all the costumes for The Fifth Element, maybe the European Space Agency should commission him to make its scientists' uniforms too.

4. Dov Charney
"Sex is inextricably linked to fashion and apparel," Dov Charney once said, "and it has been and always will be. And our clothing is connected to our sexual expression." Nonetheless his strange forms of sexual expression - such as dancing naked in front of his female employees - eventually saw him ousted from his own company, American Apparel, this month after six months of suspension. Because really, unless you're an Amazonian witch doctor, dancing naked at work is not appropriate behaviour.

5. John Galliano
Over Paris Fashion Week I was having a drink at La Perle, the bar in the Marais where John Galliano brought about his own spectacular downfall in 2011 - at one point someone asked him, "where are you from?" and he answered "your arsehole", and that's one of the more inoffensive moments - and who should walk by but the pirate-like designer himself? Soon after it was announced that he had been appointed as Creative Director of Maison Martin Margiela, and that he was returning to London to show his inaugural Margiela couture collection on 12th January, now only weeks away. It's all rather scandalous, but London will be so much more fantastical for having him back.

6. Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff
However, with great comings come great goings. This week it was announced that Meadham Kirchhoff won't be showing - and maybe won't be making - a collection for autumn/winter 15 as they cannot afford the over-the-rainbow costs of a catwalk show. London Fashion Week will be so much more boring without them and, actually, this was only one of the scandalous things that happened around them in 2014.

They were chosen amongst the semi-finalists of the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize but then weren't included amongst the finalists - honestly I have no idea what was happening behind the scenes - and afterwards their spring/summer 15 show notes elaborated, "Fuk LVMH corporate fashion." That's a bold statement to make in today's, ummm, corporate fashion world. They also added that they hated model agents and Terry Richardson, and sent a street-cast lad down the runway with everything hanging out in see-through trousers. (I wrote at the time, "Now, to be honest, a lot of people working in the fashion industry see a lot of strangers' penises all of the time. It shouldn't have been shocking to see that on the catwalk, but it was.")

Maybe Meadham Kirchhoff knew that this, titled Reject Everything, would be their last show for a while; like the ancient Chinese proverb says, "A man that is sentenced to death by a thousand cuts will dare to pull the emperor off his horse." Whatever the case though, I'll miss them more than anyone else. When I started at i-D in 2011 the first truly extraordinary fashion show that I saw - the one that showed me what was actually possible on a runway - was their spring/summer 12 extravaganza A Wolf in Sheep's/Lamb's Clothing, with its riot grrrl ballet around a magical set of wedding cakes and balloon architecture in the old Eurostar terminal. It really was spectacular.

So I hope they'll be back, sincerely, but whatever happens Edward and Benjamin were endlessly compelling in 2014 and - if this is the end - well what a way to bow to out.


Text Dean Kissick

Miranda Kerr
Meadham Kirchhoff
John Galliano
dov charney
cfda awards
dr matt taylor
fashion scandal