8 Cutting-Edge Fashions That Are Clearly Practical Jokes

If you ever need a quick pick-me-up, look no further than the fashion community. The fanciest designers consider themselves "avant garde," which is French for "What Would Bowie Wear?" The problem with this design philosophy is that the only person who can pull off David Bowie's clothes is David Bowie, and maybe Mick Jagger. So for every 10 cool Naomi Campbells or Kate Mosses walking down the runway, there is at least one poor person who is clearly the victim of a practical joke, completely oblivious to the fact that she (or he) is the punchline.

The good news for us is that there are lots of pictures to laugh at.

#8. She Blinded Me With Fashion

Filippo Fior

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then avant garde designers are architects of atheist dungeons. Every one of them has come up with at least 10 ways to obstruct their models' eyesight. It's almost like they're in a secret Beautiful Blindness Olympics and their models are the contestants. It's not enough to just wrap a scarf around a woman's head like she's the Invisible Man trying to make a discreet getaway:

Filippo Fior

Any moron with a set of knitting needles and a disregard for human dignity can accomplish a complete head wrap. It takes imagination to only obscure the eyes in the most interesting way possible. For example, American designer Rick Owens used his model's own hair to create a reverse hair burka, or "hurka."

Filippo Fior

Apparently the designer ran with that moment when you're walking down the street and a hurricane hits you in the face. What ordinary humans would see as an awkward faux pas, fashion journalists saw as "compelling" and "otherworldly." So maybe the joke's on us because we place too high a premium on the gift of sight. Belgian designer Martin Margiela came up with multiple ways to prevent his models from seeing where they were walking. One was a rigging so cumbersome that it had to be rolled out onto the catwalk, and it featured a model who possessed either a backward head or the curse of hirsutism.

Marcio Madeira

Every other model in the show looked like she was almost cast in The Ring but didn't quite make the cut. You know how some people laugh when they're scared? The audience at this fashion show could have been mistaken for a Def Comedy Jam crowd.


But even Margiela can't compare with Lutz Huelle's Fringe Attack of a Jacket. If it were possible for a blazer to drink hair tonic from a Bugs Bunny cartoon, this is what you'd get. Seconds after this picture was taken, the fringe consumed her, then took over the rest of the room before turning on itself.


Not only does the model look like an alternate reality's version of a sassy Western cowboy, but her point of view must have resembled a scene from The Shining. Would you want to make eye contact while your world is dripping with red fringe? Probably not.

#7. The Completely Serious Hula Hoop Purse


Either this woman is straddling two worlds that are only accessible by a magical yet chic portal, or she is definitely carrying a purse made of hula hoops. I suspect the latter. Designer Karl Lagerfeld tried to play it off like a beach tote, complete with the sunglasses and bathing suit and strappy patent leather heels we all wear when going to the beach, but you and I know better. Hula hoops are heavy. Hula hoops plus towels plus an entire watermelon (another beach staple) would be impossible. I don't know what fantasy world you're living in, Mr. Lagerfeld, but in the real world, we make our beach bags out of old grocery bags and tiny, manageable portals to other worlds.

The best thing about this purse is picturing someone living her day-to-day life trying to use it. For example, what would it look like if a regular person used this purse while trying to send a fax at Staples?

Or trying to get into a car?

Or out of a car?

It's hard to be chic when your purse is sabotaging your graceful exits and entrances. And good luck finding your keys at the bottom of that thing, ladies. If, on the other hand, you get the urge to stop everything and do some old-fashioned hooping with a stick, this is probably the best purse to suit your needs. Just empty your bag out before you start.

#6. The Dress That's a Plumber's Nightmare


Some fashion designers are all about complementing a woman's body. Others want to use the body as a canvas for art. Dutch designer Iris van Herpen is interested in neither prospect when it comes to making dresses. She asks herself questions like "Is this garment Bond-villainy enough?" and "What would it look like if you fell into a snake pit and then time froze and you were stuck like that?" and "Is it time for shellacked turds to get their own dress?" For Iris van Herpen and Bjork, it's always Turd Dress O'Clock.


If you've ever worried that your clothes will begin writhing up into your face and choke you, consider not buying this garment. If you take hallucinogenic drugs, this dress should be on your "no" list. If you've ever imagined yourself as Queen of the Giant Earthworms or wanted to wear Medusa's head for clothes, this is the dress for you. Bonus: The dress can also double as a walking maze.

And believe it or not, this is an exact scale model of the human digestive system.

#5. The Pinata Poncho


Poor, poor stoic man-model. Surely when he signed up for modeling school, he had no idea that one day a Flemish designer would stuff him in an Easter egg pinata and make him walk in front of people. He was just a little boy in a model classroom, learning how to pout and avoid bread and wear silly clothes without crying. Now look at him. He's nothing more than a floating head presiding over a psychedelic mop orgy. The saddest part is that immediately after this show, the model wandered into a child's birthday party and met a grisly fate.

Jeffrey Coolidge

Sorry, that's not correct. The saddest part of this outfit is what he's wearing underneath it. (More mops -- but the ones that clean up the toddler bathroom stalls in preschools.)

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Kristi Harrison

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