The Biggest Fashion Controversies Of 2013 (PHOTOS)

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JULIANNE HOUGH BLACKFACE
Julianne Hough in blackface. | Pacific Coast News

A lot of people made mistakes this year, and because year-end coverage allows us to do so, we’re going to round them all up and talk about them.

The fashion world was at no loss for controversy or straight-up bad choices in 2013, so while we may be shaking our heads at the following offenses, here’s hoping 2014 yields better, more socially aware results.

Read on about the biggest fashion controversies of 2013.

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1. Blackface

Honestly, what are you thinking, people who obviously aren’t thinking? (We need to believe they weren’t thinking because the alternative is even worse.) Not only did Julianne Hough sport blackface while dressing up as "Orange is the New Black’s" Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren for Halloween, French Elle beauty editor Jeanne Deroo “dressed up” like Solange Knowles for an “Icons” party. No thank you. Racism is never “in."

2. Lululemon – Like, In General

For $92 (formerly $98), you too can wear sheer pants with a Lululemon logo on it. However, they’re the pants that cost Lululemon $67 million this year after being re-called for being basically see-through. And they hardly compare to founder Chip Wilson’s comments that “some women’s bodies actually don’t work” for his product; that “it’s really about rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure there is over a period of time, how much they use it.” Nope. Go to bed, Mr. Wilson. Apology not accepted. (Luckily, our prayers were answered and Wilson resigned from his post.)

3. Abercrombie & Fitch Won't Stock Larger Sizes

Despite Abercrombie and Hollister being the uniform for most high school students, CEO Mike Jeffries claimed in 2006 that “in every school there are the cool and not-so-cool kids” and that “candidly, we go after the cool kids.” Since his comments were published, Abercrombie didn't change their stance on stocking sizes XL and XXL for women which caused a lot of backlash against the retailer in 2013. Invevitably, Abercrombie apologized for refusing to stock larger sizes and Jeffries made a semi-apology.

4. Karl Lagerfeld Fat Shames

We know two things about Karl Lagerfeld: He loves his cat, Choupette (terrific!) and has a thing against overweight people (the opposite of terrific). In addition to slagging off Adele regularly, he also said in October that the hole in social security is due to diseases “caught by people who are too fat.” That, and “no one wants to see curvy women on the runway.” You are not correct, Lagerfeld. We hope that goes without saying.

5. Lack Of Diversity At NYFW

It’s time for fashion to reflect the diversity of our own communities, and thanks to the Diversity Coalition (which includes models Iman, Naomi Campbell, and Bethann Hardison), an email circulated around the fashion community that called designers out on not featuring African-American women or women of colour in their shows. And according to Jezebel, the industry’s getting worse: 82% of models are white, 9.1% are Asian, 6% are black, and 2% are Latino. Actually embarrassing.

6. Kanye West

Kanye West is synonymous with controversy – but not for lack of intelligence or business sense. However, after an interview in which he claimed to have invented leather jogging pants, Jimmy Kimmel spoofed it, leading to an impressive Kanye Twitter rant which included the hashtag, “#NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK #ALLDISRESPECTTOJIMMYKIMMEL.” The two eventually patched things up, but days later Kanye went on to claim he’ll be bigger than Wal-Mart. (Though the thing is, he’s probably right.)

7. Petra Collins’ Vagina T-Shirt

For reasons we’re not completely sure of, certain parties were up in arms over an American Apparel shirt this fall; a shirt designed by 17-year-old Torontonian Petra Collins which depicts a menstruating, masturbating vagina. It was labeled as “icky” to “gross” to “disgusting” – and by many adults. Which makes us wonder whether or not they’re aware that if they don’t like the shirt, they don’t actually have to buy it.

8. Joan Rivers Calls Jennifer Lawrence “Arrogant”

During "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" press tour, Jennifer Lawrence was quick to condemn bullying people over their style choices. "There are shows like 'The Fashion Police,'" she said, "that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on all the wrong values and that it’s okay to point at people and call them ugly or fat." To which Joan Rivers responded, "It’s funny how Jennifer Lawrence loved E! Fashion Police during Awards Season when we were complimenting her every single week" – before going on to say J-Law "tripped on her own arrogance." (That over-the-top eye roll you may have felt belongs to us.)

9. The “Be My Slave” Photo Shoot

Nope, no, why, no. In a spread for Diva magazine – featuring clothing by Aamna Aqeel – a white model is seen in the designs, while a small brown boy cowers in the corner and/or attends to her every need. In defence of herself, Aqeel claimed she was trying to shed light on the horrors of child labour, and that the boy worked in the garage and wanted some work. Needless to say, a debate was sparked big time – and for good reason.

10. Karl Lagerfeld Talks Smack About Pippa Middleton

Karl is welcome only to speak about his own clothes or his cat for most of 2014 because on his next list of offenses was this: Claiming Pippa Middleton should “only show her back” because he “doesn’t like [her] face.” At some point, Karl Lagerfeld became that relative our parents tell us not to pay attention to. At least when it comes to how people should look (particularly beautiful people like Pippa or Adele).

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