News & Runway

The Worst-Reviewed Runway Shows in Recent Memory

If a designer puts out a good collection one season, people are going to talk. But if the collection is a flop? That's something that really gets tongues wagging. Every collection can't be a major success, but when a designer makes a misstep, the reaction is usually pretty strong, and harsh words are sometimes exchanged. Such is the situation for these next six runway shows, which were so polarizing or just downright bad, that critics couldn't even find a nice way to say they were terrible. These collections of clothes we'd like to forget are some of the worst-reviewed in recent memory. Take a look at some of the most scathing reactions to collections from Kanye West, Christian Dior, Tom Ford and more.

Saint Laurent Spring 2013

Image: Imaxtree

Image: Imaxtree

Hedi Slimane's first go-round as creative director for Saint Laurent brought a lot of changes. He dropped the house's famous YSL moniker, trading it for pared-down branding. His grungy runway effort for Spring 2013 confused critics — people didn't really know what to make of the collection, but the general consensus was that the collection was a flop. Perhaps reviews might have been better if the Saint Laurent PR team hadn't given journalists such a hard time leading up to, during and after the show. In addition to several important journos being seated in the second and third rows, several were herded into standing room to make space for Hedi's personal friends. Critics were none too pleased about that. But though the collection was panned by critics, it actually did well with buyers and consumers, so go figure. 

The Low Lights:

"Did Slimane offer a new, stunning prescription for edgy chic funneled through the Saint Laurent lexicon? Not even close." – WWD

"I expected more from this debut. I had the impression from the clothes of someone disconnected from fashion of the past several years. If so, that might be an interesting perspective. But there wasn’t something new to learn here."  – Cathy Horyn, The New York Times

"For a woman who can fit into his silhouette—and this is the tricky part—his suits are the epitome of cool. But they appear to be cut for the sort of woman who has the physique of a 12-year-old boy. She is not merely slender; she is hipless. She doesn’t have much of a tush either…Slimane’s silhouette looks to be so unforgiving that it could be a financial liability to a brand trying to build its clientele." – Robin Givhan, The Daily Beast

"Ultimately, this kind of behaviour is not only arrogant, it also reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of how winning brands are built in today’s world. Successful brands aren’t defined by a set of rules conceived in the control tower of a company’s headquarters and broadcast to the world. They are ideas that live in conversation with the world. They can’t be dictated. They must be nurtured. It’s a serious wake-up call for a PR team that is clearly living in the pre-digital age." – Imran Amed, The Business of Fashion