The Most Shockingly Risqué Fashion Week Looks of All Time

There are only a few weeks in a year where fashion designers have the opportunity to showcase their new collections, their art, their visions...and some take it a bit too far.

By Corinne Heller Feb 15, 2020 3:00 PMTags
Watch: Necessary Realness: Kim Kardashian Plunges Into Fashion Week

Listen, sometimes models comes out on the runway and...they're green. No, not just new at walking a runway. Like, literally...they're green.

There are only a few weeks in a year, in cities such as New York, London and Paris, where fashion designers have the opportunity to showcase their new collections, their art, their visions to the most important people in the industry.

Sometimes they take risks—bright colors, vibrant and unusual patterns, elaborate hairstyles and headpieces, and enormous skirts are some examples—and sometimes they think they take risks—florals, for spring? Groundbreaking. Some pretty always play it safe.

Often, designers use fashion shows as an opportunity to make a bold statement.

And some have, at times, appears to take it a tad too far.

See Every Celebrity at Fashion Week: Fall 2020

Check out some of the most shockingly risqué fashion week looks of all time:

Dream Machine

In the wake of the internet age, Thierry Mugler gives the fashion world a futuristic fantasy.

Seeing Double

With the appearance of Ming porcelain blended with baroque style, Guo Pei's 2019/2020 show is a work of art.

Crown Jewels

Diamonds are a girl's best friend, indeed! Richard Quinn's silver sparkly design proves that head-to-toe jewels are always a good idea.

Seeing Double

Severed heads... but make it fashion. Gucci pushes the boundaries for its fall/winter runway in 2018. From the head props to the wild prints and over-the-top layers, this is a show to remember.

Little Black... Bra

Chanel is known for more than its famous tweed jackets and diamond-encrusted brooches. Karl Lagerfeld pushes the envelope for the 1996 collection, which features itty-bitty bikinis, bum-baring dresses and more.

Outside the Box

Dior gives the phrase "out of the box" a new meaning with this daring and dazzling design for its fall/winter runway. 

Bouquet Beauty

Forget the bridal gown—because this Moschino number is a sight to see. Gigi Hadid dazzles in a dress that looks like a literal bouquet of flowers at the spring/summer 2018 show.

Heavenly Body

Guo Pei continues to turn heads with extravagant and ostentatious designs. For the 2017 show, this diamond-adorned gown and headpiece made everyone ooh and aah.

Cross the Line

Iris Van Herpen knows how to steal the show with her electrifying and larger-than-life pieces. Case in point? The 2012 fall/winter collection is a work of art.

Naked Truth

One word: wow! Jean Paul Gaultier's 1993 collection lights up the fashion world. Creating the illusion of a naked body, this bedazzled catsuit still manages to look angelic and ethereal.

Mother of Pearl

Thierry Mugler debuts this breathtaking gown in 1995, which gives the illusion of a pearl in an oyster. And if it looks familiar, Cardi B dropped jaws at the 2019 Grammys wearing this exact dress.

Pretty in Pearls

John Galliano's 1997 runway collection for Dior fuses the old with the new.

Floral Fetish

Richard Quinn makes a case for bondage face masks for the autumn/winter 2020 collection. The juxtaposition of the daring accessory mixed with the virtuous floral print makes it a knock-out.

Got It in the Bag

Moschino always brings electricity to the catwalk with eccentric and quirky designs. This cheeky shopping bag dress is no different.

Making Waves

Iris Van Herpen's spring/summer 2017 show is chock-full of glitzy, glamours and otherwordly pieces. Each design, such as this wave-like dress, deserves to be displayed in a museum.

Less Is More

Sometimes, being risky means wearing something as simple as a black bustier and matching trousers. Miley Cyrus' leather gloves and zebra-print coat gives this Marc Jacobs design more edge.

Red Hot, Hot, Hot

Only Valentino knows how to make something both sexy and sophisticated. This fiery red gown from the 2020 spring/summer runway is proof.


Rick Owens knows how to perfectly mix grunge, edge and style. For the designer's autumn/winter 2019 collection, models traipsed down the runway in futuristic-looking ensembles.


Tom Ford is the king of subtle yet striking fashion. Need proof? For Gucci's ready-to-wear 1996 runway, the designer shows that simplicity can be oh-so-sexy.

Sleek and Chic

Since the dawn of time, Richard Quinn has been taking fashion risks. However, this sleek and chic number from the 2018 catwalk takes it up a notch. 

Flower Power

Thom Browne's piece features an explosion of flowers and patterns for the 2020 Menswear spring/summer show. It's safe to say the word "basique" isn't part of the designer's vocabulary.

Sugar Rush

Charlotte Olympia brings whimsy and camp to the runway for its 2017 runway. From the delicately placed jewels to the strawberry shape, the designer proves style can be both playful and dashing.

Flower Power

Guo Pei makes the fashion world swoon over this lavish design, which looks like the model is laying on a bed of flowers.

Modern Medicine

Marc Jacobs and Richard Prince make face masks look ultra-luxurious and chic for Louis Vuitton's 2008 collection. Models sashay along the catwalk in glossy nurse uniforms and branded face masks.

Orange You Glad

When in doubt, go for something bright and bold like this Emilio Pucci number from its fall/winter 2017 runway.

Royal Blues

Sometimes, all you need is one eye-catching item to steal the show. And that's exactly what this vibrant blue design by Antonio Ortega Haute Couture does.

Sunny Yellow

A feathery confection! Leave it to Valentino to bring the fashion and the fun to Paris Fashion Week. The design's vivid color, tiered ruffles, bedazzled floral print and larger-than-life headpiece makes it one memorable dress.

Splash of Color

Comme des Garçons's spring/summer 2007 show takes a fashion risk with its runway show, which features muted yet wildly colorful pieces.