WTF?! Curse Words Are Trending at Fashion Month

Curse Words at Fashion Week - LEAD
Photo: Matteo Catena/

You f***'n asshole.

There it was—minus the asterisks I've politely added for your benefit—aggressively staring up at me from Chiara Ferragni’s Instagram account. Plastered across an oversized black T-shirt with sculpted shoulders, the large type face and swearing were a stark contrast to the blogger’s serene expression; her hair, catching light from the sun, fell in soft flaxen waves around her face. I went from feeling shocked (the nerve!), to scandalized (I’d never!) to surprised that I felt so shocked and scandalized: Great style, after all, is born from pushing boundaries.

Would stylist Giovanna Battaglia, who was spotted earlier this month in a fuchsia blouse that read ”Pink as F***” tucked into her swishy skirt, get sent home from high school for such a casual display of profanity? Without a doubt. Unlike the hoodie-clad slackers who goofed off in the back of my old algebra class, however, she cleverly offset the colorful language with flowery script and feminine silhouettes. InStyle Germany’s fashion director, Jan-Michael Quammie, too, put a sophisticated twist on cursing with tongue and cheek wordplay—“F*** Hate”—and a freespirited blush, feather-covered (!) bomber. And over in Milan, I noted that while one attendee arrived with “F*** Off!” splashed across her back, the shirt's soft pink shade and a pleated mini softened the blow.

All this said, wearer beware! Even when balanced by sophisticated design, swear words are a tricky proposition in the wrong circumstances (like, say, outside of Alexander Wang’s afterparty). I’d recommend sitting this trend out at dinner with your parents—but as for drinks and dancing later? Eff, yeah.

Curse Words at Fashion Week - Embed
Vincenzo Grillo/
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