Strange and bizarre fashion often makes the news. The fashion industry is huge and constantly evolving and each decade has had its fair share of trends. Some, we embrace to this day, such as the classic Chanel suit which is still regarded as the height of glamour and elegance. Others, we desperately try to forget, like super high platform sneakers popularised by the Spice Girls in the 1990's.
In recent years, fashion has become louder and prouder, stranger than ever before. Brooke Candy, pictured above, is the Californian stripper-turned-singer who is infamous for her garish image and shocking outfits, such as a futuristic metal bikini and pink cornrows which she debuted in Grimes' music video for her hit song Genesis. Brooke embodies, in many ways, the internet has become a huge influence on fashion, as her style picks up on many viral online trends, so much so that Candy's fashion sense is described as "stripper-meets-Tumblr". Lady Gaga still remains at the forefront of bizarre fashion, with her outlandish outfits now being hailed as legendary.
More recently, however, the fashion industry has begun to use technology in futuristic and unexpected ways, making it clear that not even clothing will remain undigitised in our technology-obsessed age. Moreover, with recent changes to our environment including pollution, climate change and air travel, our fashion needs are changing and these are changes which the fashion industry has responded to in some unusual and brave ways. We've compiled a sample of 7 of the truly bizarre items of clothing that represent the weird and wonderful things the modern fashion industry has to offer in the 21st century.
7 Stylised Pollution Masks
China's problem with air pollution is growing steadily each year. The situation has now reached shocking levels, and the government is making slow progress. Last year, it was reported by the Ministry of Environmental Protection that only 25% of China's 113 major cities had air that was even safe to breathe. This crisis has led to a strange surge in fashionable face masks hitting the streets of China, where avoiding the smog doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your style. There is a huge variety available - from elegant patterns to adorable animals. There are even ranges of masks available for athletes, such as Respro for cyclists, and a range of lightweight masks by Totobobo for runners.
6 Mexican Pointy Boots
These bizarre elfish boots are a major trend that has taken Mexico by storm. The trend is thought to have begun in 2009 in a small Mexican town, but since then the trend has travelled as far as Dallas, Oklahoma and Mississippi. The boots are the official accessory of the "tribal guarachero" music movement, which is essentially a mix of Columbian and African rhythms and electro-house. The demand for more outlandish boots is growing all the time - some boots have points that reach higher than the wearer's knees. Pointy Boot dance contests are now extremely popular. In these contests, the winner usually receives $500 and a bottle of whiskey.
5 Eye Jewellery
The bizarre idea of accessorizing your eye began in the Netherlands, but it is gradually making its way west to the USA. The technical name for this procedure is a cosmetic extraocular implant (CEI), a procedure during which a thin piece of platinum jewellery is inserted into the eye. The specially treated metal is inserted into the thin membrane which covers the eye itself. The most popular shapes available are hearts and music notes. The terrifying procedure will cost you about $3,000. Many optometrists have expressed their concern, saying that the procedure is dangerous and could result in blindness. Anything for fashion, eh?
4 Ravijour "True Love Tester" Bra
Luxury Japanese lingerie manufacturer Ravijour recently created a revolutionary new bra which they claim "knows truly how women feel". Ravijour claims that the stylish bra will stay firmly shut, and will only unhook when sensors in the bra detect the presence of the wearer's true love. The bra is designed to literally pop open upon contact with your loved one. An added benefit is the tight clasp, which will not open for unwanted suitors.
Ravijour's in-house Human Sexuality Expert claims that when humans fall in love, they experience "an instant boost in excitement" which is unlike any other excitement experienced by the human race. When the wearer comes into contact with a potential suitor, the bra reads the wearer's heart rate, and then sends signals via Bluetooth to a specially designed mobile app for analysis. Apparently, a certain heart rate corresponds to true love. The bra is not currently commercially available, and opinion is divided as to whether the bra can live up to its somewhat outlandish claims...
3 Gaga's Meat Dress
In 2010, Lady Gaga donned one of the most memorable gowns in the history of fashion. At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, Gaga had three costume changes. The first was an Alexander McQueen dress, then one by Giorgio Armani, and finally, a dress made out of raw beef by Argentinian artist Franc Fernandez. The dress was hailed by Time magazine as the biggest fashion statement of 2010. For $6,000, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had the dress turned into jerky by taxidermists so that it could go on display.
The media interpreted the dress in many different ways. Some claimed that it was a feminist statement. Gaga herself stated "... it has many interpretations. For me this evening, if we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights pretty soon, we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat." The dress also caused a huge stir amongst animal rights organisations, including The Vegetarian society, who stated "Enough animals die for food and they should not be killed for stunts like this."
2 Hitler Chic
A disturbing trend has recently emerged amongst teenagers in Thailand. The nature of this trend really is beyond belief: frivolous cartoon images of Hitler are plastered onto clothing (pictured above is one of the most popular cartoons, Hitler dressed as a Teletubbie, complete with a swastika antennae). Variations include stick-on swastika tattoos, SS themed bicycle helmets and even a fried chicken joint in Bangkok named - you guessed it - "Hitler".
The puzzling trend sparked global interest on social media platforms, as well as shocking tourists who visited Thailand; it is undeniably distressing that a man responsible for the deaths of 12 million innocent people is being glorified through fashion. However, it has been claimed that many Thai teenagers may actually not be aware of the gravity of Hitler's actions, as Thailand was not directly affected by World War II. This incident has thus called into question the quality of historical and cultural education in Thai schools. In general, this shocking trend is seen as the result of an unintentional misunderstanding, simply meant as a joke.
1 Intimacy 2.0- The Transparent Dress
Studio Roosegaarde, a Dutch company, has recently designed a dress that they claim to be the merging of "body and technology". The dress, named Intimacy 2.0, is available in both black and white. The dress is made from both leather and smart e-foils, which are full of tiny sensors which have the ability to monitor the wearer's heart rate and temperature. The dress will become increasingly transparent as the wearer's interactions with another become more and more intimate. Bizarre as it may be, it is undeniable that the concept of the dress is a revolutionary idea. Studio Roosegaarde are certainly a forward-thinking bunch of people, having already developed a dance floor that can generate electricity.
It is hard to see what the future holds for the Intimacy 2.0. While many have praised the dress on both its concept and design, it has come under fire by others who pointed out that many situations can raise a human's heart rate, such as fear and shock, in which case this dress could become a nightmare...