You’re being lied to: the top fashion pieces that aren’t what they seem

You’re being lied to: the top fashion pieces that aren’t what they seem

by Robyn Pullen
7 min

Fashion has been lying to you and we’re ready to talk about it. But don’t worry, we don’t mean in the way that you think. Whilst most of the time watching a runway show involves taking the collection at face value, reacting in the moment to what you’re seeing walk before you, there are other times when fashion Houses do everything in their power to trick us. From Bottega Veneta to JW Anderson, here are the top times fashion brands developed a compulsive lying problem… and we loved it.

Bottega Veneta’s Australian tuxedo
Bottega Veneta©

Double-denim Canadian tuxedos are so tired, which is why Bottega Veneta‘s SS23 collection introduced Australian tuxedos instead. They’re the same thing, only made of leather. Seen on Kate Moss at Bottega Veneta’s SS23 show, the plaid flannel shirt and light blue jeans that she walked in were both actually created using the brand’s iconic luxurious leather. If you’re feeling betrayed, same.

Schiaparelli started the trompe l’oeil trend

Arguably the inventor of the trompe l’oeil fashion trend, Elsa Schiaparelli set the standard for deceptive clothing in the 1920s when she debuted this sweater, knitted with the illusion of a bow. After wearing the sweater, designed in collaboration with Armenian refugee and knitwear designer Aroosiag Mikaëlian, to a dinner party in 1927, this design became one of Schiaparelli’s first and biggest hits.

Y/Project fakes three pieces in one

Glenn Martens is another Creative Director who’s no stranger to fake denim, given his work at Diesel often plays with the trend. However, in contrast to Bottega Veneta, this take at Y/Project in collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier involves mesh rather than leather. The trompe l’oeil inspired design is a whole outfit in itself, featuring a striped knit jumper, denim jacket, belt over jeans, and  a necklace, all printed onto a mesh top. 

Jean Paul Gaultier is well-versed in illusions
@archivethreads ©

Jean Paul Gaultier has always been familiar with the trompe l’oeil trend within fashion though, as evidenced through this piece from its Spring/Summer 1996 collection. Utilising only the varying thickness of black lines, this jacket has the appearance of mesh when in reality it’s completely opaque and is merely an optical illusion. 

Our Legacy’s un-ripped jeans
Our Legacy©

Our Legacy is another fashion brand selling a pair of jeans that aren’t what they seem. Whilst the brand’s Third Cut jeans look like your typical ripped, blue denim jeans, their rips are actually printed on. From the shredded holes to the fraying fabric, nothing about the rips in these jeans are real. Getting used to the feeling of being lied to yet?

A basic Bottega grey hoodie… or not
Bottega Veneta©

Bottega Veneta, the biggest compulsive liar on our list, obviously has to be featured twice for its crimes. If you thought its leather “denim” set was deceptive, wait to you hear what this classic grey hoodie is made from. If you guessed leather too, you were right. The brand known for its leather obviously couldn’t help but create every staple piece in your wardrobe out of it.

Maison Margiela’s textured lies

Maison Margiela is recognised for its presentation of clothing under the guise of something else, but a collection that put the trend at its forefront was Spring 1996. Within the collection, all texture that appeared on clothing was actually printed on: pleats on dresses, creases on shirts, every minute detail was fabricated. As is evident on this beige midi skirt, all pleats and texture is printed on.

JW Anderson’s biggest lie
JW Anderson©

Finally, you might have noticed a piece on JW Anderson’s website that feels… off, but aren’t exactly sure why. Of course, we’re talking about the Pigeon Clutch Bag; did you know it’s not a real pigeon? In reality the clutch is merely 3D printed in the shape of a pigeon, with a side opening for storage. To be honest though, we’re kind of glad it’s not a real hollowed out pigeon. 

Featured image via Bottega Veneta©

More on Culted

See: From food fights to Fake Moss, here’s FW24’s best stunts

See: The Dune 2 shopping guide that’ll have you Dune 2 much

in other news