As yet another year passes by in what feels like the blink of an eye, it seems strange that you can narrow the noteworthy fashion moments in a few points. This year saw celebration and tragedy and undoubtedly highlighted both fashion heroes and villains.
February saw John Galliano’s star plummet amidst allegations that he made anti Semitic remarks to a couple in a bar in Paris. A video soon emerged on youtube of an intoxicated Galliano slurring “I love Hitler,” amongst other racist comments. The innovative former head designer of Givenchy and Dior was dismissed on March 1st and given a £6000 fine in September. While Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang were favourites to replace him at Dior, his shoes currently remain unfilled.
While on the topic, a book released this year titled ‘Coco Chanel’s Secret War,’ documents her links with prominent Nazis such as Joseph Goebbels and Herman Goerring. The book adds weight to the suspicion that the pioneering designer was a Nazi spy and fiercely anti-semitic.
Though he tragically took his own life in 2010, this year saw great things for the McQueen brand. With Sarah Burton at its helm, the fashion house is in capable hands. Burton, named this month as Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards, is responsible for the dress of the year, if not the century. Kate Middleton wore this stunning lace dress with an eight foot train for her wedding to Prince William in April. The dress was reminiscent of Princess Grace Kelly, and its designer was kept secret from all, including William, until the morning of its debut.
Burton also designed the Duchesses dress for the Royal Reception, and Pippa Middleton’s cowl neck, figure hugging dress. Unusual for a bridesmaid to wear white, Pippa’s dress was simple, elegant and introduced to the world that now famous derrier. In fact, ‘Pippa Middleton’s Ass Appreciation Society’ currently has 13,500 fans on facebook.
The long awaited SS ’12 McQueen for Puma collection also became available earlier this year, offering edgy and style savvy trainers to consumers.
The exhibition “A Savage Beauty” opened in New York mere days after the Royal Wedding. It became one of the Met’s most successful exhibitions before moving to London. Over 100 outfits and 70 accessories from his nineteen year career were on show, including items such as the ‘bumster’ trousers, from the infamous Highland Rape collection, and the three point origami frock coat.
Its impact was so profound that the annual Met Ball’s theme was “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” and stars turned out in their numbers to pay homage to the designer.
On the 23rd of July, the news broke that singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her home. The talented but troubled musician will be remembered for her incredible vocals, turbulant lifestyle, and quirky fashion sense.
A re-occuring theme this year was seen in the questioning, criticism and banning of various fashion advertising. As documented on this blog, United Colours of Benetton pulled out all the stops in its controversial “Unhate” ads depicting world leaders locking lips, and Marc Jacob’s “Oh Lola!” fragrance ad was pulled for apparently sexualising young actress, Dakota Fanning.
Hailee Steinfeld’s Miu Miu ad was also criticised for showing a young girl in a dangerous environment, and Topshop were forced to remove model Codie Young from their site as she appeared far too thin. Likewise, Grazia magazine came under fire for un-neccessarily slimming down an image of Kate Middleton.
November saw the release of the anticipated and media hyped Versace for H&M collaboration. With queues forming 24 hours before the doors opened, numerous stores reportedly sold out of the collection in half an hour. However, a backlash of panic buying and peer pressure is evident, as stores claim that unwanted merchandise is gradually making its way back as it is being returned.
The Swedish retailer has already announced its upcoming pairing with Marni to be unveiled in March. Following the infamous Missoni for Target collection earlier this year which almost caused riots in the US, collaborations are becoming two a penny. At this rate, designer clobber is seeming to lose its exclusivity and luxury. Though, with a student budget, I’m hardly complaining.
By Freya Drohan