Among the clinking glasses of endless mulled wine toasts, pre-Christmas mince pies and secret peeling of presents under the Christmas tree, there’s just one more thing left to do this year: reminisce.
2011 has been a significant year for the fashion world. Craze-inducing collaborations, a royal wedding remembered more for the dress than the extra public holiday and fashion losses so large the entire industry collectively wept.
And what have we done with all that? Rounded it up, of course. Below, we bring you fashion’s best and most moments shocking of 2011.
April 29th will forever be marked in our minds as a date that made unparalleled fashion history. Alexander McQueen’s creative head, Sarah Burton, was spotted entering the Goring Hotel merely hours before the royal wedding took place, sparking rumours she’d designed the dress. Indeed, she was bestowed with this burdensome duty and boy, did she deliver! The exquisite appliquéd lace dress acquired Burton deserved acclaim in the fashion world, culminating in an unsurprisingly big win at the British Fashion Awards last month. A big year for Sarah Burton – an even bigger year for fashion.
Probably the most gulp-inducing, tear-jerking headline to emerge from the fashion world this year was the dismissal of Dior design master, John Galliano. Arrested in a Parisian cafe after allegedly assaulting and racially abusing a couple using anti-Semitic remarks, the allegations against the couture creator were all founded in court, resulting in his rapid fall though the echelons of the very industry that homed him. His immediate suspension from Dior, and later from his namesake label, sparked an emotional outcry amongst Galliano’s closest industry friends. Whilst the hunt for his replacement is said to be in its final stages, (Raf Simons of Jil Sander is the supposed ‘chosen one’), the question still remains: will Galliano’s replacement be able to recreate the same magic on Dior’s catwalk as he did?
Fashion pairs spawned faster this year than the Kardashian clan: Missoni x Target; Alexa Chung x Madewell; Amy Winehouse x Fred Perry; David Beckham x H&M and the most craze-provoking, queue- generating of all, Versace x H&M. We loved them all, and now with a stylistically onward view for 2012, we’re already queuing up for Marni x H&M, available worldwide from March 8.
Life wouldn’t be quite the same without a whiny super creating a fuss – off shoot this time. For Naomi Campbell found the time, among the blood diamonds fiasco, to accuse the world’s most famous confectioner of being racially blinkered, after filing a legal complaint against Cadbury for its allegedly racist advert, one she described as “insulting and hurtful” for supposedly likening her to a chocolate bar. Her allegations were unfounded and the Advertising Standards Authority cleared the advert in question of any racial wrongdoing, stating the advert referred to Naomi’s demanding personality and not her race.
Held in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the much-anticipated Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition broke all attendance records. Twenty years worth of the oft-stylistically outspoken and immensely talented late designer’s work was on show to the public between May and July, with a week-long extension into August due to the sheer number of visitor McQueen’s vision attracted. Even better for we Brits, the exhibition is set to arrive in the UK in 2013.
Controversy is fashion’s second name, and nothing did it better than a few adverts this year that pushed all the right public backlash buttons. Hailee Steinfeld’s ad for Miu Miu was promptly banned after the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) claimed the image of the 14-year-old sat on rail tracks was “unsafe” and would encourage young children do the same. Marc Jacobs’ Oh, Lola ad, which featured 17-year-old Dakota Fanning with a bottle of said perfume resting between her legs, also missed the seal of approval, after the ASA banned it on grounds of “sexualising children.” Benetton evoked a few gasping stares with the help of some Photoshop trickery, as it featured controversial images of world leaders lip-locking as part of its UNHATE campaign, while Marks and Spencer was on the wrong side of the ASA after a lingerie advert that appeared on the side of the bus was banned for being “socially irresponsible” and “overtly sexual.”
Billionaire Topshop boss, Sir Phillip Green, heavy-heartedly announced the proposed closure of more than 250 Arcadia stores over the coming three years after experiencing a 40% drop in profits compared with last year. Challenging trading conditions and the recent winter drought are part-responsible for the decision, but the fate of beloved stores including Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge is still undecided.
Imagine flicking through issues of Vogue that came out before you were even born. 2011 saw our imagination turn in to reality as Conde Nast announced the launch of a Vogue archive spanning over a century, complete with a sophisticated search function that allows fashion history aficionados to look up information by filtering on designer, decade, photographer and so much more. The mouth-watering resource comes with an eye-watering $1575 annual access fee.
Nothing can possibly be crueller than having something infused with painstaking hours of hard graft, soaked in blood, sweat and tears snatched in an instant. Marc Jacobs’s S/S 2012 collection met this very dark fate in November, after the entire collection was stolen whilst in transit from Paris to London. The hefty heist resulted in the cancellation of the press day that had been scheduled for November 17, leaving a trail of fuming editors. On a more fiscal scale, the Dolce & Gabbana duo are once again in dangerous waters after a judge’s decision from April over alleged tax evasion offences totaling €416 million was overturned by the Italian Supreme Court. This means Dolce Domenico and Stefano Gabbana will appear in court once again, and if found guilty, could face a fine of up to €1 million and a prison sentence of up to three years.
2011 has been an eventful year for Mrs. Beckham. A new mother, once again, an ever devoted wife, a particularly talented designer and astute business woman, she has an unusual calm about her in the face of a travel-saturated, fashion-orientated, hectic lifestyle. This year saw Victoria Beckham take the reigns of her fashion career firmly from the tight grip of the fashion elite into her own hands, as she presented a well-received and highly acclaimed spring/summer 2012 collection at New York Fashion Week in September, alongside gaining much praise for her luxuriously crafted handbags. July saw the birth of a longed-for daughter and baby sister for her three sons, Harper Seven, while next spring will see the launch of her much-awaited diffusion line, Victoria by Victoria Beckham. Although she’s been in the spotlight ever since her awkwardly stiff Spice Girl heydays, it’s safe to say that Victoria Beckham is one to watch in the coming fashion seasons – something to which her Designer Brand Award she received at the 2011 British Fashion Awards is testament.