2018 has been big and busy for fashion. The urgency of the social and political climate has driven the industry into new directions of activism and diversity. New directors have been appointed, anniversaries have been celebrated, yet we’ve also lost some fashion icons. Here’s the highlights from a year to remember:
Fur Free Fashion
Over the past few years, more and more brands have said faux or no. 2018 saw the this debate come to intensify and increasing numbers of big designers joined the fur-free fashion houses like Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney. Chanel, Gucci, Michael Kors, Burberry and DKNY all announced the end of fur for their collections. London hosted its first fur-free fashion week and, in the U.S., Sand Francisco and LA both voted to ban the sale of fur. We hope 2019 brings even more brands following in the footsteps of ethical and sustainable designers.
Stella McCartney is the leading figure in ethical fashion. All of her eyewear collections are made from sustainable materials and methods. Here’s a top pick from their latest collection:
Rihanna’s Diverse Fenty Show
Rihanna revolutionised the beauty industry with her inclusive cosmetics brand. This year, she tackled one of the industry’s worst areas for representing diversity amongst women: lingerie. At NYFW, Rihanna’s Fenty show was a beautiful display of women of all different sizes and skin colours. Joan Smalls walked the runway proudly showing off her pregnant belly in one of the new Fenty designs. The collection, Savage X is an affordable range available in sizes 32A to 44DD and XS to XXXL. Rihanna’s show was immediately successful and came at a time when the infamous Victoria’s Secret show had its lowest ratings. It shows a big move away from the exclusive and unattainable beauty standards the industry has previously represented.
#MeToo on the Red Carpet
As part of this year’s #MeToo campaign, found by Tarana Burke, celebrities at the Golden Globes came together in solidarity by wearing all black. Hollywood’s biggest names like Meryl Streep and Kerry Washington all came to the awards dressed in black as a show of solidarity with survivors of sexual harassment. This was just one of the movements this year that has led to the fashion, music, and movie industry having a complete re-examination and restructuring in order to protect women against sexual harassment.
Ralph Lauren’s 50th Anniversary
Ralph Lauren put on a spectacular show, combining women’s, men’s and children’s wear at NYFW to celebrate the brand’s 50th Anniversary. The dazzling show was put on at Central Park’s Bethesda Terrace and the guest list was more than impressive. Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, Steven Spielberg, Robert DeNiro, Tony Bennett, Anne Hathaway, Martha Stewart, Blake Lively, Chance the Rapper, Priyanka Chopra, and Nick Jonas, were only some of the famous guests in attendance. After an endless stream of amazing designs worn by the industry’s biggest models, Ralph Lauren came out and received a well-deserved standing ovation
Virgil Abloh Appointed at Louis Vuitton
Virgil Abloh made history when he was appointed as the first African-American artistic director at Louis Vuitton Menswear. Abloh succeeded Kim Jones in the role and debuted his first runway collection for the brand in a show with stars lining the front row. The incredible show ended with an emotional moment shared between Abloh and his collaborator Kanye West. Abloh’s appointment represents a new wave in fashion and demonstrates that the industry is now taking streetwear seriously.
Michael Kors Bought Versace
One of 2018’s most shocking headlines: Michael Kors bought Versace in a $2.1 billion deal. Michael Kors already bought Jimmy Choo last year for almost £900m and now they’ve taken over Versace too. The brand have decided to fold all three brands into a new company called Capri Holdings – named after their favourite holiday island. Donatella Versace will remain the brand’s creative director, and said in a statement, “We believe that being part of this group is essential to Versace’s long-term success. My passion has never been stronger. This is the perfect time for our company, which puts creativity and innovation at the core of all of its actions, to grow.”
Versace has a distinctly opulent Italian style that will always continue under Donatella’s direction. Here’s a top piece from their eyewear collection:
The Loss of Hubert de Givenchy
In March this year, the industry lost a major icon when Hubert de Givenchy passed away at the age of 91. He left a legacy behind as he had spent his career as a symbol of romantic elegance and French haute couture. Most famously, Givenchy created many looks for Audrey Hepburn which remain iconic today. On his death, the fashion house Tweeted the loss of their founder: The House of Givenchy is sad to report the passing of its founder Hubert de Givenchy, a major personality of the world of French Haute Couture and a gentleman who symbolized Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century. He will be greatly missed.” The brand continues its success, with director Clare Weight Keller winning the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award at the Fashion Awards. She was even presented the award by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.
Marc Jacob’s Reissues his Grunge Collection
Fashion nostalgia hit hard with Marc Jacobs’s new Grunge Collection. 25 years after his Grunge Collection rocketed him to stardom, Marc Jacobs is bringing it back with a new Resort 2019 collection filled with the same Beetlejuice stripes and beanies. Just as the most iconic models of 93’, Kate and Naomi, modelled his collection back then, non-other than Gigi and Kaia are the faces of 2018. Jacobs feels the same sense of Teen Spirit in the atmosphere today as he did back then, and he nods back to the past right down to each detail of the collection. Jacobs has remade 26 looks from the original Perry Ellis line, including striped suits, silk slips, and checked skirts. Shop them now and join the nostalgic wave of fashion.
Tyler Mitchell’s Vogue Cover
At the young age of 23, Tyler Mitchell became the first black photographer to show the cover of Vogue in its 123-year history. In an epic shoot, Mitchell snapped Beyoncé in a white dress and a gigantic colourful flowered headpiece. In her piece, Beyoncé discussed the importance of working with Mitchell:“Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like.”
Gucci’s Cyborg Show
Gucci are always making headlines; creative director Alessandro Michele has a powerful imagination that leads the industry into new and incredible places. Gucci’s AW18 show still has everyone talking. Alessandro Michele pulled together an extraordinary show that involved the models carrying life-sized replicas of their own heads. Each head took six months to create in a production centre in Rome specialising in physical and special effects. The superhuman, futuristic theme of the show was contrasted masterfully with the eccentric, decadent and classical style of the clothes. It’s a show that will go down in history.