1. Chanel's Staged Feminist Protest:
In his second groundbreaking show of the year, Karl Lagerfeld morphed his SS15 Chanel girls into an army of rioting feminists who chanted their way down a runway reimagined as a Parisian boulevard. 2014 has undoubtedly been a statement year for girl power, with #freethenipple movement and Emma Watson’s UN campaign (which the show referenced with a “He for She” banner). Critics claimed the spectacle was merely a publicity stunt, to which King Karl responded, “it was right for the moment.” There’s no doubting Lagerfeld is the master of capturing the zeitgeist and, like the show or not, it affirmed that strong, independent girls are in fashion.
2. We lost Oscar de la Renta
The American fashion legend passed away this year, though his house is making a bold bid for the future in the hands of newly appointed creative director Peter Copping. As Glenda Bailey, Bazaar’s Editor in Chief, puts it: “Fashion, at its best, is about grace. In this way, Oscar de la Renta was fashion.”
To this note, it must be added: The fashion industry lost another major figure this year, Louise Wilson. Less famous than De la Renta, Wilson was at least as influential, as the course director of the fashion MA program at London's Central Saint Martins. Her students included, among many others, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, and Simone Rocha.
3. Enter Kendall Jenner
Since making her runway debut at Marc Jacobs AW14, Kendall has been elevated into the echelons of fashion’s most in-demand muses. Choosing Chanel’s Métiers d'Art show over Victoria’s Secret, the 19-year-old breakout star is determined to earn her stardom in the high fashion world.
4. Barneys Launch All-Transgender Campaign
Barneys New York’s casting of 17 transgender models for a SS14 campaign spoke volumes about how the fashion world is embracing gender fluidity. 2014 has been a big year for transgender models – thanks to the likes of Andreja Pejic, Hari Nef and Lea T – and for a major, mainstream department store to offer their nod of support was groundbreaking. Shot by Bruce Weber, the “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters” campaign featured models from across the trans-spectrum.
5. Fashion’s Game of Musical Chairs Went Around and Around
Nicolas Ghesquière took the reins at Louis Vuitton. At Loewe, J.W. Anderson replaced Stuart Vevers, who’d left last year to head up Coach. As mentioned already, After the Spring '15 shows in Paris, Peter Copping left Nina Ricci for Oscar de la Renta, news that was quickly overshadowed by the announcement that John Galliano (!) would return to fashion as Creative Director at Maison Martin Margiela (!!) and indeed had already been issued his de rigueur white lab coat.
6. Alexander Wang Legitimizes Athleisure
Much like its cousins, health goth and normcore, athleisure is the buzzword on everyone’s lips this year. One of the very best things to happen this year was the Alexander Wang x H&M show, because Missy Elliott performed at the after-party and the model parade was preceded by a parkour performance that pretty much defied physics. The sportif streetwear debuted in stores and online in early November and crashed the e-tailers sites, before selling out almost immediately.
7. Fashion goes POP
For his eagerly-anticipated Moschino debut, Jeremy Scott brought fast fashion to the runway, Americana-style: Spongebob and chocolate bars, a model channeling a McDonald’s employee, and sweaters embossed with “Cash Cow” and “Fur Real.” And it had more than just golden arches in common with McDonald’s: in a bold precedent that scorned the industry’s usual six-month delay, the clothes were available for consumption as soon as the show ended. Vver at the house of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld was making haute tracksuits for models to wear as they shopped the Chanel supermarché. Fast food: Check. Supermarket sweep: Check. Tony the Tiger: Check, courtesy of Anya Hindmarch's Fall '14 breakfast-cereal-inspired handbags, a major favorite among fashion bloggers.
looking at fashion as fine arts, architecture, anthropology, an extreme form of human performance.