As we bid 2016 adieu, it is only fitting to look back at the year and honor its most memorable moments: ups and downs, drama, innovation and comebacks. We take a look back at the 16 most defining events of 2016- a year of fashion.
1. Return of the 90s
A decade many of us are trying to forget, but came back to haunt us nonetheless. Complete with massive logos (think CK printed Tshirts!) and chokers in abundance, the 90s have officially become a throwback era and cemented in the history of fashion.
2. Gucci’s Comeback
As if resurrected from the grave, Alessandro Michele’s creative direction has finally paid off and breathed new life into Italian powerhouse, Gucci. Full-on kitsch, embroidery and a mashup of polo chic and nerd aficionado have all dominated this year’s Gucci presentations, proving once again that there is always a place for the Greats of fashion.
3. Bill Cunningham
The original chronicler of New York street-style bid our world farewell at age 87. The American fashion photographer was far from a paparazzo and instead strived to capture forms of style and self-expression as a mirror to the times.
Hitting the runways with their FW16 collection, this year has been huge for Oscar de la Renta alums Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia. The lifestyle brand takes its glamorous cues from de la Renta, while completely modernizing and deconstructing the basic staple every woman has in her closet: the shirt.
5. Unisex Fashion Shows
For those sceptics that find fashion to be out of touch with reality and out of place in today’s world, the industry showed everyone that necessity is the mother of invention. In a creative and bold move, large fashion houses such as Burberry and Gucci paraded collections for women and men down the same catwalk. A sign of trying times which culminated in glorious creativity and a message of gender equality
6. Ivy Park
Queen Bey may be a showstopper and chart-topper, but add to that her sense of style and her royalty is unparalleled in today’s celebrity world. Beyonce’s athletic line, Ivy Park, was stocked everywhere from Topshop to Net-a-Porter, with the label daringly emblazoned across the collection- a whisper of a promise that if you work out in this gear, you will indeed look like Beyonce!
7. Hedi Slimane’s
There are few creative directors that become synonymous with the label, but Slimane was certainly among the rare breed. His departure from Saint Laurent, left the label with lackluster and in need for new inspiration. Hedi Slimane had embodied all the grit and glam that YSL had to offer, creating a void at fashion’s go-to house for glam rock.
8. Andre Courreges
The inventor of the miniskirt and go-go boots, fashion has Courreges to thank for the swinging 60s style. Andre Courreges catapulted the modern woman and her wardrobe to the forefront of haute couture with collections that creatively applied futuristic fabrics, redefining femininity for generations to come. At 92, the designer passed in his home country of France.
9. Jaden Smith for Louis Vuitton
Breaking down all gender definitions and barriers is none other than Will Smith’s son, Jaden. You may remember him starring alongside his father in The Pursuit of Happyness or later as The Karate Kid, but his ability to shock and awe the fashion stage is extraordinary. Posing alongside female models in womenswear, Jaden Smith gave Louis Vuitton’s campaign the edge it craved.
10. Bella Hadid
Move over Kardashians and make way for the Hadids! While Gigi became a household name in the last few seasons, often seen with bestie Kendall Jenner, this year was all about sisterhood. The younger Hadid, Bella, exploded on to the modeling scene taking the spotlight with her sultry, dark and mysterious features, making her 2016’s runway favorite.
11. Claire Danes lit up in Zac Posen
The Met Gala has become just as important as the Oscar’s red carpet in this day and age. This year was no exception, when Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology yielded the most fascinating creations. Claire Danes was looking as innocent as Cinderella in a Zac Posen gown, until she started to glow in the dark. How? The customized Gossamer fabric lit up by LED lights, powered by 30 mini batteries, ushering in a new wave of fashion and technology.
12. Chloe’s IT Bags
There is always one “it” bag a season. Normally, the baton is passed from one designer to the next, but in this case, Chloe ran a full marathon in 2016. Between the Drew and the Faye, Chloe’s dominance over the bags scene this year has been stellar. The delicate chains, retro-inspired leather and patchwork, down to the mini versions were all “it”.
13. Sonia Rykiel
The fashion world lost an icon of Parisian style with the passing of Sonia Rykiel at age 86. The Queen of Knits was known for her inventive couture techniques, experimenting with hems and sweaters. Her unmistakable appearance and fiery red hair were often introduced into her own designs along with loud slogans across Rykiel’s famously striped knitwear.
14. Gisele at the Rio Olympics
Arguably Brazil’s most famous export, model Gisele Bundchen stunned the crowd when her country hosted the 2016 Olympics in Rio. She strutted down the stage, dominating it like she did every runway, captivating millions of viewers around the globe.
15. Chanel Goes to Cuba
Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to find a way to gently rock the boat. Ever so subtly yet with great panache, Lagerfeld hosted the first ever renowned fashion show in Havana, Cuba, presenting Chanel’s Cruise Collection and proving that even the most established designers can still conquer new frontiers.
16. Punk Ballerinas thanks to Miu Miu
Miu Miu did away with the classic ballerina silhouette this year in a move that fused grace and edge into footwear. The tie up and belted ballerina was quickly adopted by fashion bloggers, taking over the street style scene. The copycat version that were spun off are endless, making the rocker ballerina an attainable and affordable off-duty look.