Fashion by definition is about change and newness, but 2017 was a year particularly marked by significant upheaval, launches, closures, and industry moves. It was a year of flux, fragility, and uncertainty, with a shared sense of instability that wasn’t just felt throughout fashion, but across the entire world.
the decline of print media become an inescapable reality; it saw more designers consolidate their menswear and womenswear collections and present coed shows (or move away from the traditional schedule entirely); it saw major reshuffles in some of the most powerful positions in design and media (see: Alexandra Shulman leaving British , Vogue Christopher Bailey announcing his departure from Burberry, and Clare Waight Keller moving from Chloé to Givenchy). And that’s just a snippet of everything that went down. Because 2017 was a year of seismic change, here are 12 moments that really shook up the fashion industry over the past 12 months.
The Supers Reunite At Versace At Versace’s spring/summer 2018 show during Milan Fashion Week in September, Donatella Versace honored the 20-year anniversary of her brother Gianni Versace’s death by showing a collection that paid homage to some of his most iconic designs. Pulling directly from the house’s archives, Versace showed replicas of pieces and prints from its early days (while some models wore the exact pieces from way back when).
Then, Versace drew the collection to a close with an epic, unforgettable finale. OG supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, and Helena Christensen took the catwalk hand-in-hand, wearing glittering gold lamé gowns reminiscent of the seminal moment when they lip-synced down the brand’s fall/winter 1991 runway to George Michaels “Freedom! 90.”As a new generation of supermodels emerges — Adwoa Aboah, Kaia Gerber, Bella Hadid et al (many of whom walked in the Versace show) — the original supers returned to remind the world that it will take a lot to topple their reign.
In January, Edward Enninful Was Appointed Editor-In-Chief Of British Vogue Alexandra Shulman stepped down from her position as editor-in-chief of British Vogue after 25 years. Much speculation followed surrounding who would fill her role as one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry. Would it be Katie Grand? Jo Ellison? Sally Singer?
In April, it was revealed that Edward Enninful would be taking up the position, a surprising appointment for a magazine that had become increasingly focused on speaking to a narrow market of white, upper class women. Enninful was not only the first man, but the first black, gay man to take the magazine’s helm in its 101-year-history. His appointment marked a significant shift in its direction, as diversity and representation became a major priority — a move that became evident when he chose model and activist
Adwoa Aboah as his first ever cover star. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRITISH VOGUE/MERT & MARCUS
Systemic Sexual Harassment Of Models Was Exposed Following the countless stories that exposed the hideous truths of the entertainment industry, fashion was similarly exposed for its exploitation of those most vulnerable. In October, model and activist Cameron Russell invited other models to share their own stories of sexual abuse, posting them anonymously on her Instagram. The industry quickly took note, with many others following suit by speaking out against sexual harassment by those in positions of power. Model Edie Campbell penned an open letter on systemic abuse for , Caryn Franklin discussed the WWD industry’s complicity with sexual abuse with Refinery29 UK, and allegations against photographer Bruce Weber and Terry Richardson emerged. They were difficult conversations to have, but also necessary. Let’s hope the past few months have been the wake-up call the industry needs to prioritize the well-being and safety of young models and creatives.
Céline Dion Owned Couture Fashion Week 2017 was Céline Dion year. After enlisting stylist Law Roach, who also works with Zendaya, to help switch up her look, fashion saw Dion up her street style game with looks by Off-White, Vetements (who can forget when she hilariously wore the Titanic hoodie in 2016), Saint Laurent, and Gucci. Dion also attended the Met Gala for the first time ( and crushed it) and caused a style storm at Couture Fashion Week in Paris in July, culminating in a mind-blowing series of images and a video for Vogue that celebrated her new elevated image. No one had more fun with fashion this year that Céline.
Fashion Icon Azzedine Alaïa Passed Away In November 2017, iconic couturier Azzedine Alaïa unexpectedly passed away at the age of 82. Often referred to as the ‘King of Cling,’ Alaïa was a master of creating dresses that fit and flattered the female form, worn by everyone from Grace Jones and Madonna to Rihanna and Victoria Beckham.
In July, Alaïa
showed his final couture show after a six-year hiatus; the presentation was opened by Naomi Campbell, who looked up to the designer as a father figure (she referred to him as “papa”). Following his untimely death last month, the Design Museum of London announced an exhibition dedicated to Alaïa’s remarkable career, which the designer himself was helping co-curate before his passing. And we couldn’t think of a better way to honor his legacy than to see his creative process through his own eyes.
PHOTO: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES.
We Were Spoiled With Fast-Fashion/Designer Collaborations From Ashish for River Island to Erdem x H&M and J.W.Anderson for Uniqlo (oh, and J.W. Anderson x Converse, too), in 2017 we were treated with a series of unmissable collaborations from our favorite fast-fashion retailers and runway designers. And if you missed the first J.W.Anderson for Uniqlo collection, fret not: It’s returning for a second season! Photo courtesy of Uniqlo.
Christopher Bailey Stepped Down From Burberry In unexpected news that sent shockwaves through the fashion industry, Burberry announced in October that Christopher Bailey, its chief creative officer, would be parting ways with the British heritage brand.
“As Burberry begins the next decade of its journey, Christopher has concluded that after 17 years it will be the right time for him to pursue new creative projects,” a press release stated. While Bailey will remain in his role until March 31, 2018, it has not yet been revealed who will be replacing him (or what he himself will go on to do). Will Phoebe Philo take his position? Will Bailey go to Chanel? Or Ralph Lauren? Let the rumor mill begin.
PHOTO: ESTROP/GETTY IMAGES
Kaia Gerber Took The Fashion World By Storm Making her catwalk debut at the Calvin Klein show at New York Fashion Week in September, 16-year-old Kaia Gerber (and daughter of iconic supermodel Cindy Crawford) swiftly became one of the biggest models of the spring/summer 2018 season, walking for Alexander Wang, Saint Laurent, Burberry, Versace, Miu Miu, and more. She even opened the Chanel show. We’d say she’s about to be the next big thing, but it seems as though she’s already there.
The Met Gala Honored A Living Artist For The First Time Since 1983 2017’s Met Gala was dedicated to Comme des Garçons and celebrated the avant-garde designs of Rei Kawakubo; it was the first time the event honored a living artist since 1983, when it celebrated the work of Yves Saint Laurent. Cf course we could count on Rihanna to slay, wearing one of the designer’s fall/winter 2016 looks with lace-up heels that tied up her entire leg. Tracee Ellis Ross, Michèle Lamy, and Helen Lasichanh also delved into the house archive, but the majority of celebrity attendees, beholden to the brands paying for their ticket to the party, wore creations by the designers they were accompanying.
Cult Concept Store Colette Closed Its Doors In July, cult concept store Colette announced it would be closing the doors to its Rue Saint-Honoré store in Paris in December after 20 years. For the past two decades, Colette made a significant impact on the industry, offering an innovative way to create a retail space which has influenced numerous boutiques that opened subsequently, from ingenious collaborations to carefully curated edits. While we’re sad to see Colette go (it’s the end of an era!) we admire founder Colette Roussaux and her daughter Sarah Andelman’s decision to close the store on a high.
Fashion Made Strides Towards Becoming More Socially Responsible As one of the largest contributors to pollution, 2017 was the year fashion finally made tangible steps towards being more socially responsible. Three of the industry’s biggest brands, Gucci, Michael Kors, and Jimmy Choo, all announced they would be going fur-free; Kering further invested in its sustainability department; and numerous brands pledged to create less waste. It’s time fashion took responsibility for its actions. And while it may not be a lot, it certainly is a step in the right direction.
The ’80s Trend Took Over Forget ’90s grunge. Over the past 12 months, you may have noticed that ’80s mania has invaded everything from TV (via Netflix’s hit series GLOW), to art (see: the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the Barbican, to clothing (just look at Gucci’s Elton John-inspired spring 2018 offering, that was all bedazzled and sequined and shimmering). And, lest we forget the impact of Stranger Things, which didn’t just suck up hours of our time, but permeated the collections of brands from Topshop to Louis Vuitton. Turns out disco isn’t dead after all.
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