Fashion’s Best of 2017
Fashion’s Best of 2017
BY : JACK SUNNUCKS
Fashion's Best of 2017
Let us convince you that 2017 wasn’t actually the worst.
Trump, natural disasters, a new Taylor Swift album – truly, the past year has been jam packed with absolute horrors, there’s no way around it. Incredibly, while these seismic events rocked the land, the fashion industry still found time to stage approximately eight thousand fashion weeks, publish a plethora of stories about accessories, and crown various new faces of the moment. Here, in all its messy glory, we recap some of the most notable comings, goings and implosions of the past twelve months. Because, whatever your interest in swanky modes, there really is something incredible about fashion’s never ending spectacle. Long may it rage!
MAGAZINES ARE DEAD! LONG LIVE MAGAZINES!
It was a shaky year at Condé Nast. After a stellar relaunch under Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth it was announced that Teen Vogue would be ceasing print publication, while a hiring freeze was announced company wide. All this combined with the passing of legendary figurehead S.I. Newhouse on October 3rd, has meant things look pretty gloomy for the media empire, which seems to be losing out to the fact that people, especially those in the much vaunted millennial bracket, would rather chomp through Instagram than flick through pages. Hopefully, by investing in “digital”(whatever that means), they can triumph once again.
Added to that, there were a handful of departures at all the monthly titles. Robbie Myers exited Elle, Cindi Leive left Glamour, Graydon Carter left Vanity Fair, and Alexandra Shulman left British Vogue, going on to give a particularly genius, bitter interview to the Guardian. All of them had held their posts for an absolute eternity however, so maybe it was time for a change.
It wasn’t entirely doom and gloom in the publishing sector however. The Wing, the elite NY organization for women, evidently felt emboldened to launch their own title, No Man’s Land, featuring Hari Nef as their first cover star. 032C saw their apparel division go from strength to strength, and were feted by GQ as the coolest magazine in the world. And the brilliant stylist Edward Enninful took over at British Vogue, which leads us to our next point…
Enninful’s first cover star was Adwoa Aboah, the model and founder of Gurl’s Talk, a collective which aims to empower young women. Aboah has become something of a fixture on the editorial circuit, with her shaved head and patrician stare. The cover, lensed by Steven Meisel, also made a splash due to Aboah being mixed race – under the previous editor, there were only a handful of women of color on the cover of British Vogue, most of whom were Naomi Campbell (may her name be a blessing). We have high hopes for #newvogue.
All of the year’s breakout models had something to say, whether it be Kaia Gerber, an object of fascination due to being the daughter of Cindy Crawford, or Teddy Quinlivan, the Louis Vuitton muse who came out as transgender, or Ashley Graham, who has a pithy bon mot for everyone who has something to say about plus size models. It seems like finally, models might have a voice.
MOTHER SPOKE UP TOO!
Truly, this was the year of Pat McGrath, the makeup artist referred to by her ‘girls’ as Mother. McGrath’s ‘Mothership’ Voguing ball at fashion week in September was THE party, judged by none other than Naomi Campbell, Gwendoline Christie, Tracee Ellis Ross and Cardi B, and attended by just about every nightlife personality of note. McGrath’s self launched line, Pat McGrath Labs, has become the most lusted after brand on the planet, coming in vacuum packed bags full of sequins – finally, Mother has her moment in front of the camera.
Elsewhere in beauty, this was definitely the year of the celebrity line, much to chagrin of industry giants like Estée Lauder. Kylie Jenner allegedly made $420 million in sales from the Lip Kits, while her sister Kim moved in on the contouring crowd with a selection of products meant to give you the same beat as the Kardashians. In perhaps less soul destroying news, Rihanna’s Fenty beauty launched with 40 shades of foundation, a much needed triumph for diversity in the beauty arena.
CLOTHES HAPPENED TOO!
Amazingly, amongst all this commotion, some clothes were actually made too (probably too many – in particular, Patagonia’s CO warned that fast fashion was killing the planet). Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquiere delivered perhaps his strongest collection for the leather goods house to date, base on antique frock coats and some particularly fantastic sneakers.
Raf Simons entered Calvin Klein and delivered two stellar collections pondering Americana, replete with surreal cheerleader dresses and themes on serial killers, jocks and cowboys. In the process, he revitalized New York fashion week, which was looking rather sparse with the departure of conceptual darlings Proenza Schouler and Rodarte for Paris.
The industry, and the world at large’s obsession with Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga and Vetements continued apace, with his thigh high, pointy lurex boots being nigh on inescapable, and the Bernie Sanders logo baseball cap generating endless column inches, along with the various upended iterations of peasant dresses, workwear and denim that he showed. Gvasalia’s big proposition for spring seems to be platform Crocs – make what you will of that.
The most seized upon designer of the year however, seems to be Off White’s Virgil Abloh. Describing the label as his “laboratory,” Abloh has collaborated with Nike on a much obsessed over range of sneakers, worked with a host of other brands including Jimmy Choo and Levi’s, and shown a collection in Paris based on Princess Diana. His idea of ‘luxury’ seems to be a mash up of teenage references, streetwear, and fire accessories. It also seems to resonate more with young people than most other labels currently in rotation, all of which are desperate to tap into what the vaunted millennials want to buy. Abloh also seems to have the power to shift magazines – System Magazine, which he appears on the cover of, sold out at a signing at which Naomi Campbell (bless her name) made a glamorous guest appearance. Change might not be comfortable, but at least it isn’t boring – we can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store (and online).