2010 - Let’s face it, the style at the beginning of this decade was questionable, to say the least. It was a dark time, where wedged sneakers were deemed fashionable. Skinny jeans reigned, every girl owned a peplum top and bodycon skirt, and Justin Bieber’s sweeping mop was the most popular haircut for men. Oh, and Lady Gaga stepped onto the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards in her infamous meat dress. Nevertheless, with every low there are highs. Alexander McQueen’s iconic skull printed scarf is certainly deserving of a mention, the piece has always been a popular accessory from the fashion house, even today, but following the passing of the designer, sales skyrocketed by 1,400%.
2011 - Kicking off the list of 2011 fashion headliners, Givenchy’s Rottweiler print made its runway debut on a T-shirt, and since then, Riccardo Tisci’s famous design has become synonymous with the Givenchy marque. Kenzo also had a moment this year, when Opening Ceremony’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon arrived at fashion house as co-creative directors in 2011 and reissued the now-iconic tiger print graphic. First used by founder Kenzo Takada in the ’70s, it’s a sweatshirt that is ubiquitously recognised today. Valentino’s Rockstud shoe was first unveiled during the Fall 2010 ready-to-wear collection, which quickly became the It-shoe that year, and arguably remains a timeless piece today.
2012 - Looking back now, this year may be the one responsible for setting off the game of designer musical chairs. First up, Raf Simons took John Galliano’s position at Dior, presenting a well-received debut haute couture collection. Next, Hedi Slimane replaced Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent, transforming the fashion house by modernizing the traditional label with a sense of youthful, rock n roll style. Next, Nicolas Ghesquière left Balenciaga to be succeeded by Alexander Wang.
2013 - The next round of fashion’s favourite game saw the appointment of Nicolas Ghesquière to Louis Vuitton, which meant we had to say goodbye to Marc Jacobs. His departure concluded with a dazzling final show that paid homage to his 16-year residency as Artistic Director at the French Maison. Jacobs re-created many of the iconic sets he hosted throughout his tenure, which included the elevators, the escalators, the carousel, the fountain, and hotel corridors, all rendered in black.
2014 - A busy year in fashion, and one which gave us some of the most exciting catwalks. Karl Largerfeld gave us the Chanel Supermarket, JW Anderson was appointed to Loewe, receiving raving reviews following his debut collection, and Alexander Wang announced a collaboration with fast-fashion retailer H&M. The sporty streetwear capsule crashed the e-tailer’s website, before selling out almost immediately. And speaking of streetwear, Nike unexpectedly released the highly anticipated "Red October" via a Twitter link, selling out within seconds and putting an end to their partnership with Kanye.
Now this is where it gets hectic...
2015 - The established rulers of the fashion scene were interrupted by the introduction of many new arrivals, making it one of the most eventful years in fashion history. First, we saw Raf Simons’ departure from Dior and Alber Elbaz’s controversial dismissal as artistic director at Lanvin. Alessandro Michele filled an empty seat at Gucci, where he transformed the traditional fashion house into what we know today. The new Gucci aesthetic introduced us to metallic pleated skirts, gauzy blouses, grandma knits, retroesque accessories and geek-chic glasses. And, most unexpectedly, Demna Gvasalia took over the reins from Alexander Wang at Balenciaga. The appointment of a prominent streetwear figurehead such as Gvasalia, only reaffirmed streetwear's rise to the masses.
In fact, this was a notable year for the streetwear movement. Complex dropped ‘Sold Out: The Underground Economy of Supreme’ the cult-documentary about the world’s most popular streetwear brand, everyone joined the Anti Social Social Club, and Kanye West built his Yeezy empire. True to his word, the rapper cut ties with Nike in favour of a deal with Adidas, celebrating the new partnership with his single “Facts”, notably opening with the lyrics "Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman." This was a big year for Kanye, who released his Yeezy Season 1 collection and the Yeezy Boosts 350 in three colourways, that became widely sought-after by die hard fans across the world.
Drama aside, this year also transported us to some of the most far-flung destinations. We visited Seoul with Chanel, Palm Springs with Louis Vuitton, Rome for Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show and Pierre Cardin’s Bubble House in the Cote d'Azur with Dior. The annual Met Gala even transported us to China with their theme — which gave us Rihanna’s iconic omelette dress, a colossal 55-pound yolk-coloured dress by Guo Pei, complete with a golden fur trim and elaborate embroidery.
2016 - If streetwear had their foot through the fashion door in 2015, this year, they certainly barrelled through it. Gucci collaborated with graffiti artist Trouble Andrew, which culminated in the Gucci Ghost collection. Stepping away from their traditional aesthetic, the new vision married the fashion house’s traditional sensibilities with streetwear silhouettes —oversized sweaters, hoodies, socks, chunky sneakers, joggers, and tracksuits. Athleisure became the trend of the year, going high fashion, thanks to cult street brands like Off-White and Gosha Rubchinskiy, who created styles which embraced casual, oversized silhouettes and sportswear.
Meanwhile, those on the upper-crust of the fashion scene made history. Gucci, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, and Tom Ford consolidated men’s and women’s collections into one show and the introduction of see-now, buy-now shook up the Fashion Week calendar. From Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford to Rebecca Minkoff and Tommy Hilfiger, designers opted to show current in-season collections that were ready to shop right from the runway, creating a seismic shift in the industry as a whole. And in the annual round of designer musical chairs, Raf Simons was appointed at Calvin Klein and Hedi Slimane left Yves Saint Laurent, a loss which many die-hard fans still mourn today.
2017 - Balenciaga’s Triple S stomped off the catwalks onto the streets, setting its mark as the blueprint for all ‘ugly shoes’ which would come after it. The luxury fashion house toyed with the fashion scene with their playful designs, notable mentions include a pair of sky-high platform Crocs, which immediately sold out upon release, and a blue $2,145 tote, which bore a striking resemblance to Ikea’s $0.99 cent Frakta bag. Shia Labeouf unwittingly became the style-icon of the year, lauded for his normcore aesthetic — gaining his own term, ‘Shiacore’. Mom jeans, t-shirt, and chunky trainers took the fashion world by storm. Louis Vuitton revealed their highly anticipated collaboration with Supreme, which later inspired other high-end brands to adopt the skate label’s “drop” methodology. Ricardo Tisci departed Givenchy after 12 years, Raf Simons finally made his runway debut for Calvin Klein with an acclaimed collection, and Gucci vowed to go fur-free.
2018 - This year, excess and maximalism took over. Animal prints, PVC vinyl pants, and of course, shoppers went wild for logomania — from Fendi’s double F print to the revival of Dior's beloved monogram Saddle bag. Vetements also collaborated with Juicy Couture, once the sweats of choice for any celebrity in the early noughties, popularised by cultural icons like Julie Cooper from the O.C, and Regina George’s mum. Kanye declared tiny sunglasses in and sent the oversized out and soon enough, small shades began to peek at you from the tip of every style star's nose, the appetite for tinies extended to arm candy too, as we caught our first glimpse of Jacquemus’ cult favourite Le Chiquito bag, which single-handedly kickstarting the micro-bag trend. It was also a year full of designer swaps, following the appointment of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton, Hedi Slimane at Celine, Ricardo Tisci and Burberry, and Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta.
2019 - True to fashion’s cyclical nature, the nineties resurgence appears to be here to stay, as New Balances, bicycle shorts, bucket hats continued to rule the streets, but more excitingly, noughties trends made a comeback. Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton circa their Simple Life era became the blueprint for every stylish Gen Zer out there in 2019. Von Dutch trucker hats, velour tracksuits, diamante studded bandeaus, lace-trimmed spaghetti straps, handkerchief tops, rose-tinted frameless glasses. Yes, this was the year y2k style gained traction — leading to a boom in sales for secondary markets, as shoppers searched high and low for the best vintage and archival pieces. Low slung trousers, once the uniform for noughties stars inspired big fashion houses like Chanel, Versace, and McQueen to send waistlines plummeting below the navel in their SS19 collections. Prada reissued their iconic Re-edition Nylon bags, and Jennifer Lopez closed the Versace show at Milan Fashion Week in a 20-year-old dress, sealing this year as a blast from the past.
2020 - Digital fashion shows, virtual showrooms, etc … 2020 was a year like no other. The fashion world was hit by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t deter designers from delivering exciting new collections, albeit in experimental new ways. As the old saying goes, the show must go on. Despite the initial boom for comfort dressing and loungewear, fantasy dressing and excess quickly took centre stage. Marine Serre’s crescent moon prints were voted the most popular design of the year, aided by Beyonce’s ‘Black Is King’ film which saw Queen B and her backup dancers dressed in Serre’s distinctive designs. But the defining brand of 2020? Has to be Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta. From mini woven shoulder bags to plump little dumpling pouches, Bottega could be spotted on the arm of every style star. And so were their boots — from the latest bulbous candy-coloured rubber ‘Puddle’ to the more practical ‘Tire’ silhouette. Speaking of shoes, did you think we wouldn’t mention the Dior Air Jordan 1s? The most sought-after shoe of the year, the grey Jordans with a Dior monogram swoosh are currently reselling for anywhere between £8,000 to £15,000.