Important Fashion Moments From Each Year of the Decade: Part two. (2016-2019)
In the last chicandcultural blog post we explored some memorable moments in fashion between 2010 to 2015. What a ride it was! Now, I'm ready finish the throwback. Let's continue with the remaining moments from 2016 to 2019!
Jaden Smith Defied Gender Norms for the Louis Vuitton SERIES 4 Campaign.
In an unexpected release from Louis Vuitton, Jaden Smith became the celebrity face of their Spring 2016 ad campaign for womenswear. One photo had him posing with three womens models in a black midi skirt. This interesting campaign piqued interest in conversations surrounding fashion and gender norms. It was a statement on how clothing is universal - where clothing is for everyone regardless of gender.
Rihanna Pulled Off Another Outrageous Piece: The Vetements x Manolo Blahnik Collaboration.
Rihanna is no stranger to crazy clothing. When a daring new garment is released by a big name brand, it's likely that she will be wearing it. At the annual OVO fest held in Toronto, Canada, she wore these neon orange boots whilst performing with Drake. Despite the outrageous height of the heels, Rihanna made it work. She paired the showstoppers with a black Alaïa crop top.
The Bizarre boots came from a Vetements x Manolo Blahnik collaboration which debuted at the Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week on July 2nd. Vetements has released some questionable pieces over the past decade. The DHL t-shirt being just one of them. So, when they paired up with popular shoe brand Manolo Blahnik, these insane, waist-high satin boots were the magical end result.
Queen Bey Looked Mesmerising in Her Bold, Yellow Dress for the 'Hold Up' Music Video.
When Beyoncé released Lemonade back in 2016, the accompanying music videos were aired during a HBO special on April 23rd. There was one outfit from these videos which stood out the most. In 'hold up' the singer holds a baseball bat and smashes it into a car and a fire hydrant. (According to popular opinion, the anger from the video references an unfaithful partner!) Eeek.
She waves her bat in a spectacular, marigold dress from Roberto Cavalli's Autumn 2016 collection. The bat is a contrast to the flowing and textured layers of the sunny frock. Together, these visuals created a look that was both violent and graceful; destructive and empowering. Now that's one to way to recover from some relationship issues.
A Gothic-Infused Lady Gaga Walked the Marc Jacobs Autumn/Winter 2016 Runway.
For those watching the Marc Jacobs autumn/winter 2016 runway, it must have been a huge surprise to see Gaga strutting down the catwalk halfway through. Taking part in the fabulous collection to support her designer friend, she came out in a huge, grey long line coat with faux fur sleeve accents, paired with some killer platform boots. The hair and makeup kept in line with the moody, Victoriana theme of the runway. She had 1920s finger waves, barely there eyebrows, and dramatic eye shadow. Is there anything she can't do?
The Legendary Street Fashion Photographer Bill Cunningham Passes Away.
It's true. When you want to understand what everyday people are wearing, you must hit the streets and observe. Bill Cunningham was famous for doing just that.
Everyday - in his trusted blue jacket and humble bike - he would cycle around the streets of New York and photograph what people were wearing. He then pieced together the popular trends of the streets which were documented in editorial collages for The New York Times.
He did not care for luxury or designer labels. Instead, he wanted to document the outfits people felt most comfortable in - regardless of class and gender. Cunningham had an honest and stripped-down approach to fashion photography. One that will be remembered and mimicked for a long time.
Plus Size Model Ashley Graham Made Fashion History on Vogue.
For the January edition of Vogue, an important front cover was released. The plus size model Ashley Graham posed alongside other popular models on a beach. This was the first time a plus size model had ever been shown on the front cover of Vogue! In fact, the cover was intent on expressing the diversity of women.
However, this cover also faced many detractors. A few were sceptical about the placement of Graham between the other women. She was the only one covering her thigh with her arm, whilst Gigi Hadid’s hand looks suspiciously long placed over Graham's stomach. Even if you don’t think the photo is perfect, it’s still a step forward.
The Rise of the 'dad trainers.' The Balenciaga Triple S.
Athleisure boomed this decade. Fashionable trainers became the piece to have. However, it wasn't just slimline shoes that were desirable. Whether you see them as giant, clunky, or downright ugly, dad trainers were coveted as luxury items, with every fashion house under the sun releasing their own spin on the trend.
The most notable release from 2017 was the Balenciaga Triple S. These blown-up looking trainers were aptly named due to their unconventional sole; combining three moulds used for track sports, running, and basketball. Even though they're not the most pretty looking shoes, this didn't stop them from becoming some of the most sought out items from the year.
When Fashion Got Political at Prabal Gurung.
Fashion can be a powerful political tool. Just look at ‘make America great again’ hats from the Trump campaigns, or the ‘pussy hats’ from the women's marches of 2018. However you feel about certain issues, fashion can certainly help you get your message across.
For the Prabal Gurung autumn/winter 2017 collection, Gurung showcased socially aware statements through slogan T-shirts. One of them said ‘the future is female’ and another, ‘our minds, our bodies, our power.’ The Nepalese designer wanted to express an ‘unapologetic femininity’ with these pieces. His feminist stance was popular with the audience, garnering a huge applause at the end. So there, fashion is a powerful force to inspire change.
The Marc Jacobs Dreadlocks Controversy.
The Marc Jacobs spring/summer show held at New York Fashion Week in September came under fire. Some internet users were upset by the pastel-hued dreads, believing them to be an example of cultural appropriation: when a dominant culture steals an element from another culture. In this case, the dreads where thought to have been taken from black culture.
It was later found that the creator of these dreadlocks - an Etsy store owner named Jena Counts - was inspired by subcultures like cyberpunk and 80s club culture. They were not explicit links to black culture. What do you think? An unacceptable appropriation of culture, or an unintentional stylistic decision?
The Duchess of Sussex Stunned in Her Timeless Royal Wedding Dress.
The 2018 royal wedding between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was held at Windsor Castle on April 29th. For the happy event, the duchess wore a remarkable dress designed by Clare Waight Keller - the artistic director for Givenchy. It’s simple but effective appearance made it a classy choice for the big day. Made from a luxurious, double-bonded silk, the gown is a prime example of immaculate tailoring. Each one of its seven seams were sewn together with the utmost care. The finished garment was a memorable one, encapsulating a timeless elegance.
Killing Eve, Villanelle, and that Molly Goddard Dress.
You cannot discuss fashionable TV shows without bringing up Killing Eve. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s gripping thriller series had us all on the edge of our seats. Villanelle, the main antagonist who is a cold-blooded assassin, had a wardrobe to die for. If she's not causing havoc she's probably shopping.
The most memorable look has to be the pink Molly Goddard dress she wears whilst being psychoanalysed. Goddard designs are typically whimsical and childlike. This makes it all the more terrifying when a psychopathic criminal is wearing one. Yes Villanelle, we love your style, but please, let's never meet.
The Popular Handbag Designer Kate Spade Passed Away.
Another influential name was lost in 2018. Kate Spade sadly passed away on the 5th of June, leaving behind a legacy through her utilitarian yet stylish range of handbags.
The iconic bag brand had humble beginnings. Spade started out in 90s Manhattan where her first store opened in 1996. By that point, her designs were already being bought by larger companies like Marcus Neiman. Her brand soon expanded into other accessory and home ware lines.
The most memorable bag from Kate Spade had to be the ‘Sam Bag.’ It was small, boxy, made from nylon, and came in a variety of bright colours; representing the brand entirely. Where women can wear well-crafted handbags that are fashionable, but also practical for everyday use.
When Severed Human Heads Appeared on a Gucci Runway.
On February 21st for their autumn/winter 2018 collection, the Gucci runway was a surreal experience. The setting was surgical to say the least. Models walked down the runway to the sound of beeping heart monitors. The lighting was harsh and clinical.
The most mind-boggling part of Alessandro Michele’s collection was when a few models carried scarily accurate replicas of their own heads! When Michele was asked about the logic behind the collection, he mentioned the process of surgery and the ‘cutting, assembling, and experimenting’ that takes place on the operating table. However you interpret this bizarre look, it was prime meme material for sure. The internet was perplexed...
Lady Gaga Fused Fashion and Performance Art at the 2019 MET Gala.
Lady Gaga is known for her eccentric sense of style, and her outfit at the 2019 Met Gala was no exception. This year, the event was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6th. To fit the exciting theme which was Camp: Notes on Fashion, Gaga’s ensemble blended fashion and performance art. For her spectacular arrival, she changed between four dazzling looks on the red carpet. Much to the delight of the other attendees. In sixteen minutes, a huge, pink cape gown with a matching hair bow metamorphosed into a black, sparkly bra and matching underwear set. It was theatrical, so very Gaga, and we loved it.
The Legendary Karl Lagerfeld Passed Away at 85.
In June, It was a shock to hear that Karl Largerfeld had died. The influential designer was known for his outstanding work as a creative director for Fendi, Chanel, and his eponymous fashion brand. 1983 was when he began his stint at Chanel which lasted for 36 years. A role where he made the classic tweed two piece his own.
His final collection was shown in a moving tribute held at the Grand Palais, Paris. The Chanel 2019 autumn/winter collection was an alpine paradise. The entire runway was surrounded by towering mountains and snowy trees. Models walked out in mixture of monochrome, heritage prints, classy capes and trousers, and all-white ensembles with faux fur trims. Tears were shed as the models walked out together for one last time. An emotional runway indeed.
Jennifer Lopez Returned in the Versace Jungle Dress.
There was a standing ovation at the Versace runway show on September 20th. Jlo walked the runway in her iconic Versace jungle dress from the 2000s Grammys.
The dress has historical importance. Back at the turn of the century, the look was so popular that it led to the creation of Google's image search. That function wasn’t available on the search engine until internet users were desperate to look up photos of the dress online. With its shameless leg slit, eye-catching print, and plunging neckline, it’s easy to understand just why the dress was so popular. A showstopper indeed.
The Existence of London Fashion Week Was Called Into Question.
At London Fashion Week this September, the environmental group Extinction Rebellion protested against the popular event. On the final day, a funeral was staged symbolising the cost of the fashion industry on the planet. Around 200 protesters marched from Trafalgar Square to 180 The Strand. Outside, they laid down two coffins and threw flowers onto them. It put across a powerful message. That fast fashion needs to reform. ASAP. It's no longer appropriate to consume new clothing at every micro-collection released, or to continue polluting water supplies when garments are being made.
Should London Fashion Week still run at all?
Happy New Year to all of you wonderful readers.
I hope fashion trends become more extravagant and exciting as we steer into the roaring twenties. A decade of partying! (We hope.)
See you in 2020. xx