2012 has been a significant year in the fashion industry. We all saw some important changes happening; we shopped in new and different ways; we managed to comment live on the collections shown. Then, new designers stepped in, old ones came back, some surprisingly got a new job, Kaiser Karl was still in great form. The hard working bloggers eventually found a place in the establishment of planet fashion, and social media definitely became a vital voice to be heard. New fashion weeks took place around the world; models restlessly fought to walk the most runway shows; socialites fought to attend the most parties.
There was still a significant amount of good old gossip and, in general, it was a lot of fun!
Here are some of my highlights of fashion in 2012...
- British Cara Delevingne is definitely the model of the year: she walked in 61 shows, and that's only counting last season. She is beautiful and fun and she likes to party. Plus, she is also very polite! All this took her to win the British Fashion Award for Model of the Year 2012. The US counterpart Karlie Kloss will have to work harder to beat her next year…
- POP UP is the word of the year: we have never seen so many pop-up stores, galleries, restaurants and even clubs being so temporary all over the fashion capitals. Miu Miu London was definitely the winner of all the Pop-ups this year: they created an invitation only members club in a yet-to-be-opened hotel for three days only, with talks, dances and free food and drinks.
- 2012 has seen lots of fashion designers collaborating with other brands. From the most unexpected, such as Carven for Petit Bateau, to some crazy ones, like Kusama for Louis Vuitton. I think the best of the year has to be the Anna dello Russo collection for H&M. Firstly, because Anna is not a fashion designer. Secondly, the collection was tacky enough to be fun, and finally, because the whole thing was promoted by the best fashion videos of the century: The Fashion Shower.
- Did anyone hear of Fausto Puglisi before? Well, Madonna wore one of his creations while performing at the Superbowl XLVI, and it created lots of attention. Daring enough, his clothing are quite something, and I must recognise him as the best ‘Fashion Designer Discovery’ of the year.
- Raf Simons got the job at Dior. Jil Sander went back designing for Jil Sander. Nicolas Ghesquiere left Balenciaga, and Alexander Wang is taking his place there this week. Stefano Pilati resigned from YSL, and now Hedi Slimane has replaced him as Creative Director, changing the brand's name to Saint Laurent Paris. Christopher Kane finished his collaboration with Donatella at Versus, Goga Ashkenazi went to re-launch Vionnet, and Yvan Mispelaere left his job at Diane von Furstenberg. Phew! It all happened this year!
- The best fashion performance of the year was definitely by Tilda Swinton at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, when she starred in Impossible Wardrobe, a show directed by the genius curator Olivier Saillard. From smelling an original Napoleonic army coat, to unfolding a Japanse kimono, it was a pure fashion moment. Better remembered than hundreds of fashion shows.
- There was another fashion moment when all the top models got together to walk at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, last August. From Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to David Gandy, all wore British designed gold outfits to celebrate the great sporting event of the year.
- Speaking of top models, 2012 saw the return of two great names of fashion: Kristen McMenamy, with her long grey hair, and Stella Tennant. They were both back walking for major fashion houses, and Stella was even an inspiration for the latest Chanel Scottish extravaganza of the Metiers d’Art collection.
- Carine Roitfeld left the helm of French Vogue, but she never gave up her front row seat at the shows. We thought it was because she is now the Editor of her new publication CR Fashion Book, but it was more than that. This year she got the best job in fashion ever: International Fashion Director of Harpers Bazaar. Can you get more powerful than that?
- From designing some of the best feminine clothes to the official sports gear of the British Olympic Team, Stella McCartney has definitely become the most talked about fashion designer of the year. Also the most searched fashion brand online. She very deservedly won the British Fashion Award for designer of the year and what else is there to say other than well done Stella!
- Fashion people like to celebrate and have fun. They love any excuse to have a big party. This year the best celebration was for the 10th anniversary of Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. He is one of the best creative minds in today’s world, and he deserved to be at the centre of attention when he sang at the party soon after the show last March. It was pure decadence!
- Another memorable party of the year was the ‘Smoky Eye’ soiree that Carine Roitfeld hosted with MAC. It was held on the last night of Paris Fashion Week, in the elegant salons of the Hotel Particulier Salomon de Rothschild: everyone turned up, from designers Riccardo Tisci and Karl Lagerfeld, to stylists Carlyn Cerf and George Cortina, to top models Natasha Poly and Joan Small. I knew it would become a memorable event when I saw the shy Azzedine Alaia there. He’s never been seen at a party before!
- The best way to shop today is online. If you can pre-order your favourite look from a show live, then it’s the future: well done to Jonathan Saunders and Motilo, who gave this option to some elected viewers of last September's show. I am sure they will set a trend.
- 2012 also gave a farewell to one of the last pure creative geniuses of the century. Anna Piaggi died at 81, last August, and we will all miss her.
- Gianluca Longo