Pin It
Team Vicious
Team Vicious wears Rick Owens SS14Photography by Danielle Levitt, Styling by Emma Wyman

The best fashion longreads of the year

Catch up on Kendall Jenner’s cover story and the late Louise Wilson’s last interview with 2014’s best fashion features

Junya Watanabe is as cryptic as his mentor Rei Kawakubo, but in a rare interview with Isabella Burley he reveals something of the mysterious force driving his collections – calling them “deliberately stateless”. The primitive and nomadic came across strongly for SS14, where feather headdresses, unwashed braids and tasseled garments came together in an ethereal, magical show.

In this feature from our Spring issue, Katherine Bernard got under the skin of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez – the designers behind Proenza Schouler – who went off the grid musing on everything from pet hyenas (“for Brooklyn”), their home-decorating skills (“we were kind of just vibing, like on a crib level”) and their love of surface level experimentation – “it’s fun to just mess with the fashion,” Hernandez explained. 

After Rick OwensSS14 show with its heart-stopping step performance, everyone scrambled to discover the origins of this team of 40 fearless women – embodying strength and beauty in a way that was radical yet relevant. Katherine Bernard went behind the scenes to meet the team of step artists, discovering both a sisterly community that lies beyond the art and Owens’ motivations behind what will be remembered as an historic fashion moment.

“It’s not like you sit at a table when you’re designing and think, ‘What will I do to shock?’ You’re thinking about what’s strong and right for you to do,” said Walter van Beirendonck as he went head-to-head with London’s rising menswear star Craig Green, his former intern. Their exchange, which included private stories and insight into iconic collections, was revealing of what makes great provocateurs tick.

This year Raf Simons took his label beyond the confines of fashion yet again, combining visions with contemporary artist Sterling Ruby for “a whole new brand, for one night only.” In the form of a revealing, seven part manifesto from our Spring/Summer Outsiders issue, Simons reflects upon Dior, the fashion system and his growth as a designer. “If I have one fear, and if there’s one thing I attack the hardest in my position at Dior, it’s that I don’t want to become isolated as a designer,” he said. “It’s so dangerous.”

If there was one artist who truly shook up the fashion world this year, it was Doug Abrham, aka @bessnyc4. His spliced up images mixed editorials and campaigns with porn, horror and violence, and were everywhere you looked in 2014, winning over heavyweights of the fashion world. The man behind them, however, had remained a mystery – until this interview with Kin Woo unmasked him.

The fashion industry lost a devoted mentor and respected instigator when Professor Louise Wilson, course director of MA fashion at Central Saint Martins since 1992, passed away in May. In our Summer issue, her last batch of students remember her influence, and Susanne Madsen spoke to Wilson in what would be her last interview.

At the forefront of a new wave of internet outsiders joining New York’s inner fashion circles is 14-year-old style guru Mike the Ruler. In our Autumn issue, Dazed meets him and his eccentric crew – including Readers’ 100 number one Hari Nef and VFiles It-Boy Luka Sabbat – at Mike’s parents’ Upper West Side home. “As long as somebody is giving me a platform, I say something,” said rising songbird Rahel, summing up this set of brazen, fashion-obsessed and highly talented kids.

Junk culture connoisseur Jeremy Scott brought instant gratification to his debut at Moschino as creative director, in the form of McDonalds imagery and catwalk-to-shop next day delivery. For our Autumn/Winter issue together with rebel muse Lily McMenamy, he put together an A-Z guide to his America, the original fast food nation – but also the land of Madonna and dreams.

For our Autumn/Winter issue Isabella Burley met the infectiously fun Brit duo, Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley, who are bringing their 15 years of friendship and camaraderie to their new roles as the creative heads behind Marc by Marc Jacobs. The duo embody their vision for MBMJ in their combined strength, feistiness and endless girlish mirth. “If I had 
an invisibility cloak, I would just sit inside Marc’s office for the day,” Bartley revealed.

For AW14, the quotidian inspired some of the season’s best collections. Kin Woo explored the normcore phenomenon and this obsession with ordinariness through the work of Miuccia Prada and J.W. Anderson, ascribing its explosion to our fixation on trivialities of strangers’ lives and as a reaction against the opulence that’s been dominating the seasons.

Legendary S&M photographer Rick Castro breaks perceived notions of age, fashion and beauty with his pictures for Rick Owens’ AW14 menswear lookbook, featuring Castro’s 93-year-old father. He tells Susanne Madsen about the intimate experience behind the piercing pictures and why the world still misunderstands fetishism. “Fetish is the exploration of sex as art, and the refinement of one’s personal desires. Anything can be fetishised...There’ll be new fetishes forever. I feel that the 21st century is all about fetish.” Castro told us.

Reality superstar turned catwalk sensation Kendall Jenner leads our selection of youth trailblazers for the Winter issue. “Sometimes it’s good to respond to what’s in front of you rather than the story behind it,” says Marc Jacobs’ stylist Katie Grand, who cast Jenner in her first catwalk show, that helped kickstart her turnaround. Patrik Sandberg gets the inside story, and for those who remain haters she’s made a Mean Girls-inspired Burn Book video which features on Dazed Digital.