From Virgil’s debut at Dior and Beyoncé’s iconic Coachella performance, to Gucci’s severed heads and THOSE tiny slides – these are some of the most talked-about fashion moments of 2018
We know what you’re thinking. Can 2018 really be over already? The answer to that question, dear reader, is well… yes – and tbh, we’re not exactly sure what happened either. One thing we do know, though, is that it was a pretty massive year for fashion.
Between endless games of musical chairs, as the likes of Kim, Virgil, and Riccardo swapped and switched from house to house, there was a series of huge debuts, provocative moments of protest both on the runway and off, and more than a few viral moments that #broketheinternet (or at least came close to doing so).
We witnessed designers explore what the human race will look like 1000 years in the future, saw the dawn of a new age, as AI influencers and CGI models rose up and demanded to be noticed, and watched as the industry seemingly finally woke up to issues surrounding sustainability.
With all that in mind, we’re here to remind you of some of the biggest moments of the last year. Who knows what 2019’s going to bring...
KIM JONES’S DIOR DEBUT
Having bid Louis Vuitton farewell arm in arm with Kate and Naomi (no surname necessary), Kim Jones made his grand debut at Dior back in June – and in no less fabulous style tbh. In front of an audience that included the likes A$AP Rocky, Skepta, Michele Lamy, Virgil Abloh, The xx, and Karl Lagerfeld, the designer presented his vision for the house – a vision of pastel tailoring, of delicate florals, of Yoon Ahn-designed jewellery, and some great Matthew Williams hardware, all centred around a fucking massive KAWS sculpture made from 70,000 flowers. No big deal.
We knew it was coming. We knew it was going to be major. After pulling out last year, Beyoncé finally came to snatch Coachella’s wig. Performing with a full band and featuring appearances from Solange, it’s no wonder Twitter rushed to rename the event Beychella. The cherry on top though, was the custom Balmain wardrobe created by Olivier Rousteing worn by every single person on stage. It was a production. Unsatisfied with simply scalping once, Bey returned the following weekend in a completely new set of lewks. Flawless.
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER #FREEDTHENIPPLE
The enfant terrible of French fashion was up to his old tricks in July, as he sent a pair of bare-chested models down the runway in perspex corsets emblazoned with ‘FREE THE NIPPLE’. He explained it was in protest of the fact men can bare the chests but women face censorship. “If men have the right to go bare-chested, why not women? Liberté, egalité,” he explained backstage. Our sentiments exactly.
MARTIN MARGIELA ADDRESSES THE FAST PACE OF FASHION
It’s a well known fact that Martin Margiela is, to say the least, a man of few words, so it was perhaps unsurprising that, when he penned a personal letter to accept his Jury Prize at the Belgian Fashion Awards, a small section of the internet went wild (hi!). Explaining that the award was ‘a beautiful tribute to a period of hard work and dedication’, the enigmatic designer went on to detail how, in 2008, he could no longer deal with the frenetic pace fashion now works at, and bemoaned the rise of social media: “I regretted the overdose of information carried by social media, destroying the ‘thrill of wait’ and cancelling every effect of surprise, so fundamental for me.” So not only is Instagram bad for your mental health and anxiety levels, it also cost us one of our best living designers: #fml.
RICCARDO’S BIG BURBERRY DEBUT
After presenting a new, Peter Saville-designed logo and monogram in the spring, Riccardo Tisci’s first outing at Burberry rolled around in September: and boy, was it a big one. Featuring approx. 7,983 looks worn by the likes of Stella Tennant, Kendall Jenner, Lily Donaldson, and Anok Yai, Tisci’s debut collection covered prim and proper, out-and-out edgy, and high-fashion streetwear, as guests including his mum (sitting front row in the best seat of the house, obvs) looked on. Since then, the Italian designer has really put his stamp on the house: building a huge robot in the middle of the Regent Street store, and collaborating with Vivienne Westwood on a offering that clashed silhouettes from the grand dame of fashion’s archive with the classic Burberry check. Name a more iconic duo etc.
ALL HAIL POPE RIRI
This year’s Met exhibition theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination – featuring crossover moments from fashion and religion. LBR though, we were all more interested in seeing what lewks were turned at the Met Ball. Lana Del Rey, Alessandro Michele, and Jared Leto turned up as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, while SZA, Cardi B, and Solange all looked (for lack of a better word) heavenly in Versace, Moschino, and Gareth Pugh respectively. Unsurprisingly, it was Rihanna who won the night – turning up as the actual Pope, albeit a Maison Margiela-wearing one. Papal chic.
COLIN KAEPERNICK JUST DID IT
Having caused Donald Trump’s blood pressure to rise exponentially (although sadly not quite high enough) by refusing to stand during the national anthem – in protest of the violence enacted on people of colour in America – before an NFL game, Colin Kaepernick was soon signed up by Nike to star in its 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign. Presented in black and white and bearing the statement “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything”, the image saw racists across America burning Nike sneakers left, right, and centre as #BoycottNike spread across social media – proof, in the unlikely circumstances you need any, that the sportswear behemoth was doing something right.
MODELS WITH THREE BREASTS TAKE MILAN
Following hot on the heels of Gucci and its severed heads and Xander Zhou’s pregnant male models, Milan-based streetwear label GCDS was another label that explored body modification and the evolution of the human race in 2018 – in this case, sending models with three breasts down the runway. Naturally, the internet went wild and the look went viral, with many believing it was a direct reference to cult movie Total Recall. In fact, creative director Giuliano Calza was making a different kind of statement: “In a time when culture and art need feeding more than ever, three breasts might be useful.”
VIRGIL STAGED HIS FIRST LOUIS VUITTON SHOW
After Kim Jones announced he would be leaving Louis Vuitton menswear after seven years, it was Virgil Abloh who stepped up to the take the reins at the Parisian house. For his debut in June, Abloh took over the Jardin de Palais Royal, creating a rainbow carpet runway that seemed to stretch on for miles. Presenting the collection to the likes of Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Takashi Murakami, Bella Hadid, Rihanna, and Naomi Campbell – not to mention a thousand students from fashion schools around the world. Safe to say, it was a moment. Our fave part though, has to be that hug after the show finished between longtime friends Virgil and Kanye. So wholesome!
WE SAID GOODBYE TO JUDY BLAME
On the final day of London Fashion Week AW18, the industry awoke to the news that radical creative Judy Blame had passed away. With his acerbic wit and penchant for the avant-garde, Blame and his motley band of club kids (including Boy George, Leigh Bowery, and Princess Julia) blazed a trail for all those alternative kids that would come after them, as they set the city alight with their vibrancy and wild creativity. But what in 2018 constitutes radicalism? “After years or troublemaking, drug-taking, and experimenting with every part of my life, it seems the most radical thing you can do today is to care for yourself and other people,” Blame told Reba Maybury in 2015. Though not far off a year has passed, the legendary Blame and his unique vision is still sorely missed.
THE QUEEN DOES FASHION WEEK
There was chaos outside the Dazed office as a number of our staff saw the Queen pull up outside during London Fashion Week. No, she wasn’t pencilled in for a tête-à-tête with Jefferson Hack – she was actually heading to see Richard Quinn’s AW18 show, where she took a place on the front row next to Anna Wintour. Her Majesty was there to present the designer with the first ever Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. Will she be back next season? Watch this space.
HOW’S YOUR (GUCCI) HEAD?
Right at the beginning of the year, Alessandro Michele presented his AW18 collection for Gucci. The invite was a ticking timebomb, the set was staged like an operating theatre, and we were all pretty confused. It all made sense once the models began to stride out, with two of them ditching handbags for a more outlandish accessory – their own severed heads. Others carried model snakes, and even a baby dragon, all courtesy of special effects company Makinarium. Want your own Gucci head for Christmas? You’ll need to have a spare €10k lying around…
KANYE’S TINY YEEZY SLIDES
Kanye did a lot of things in 2018, but the pinnacle (or low point, depending on your perspective) has got to be his appearance at 2 Chainz’ wedding. Wearing a green suit courtesy of Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton, Ye paired his looked with some Yeezy slides. Sounds okay, right? Apart from the fact they were several sizes too small, leaving his heels hanging off the back. Memes ensued, naturally, and then West took to Twitter explaining it was the “Japanese way”. Diet Prada made a tee paying homage to the tiny slides, but by then Ye had already had enough, posting a picture in giant slides. Big Shoe Energy.
SAVAGE X FENTY SCALPED NYFW
After taking over the whole fucking world with Fenty Beauty, Rihanna announced she would next be coming for the lingerie industry – launching Savage x Fenty. Dropping a campaign featuring the likes of Jazzelle (AKA @uglyworldwide), Slick Woods, and plus-size Instagram model Audrey Ritchie. Woods returned for the label’s NYFW debut, this time turning up heavily pregnant wearing only a body harness and nipple pasties. After strutting out onto the runway, Woods was rushed to hospital and later gave birth to her son Saphir. Now, that’s how you do diversity *ahem* Victoria’s Secret.
CELINE BY HEDI SLIMANE DEBUTED
Following the sad departure of Phoebe Philo at the end of last year, it was announced that Hedi Slimane would be taking over the reins at Celine. Surprising at first, but the designer came in strong – first removing the accent from the label’s name, and deleting all previous posts from its Instagram account. As the SS19 season of shows started, monochrome posters shot by Slimane cropped up in New York, London, and Paris teasing what was to come. The show itself was an about-turn from the Celine we were used to, with Slimane sending out glittering party dresses and sharp suiting that he’s known for. And there were more changes, with the debut of menswear at the house. After the debut co-ed collection, the house is gearing up to present its first standalone menswear show in January. Watch this space.