From JLo slaying the Versace catwalk and Lil Miquela and Bella Hadid making out for Calvin Klein, to the passing of Karl Lagerfeld and Peter Lindbergh – here are the moments that shook the fashion industry this year
Once again, the end of the year is here. And this time it brings the end of the decade too (anyone else feeling old and extra existential?) Before we see it out, it’s time to take stock on everything that happened. Yes, everything is (for lack of a better word) fucked. But fashion endures. And what a year for fashion it was. There was drama, there were protests, there were surprise catwalk appearances, and sadly, there were also a few goodbyes to say to some iconic names.
Here, we round-up 15 of the fashion moments that had everyone talking this year.
KEANU REEVES FRONTS SAINT LAURENT
If there was a polar opposite to Cheryl’s ‘weak, limp, lifeless’ ad for L’Oreal, it would probably be Keanu (motherfucking) Reeves as the face of Saint Laurent. Joining a league of legends that currently includes Finn Wolfhard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and OG YSL muse Betty Catroux, Reeves broods and make us feel all sorts of things in his moody black-and-white images, shot by David Sims. As if we ever needed more of an excuse to obsess over his ageless face.
KARL LAGERFELD PASSES AWAY
Just weeks before he was due to present his AW19 collections for both Fendi and Chanel, it was announced that German designer Karl Lagerfeld had passed away at the age of 85. Unsurprisingly, given his long tenure in the industry, fans and friends such as Donatella Versace, Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid, Kim Jones, Kaia Gerber, and more were quick to post their tributes to him. During PFW, the designer’s final collection for Chanel was presented – in a winter wonderland that featured a cast of his fave models including Cara Delevingne and Mariacarla Boscono, as well as Penélope Cruz. Remember the late designer via some of his iconic quotes and most #extra show sets.
NATHAN WESTLING COMES OUT AS TRANS
After years of modelling for the likes of Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Dior, in March, former Dazed cover star Nathan Westling took to Instagram to come out as transgender, via an image shot by photographer Collier Schorr. In his accompanying interview with CNN Style, he opened up about his struggles with his identity and the process of his transition. Since coming out, he has returned to the runway to model once more for Prada and more, and appeared on the Dazed 100 and the cover of our winter 2019 issue. Read more here.
J.LO SLAYS THE VERSACE RUNWAY
A moment that left every single gay on the planet screaming (if you listen carefully you can still hear it now), J.Lo turned up to shut down the Versace SS20 show at MFW. Yes, wearing that dress. The one that is the reason Google Images exists today. So, pay your respects and bow down.
A PRANKSTER JOINS THE CHANEL RUNWAY
It’s seemingly impossible for a fashion month to pass by without drama: just when we thought we’d recovered from J.Lo’s appearance at MFW (see: above) the Chanel show threw everything into disarray again. During the finale for the SS20 presentation, a woman – who appeared to be dressed in a full Chanel tweed look – lept up on to the runway, leaving guests and models alike confused. Aside from our head of fashion Emma Hope Allwood who managed to the moment on camera. Thankfully, Gigi Hadid confronted the prankster – later revealed to be YouTube comdienne Marie S’Infiltre – and led her off the runway before she could cause any more havoc. Never a dull moment!
DEMNA LEAVES VETEMENTS
After founding Vetements in 2014 due to his ‘boredom’, earlier this year it was announced that Demna Gvasalia would be stepping down from the helm of the label to focus on “new ventures”. Since then, he has continued in his role as creative director at Balenciaga. In the time during Gvasalia’s tenure, we saw the cool Parisian label take over McDonald’s for a show, make Juicy Couture tracksuits covetable, and troll us with £700 cute bunny slippers.
GRACE JONES’ SURPRISE APPEARANCE AT TOMMY HILFIGER
Every season, fashion month gives us life, bringing familiar faces to the runway for guest appearances. This year saw no shortage, with Penélope Cruz appearing at Chanel, J.Lo storming Versace, and Naomi reminding us why she’s the HBIC at Saint Laurent. But we were all gagged and left for dead after the legendary Grace Jones turned up at Tommy Hilfiger. Just look at her. A septuagenarian (she’s 71) who can serve. it. up. As if she was heading for a casual stroll to the supermarket. I-C-O-N-I-C.
VICTORIA’S SECRET IS (FINALLY) CANCELLED
For years, Victoria’s Secret has been criticised for not being representative enough and making us all feel like trash – recently, even Bella Hadid revealed she never felt sexy starring in its show. Despite this, it has never made any attempts to be better. More recently dragged for its executives’ thinly veiled fatphobic and transphobic comments, the underwear line announced it would no longer be putting on its annual show. Rejoice! And hail the era of Savage x Fenty, the lingerie line getting things right. Rihanna had Miss Vicky quaking in her panties and now she’s finished.
THE MET BALL IS THE CAMPIEST ONE YET
So, the Met Ball themes over the past few years have given celebrity attendees a hard time. But with the announcement of the 2019 theme as Camp, it seemed as if nobody could misinterpret. OK, some people tried their best and spectacularly failed, and some *ahem* Kanye and Frank Ocean, seemingly didn’t try at all. But when they got it right, oh, did they get it right. Kudos to Billy Porter, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, and, of course, Céline Dion for schooling the kids and serving us camp on a stick. If you missed any of the looks or just want to reminisce, we rounded up the campiest just for you. Spoiler alert: Gwen Stefani took the top spot for unknowingly (we think) coming as a Moschino-wearing Cock Destroyer. Divine!
PETER LINDBERGH PASSES AWAY
In September, legendary fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh passed away. Over the years, Lindbergh redefined beauty via his black-and-white portraits featuring legendary supermodels presented naturally. “My aim was to portray women in a different way. As an artist, I feel I’m responsible for freeing women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection,” he explained after shooting his third Pirelli calendar. “The ideal of perfect beauty promoted by society is something that simply can’t be attained.” Over the five decades of his career, when he wasn’t shooting supermodels, he also lensed the likes of Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Paradis, and shot album covers for Beyoncé. He will be missed.
CARDI B SHUTS DOWN PFW
In a way that only Cardi B could, she literally stopped traffic in Paris during PFW in a full floral Richard Quinn ensemble. Telling all the fans (and haters) “I’m here to serve it to you motherfuckers,” she steps out in a look – which covers everything from her face down to her toes – asking her minders to “make sure a car don’t hit me, because a bitch can’t see.” We see you though, Cardi, we see you.
A MODEL PROTESTS ON THE RUNWAY AT GUCCI
During the SS20 shows at MFW, Gucci presented a collection that featured looks Alessandro Michele said were inspired by straitjackets. Wearing one of these was model Ayesha Tan-Jones (AKA YaYa Bones), who felt they were insenstive towards those with mental health issues (themselves included), and so wrote ‘MENTAL HEALTH IS NOT FASHION’ on their palms and held them up while walking around the space. Gucci responded to the protest, explaining the looks were inspired to show confinement and how people could find creative freedom breaking free from it. Later, Tan-Jones said they would be donating a portion of their fee from walking the show to a mental health charity to continue their support.
EXTINCTION REBELLION STAGES A DIE-IN AT LFW
After shutting down parts of the country for weeks on end, eco-activist group Extinction Rebellion turned its efforts towards LFW, announcing it wanted to bring an end to the event. When the SS20 shows rolled around, a group of protestors turned up outside the BFC show space to stage a die-in which saw them covered in red paint to demonsrate the blood the industry has on its hands. Protesting throughout the duration of the event, the week ended with a funeral to represent the group putting the industry to rest. Amen.
BRAZILIAN MODEL TALES SOARES DIES ON THE RUNWAY
In April at São Paulo Fashion Week, Brazilian model Tales Soares collapsed while walking on the runway at the Ocksa show. While guests initally thought it was part of the show, other models tried to assist him and he was immediately rushed to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. At the time, there were rumours of an eating disorder and drug use – both of which were denied by his family and friends – and in May, it was announced post-autopsy that the model actually had an undiagnosed heart condition, which led him to have a heart attack at just 26.
KIM KARDASHIAN’S KIMONO CONTROVERSY
To keep it short, Kim Kardashian’s foray into shapewear this year was a mess. First called Kimono, it pissed off the mayor of Kyoto and the rest of the internet. Then, it was renamed Skims and in v 2019 fashion, people forgot they cared. Fin!
BELLA HADID AND LIL MIQUELA MAKE OUT FOR NO REASON
One of the most confusing fashion moments of the year came courtesy of Calvin Klein. After the American brand announced it would no longer be showing collections on the runway – following the departure of Raf Simons as chief creative officer – its new strategy was revealed, starting off with campaign videos featuring A$AP Rocky, Billie Eilish, and Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela. The latter two appeared in a variety of looks from the brand, before making out for no apparent reason. Following the release, many criticised the ad for queerbaiting. Read more on that here.