2009 was a year of many resurrections in the fashion industry. The resurrection of the 80's, the resurrection of Givenchy and Balmain. And like all fashion trends, even people can be "in" while others unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) are "out". It was a year of many hypes, many many hypes. Nevertheless, it will be one that we will look back on fondly. At least, one hopes so…
This lady pushed fashion boundaries so far that I find it hard to believe anyone can top her. Granted she looks like she's in costume most of the time, even when out to dinner, but isn't that part of her charm? It's what makes us gaga for Gaga. She makes a presence at a time when everyone looks just like everyone else. Who else would ever dare to meet the Queen of England in such an outfit? Not to mention that makeup! Oh and that girl can rock a McQueen outfit – and shoes – like no other! Gaga Ooh La La..
It was Balmain bonanza literally e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Net-a-Porter sold out their uber popular jackets within seconds of them landing on the site. Celebs like Rihanna and Beyonce were all over them. Even if you're tired of people giving you the bold (or cold) shoulder, you cannot deny that this trend is (was?) hot.
Sure, she had us ALL do the "Single Ladies" dance, but she also had us, both married and single girls alike, clamoring for big chunky rings. Those futuristic-meets-rock-meets-heavy-metal rings were de rigeur. If you were too shy to go out in them, at least you got to wear them and do a little dance at home!
Fashion blogs have become as important to the industry as fashion magazines are. They may not be as mainstream as magazines, but everyone from the biggest fashion designers to individuals like you and me are following them. They're setting trends, showing us how to wear them, and best of all, we can bask in the knowledge that what they're wearing is as easy to access as Zara and H&M.
It was a blast from the past. For many of us, we were too young to experience the real deal during the actual 80's, which is why it was fun for us to go through the trend this year. While our parents enjoyed the neon's, the shoulder pads and the bold accessories 20 years ago, this time around, we're the ones having fun.
Blazers, boyfriend jeans, tuxedo jackets, Oxford shirts, vests. Don't be mistaken, gentlemen, these are not items from your wardrobe. These are garments found in the women's sections, inspired by men themselves. The best thing about this trend? That you girls can borrow clothes from the men in your life, thereby doubling the amount of clothes in your wardrobe!
Last year, the ladies studded their nails with Swarovski crystals. This summer, the hottest shades were fluorescent's such as hot pink, orange and yellow. This fall, it was time to be "Minx"ed into different shades of metallic. Whatever your choice, this was definitely the Year Of The Nail.
You've seen them in magazines, heard them on rap songs, worn them yourselves. Those ubiquitous red soles by Christian Louboutin stomped the streets all the way from Kuwait City to Kuala Lumpur. A word to the wise, though, these shoes were not made for walking!
Blair Waldorf created a sensation. Nicole Richie created a bohemian craze. Fashionistas clamored for gorgeous headgear to display on their heads like trophies. The bigger the better. Flowers, bows, crystals – you name it, they wore it. This trend even created the emergence of thousands upon thousands of headband designers everywhere. In all honesty, these hairbands transformed even the dullest of hairdos into the most magical ones.
It was awesome when she rocked the skin-tight minis, hot when she rocked the edgy looks, great when she went punk — but NOT when she did the mohawk, NOT when she wore shades at night, and definitely not when she dyed it the "bleach-gone-wrong" orange. Tone it down, RiRi… We don't want to see you go away!
There is a fine line between working the look and making a complete fool of yourself. According to one of my friends, "It's a great item of clothing, but people are not wearing it the right way." Enough said.
Between the reals and the fakes, I've seen thousands (maybe even more) of Birkins and Kellys this year. The epitome of classic chic has all of a sudden become the ultimate trend. The most appealing thing about those bags was that they were so hard to get. Or maybe it was because Victoria Beckham and other A-Listers started carrying them? Well, this exclusive item is not so exclusive anymore..
Cartier Love Bracelets
What began as a "Love"-ly trend, is beginning to get on a lot of people's nerves. Myself included. Cartier created it for a cause, but in this part of the world, people are wearing it for a completely different one! Ladies have been stacking them like bangles, teenagers have been piling them like friendship bracelets. Ideally, the bracelet should be gifted by a loved one as a special token of love. However, it's become so sought after that people are "gifting" it to themselves. Which shouldn't be such a bad thing except that it's kind of pointless. Here's a theory for you: Wearing one Cartier Love bracelet is cute, wearing two is alright, wearing three is..is.. you be the judge.
Van Cleef & Arpels
One word. Alhambra. And it's not the one in Spain. It's the infamous jewelry collection from Van Cleef & Arpels that dangled from mothers' necks and studded childrens' ears. Clovers, butterflies and hearts fluttered in front of our faces in all colors. They specifically do not recommend the pieces for children under 3. But does that stop the overzealous mothers? Definitely not!
When the runways say jump.. you say no way. Unless you're the skinny twig that's been walking the catwalks. Some trends look fabulous in the shows, and sometimes equally gorgeous on models or other starlets that have been primped and airbrushed to look good in editorials. But this is real life, and we all know what that means..
It's been a couple of years since the comeback of the leggings. They're easy to wear, they're slimming, they're cheap. It was time to say goodbye last year, but some people still held on, prompting the introduction of liquid leggings and jeggings (no that's not a typo – it's a combination of jeans and leggings). It's time to say goodbye this year, but some are still hanging on. By the time 2010 rolls in, leggings should either be worn to the gym or to lounge around at home. Let's give them a rest, people. They've worked hard this year..
If we've forgotten to mention anyone or anything associated to fashion in this year's trend focus, please mention it in the comments. Until then, see you next year!
– Alya Al-Othman