From the lat­est rounds of de­signer mu­si­cal chairs to trans­for­ma­tive change in our wardrobes and the Meghan Markle ef­fect on home­grown tal­ent Dion Lee, this is Vogue’s our round-up of the year in fash­ion.

VOGUE Australia - - CONTENTS - By Alice Bir­rell and Zara Wong.

From the lat­est rounds of de­signer mu­si­cal chairs to the Meghan Markle ef­fect on home­grown tal­ent Dion Lee, our round-up of the year in fash­ion.


Brown dresses with white polka dots, head­scarves, cardi­gans and match­ing sets all read like a trend re­port from the run­way shows and it is no co­in­ci­dence those things hung in Jane Petrie’s cos­tume de­part­ment for sea­son two of The Crown. This year has been a royal flush be­tween The Crown pick­ing up five Emmy wins and two Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions; the wed­ding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May, send­ing ever higher the shoot­ing star of Clare Waight Keller, then newly of the house of Givenchy; fol­lowed by Princess Eu­ge­nie’s en­core; and Queen El­iz­a­beth II mak­ing her front row de­but aged 91, at buzzed-about London upstart Richard Quinn’s show. The show was a first for both: it was Quinn’s first ever run­way out­ing and the monarch’s choice for the in­au­gu­ral Queen El­iz­a­beth II Award for Bri­tish De­sign. In­creased at­ten­tion and stock­ists like 10 Corso Como, Lane Craw­ford and Bergdorf Good­man tell of the ef­fect the royal seal of ap­proval can have for young tal­ent. To cap it off? A turn around the land down un­der for the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex, with the out­ing of Dion Lee’s ‘folded sail’ dress in Ital­ian wool. Cast in sculp­tural origami shapes, the navy dress caused the de­signer’s site to crash (FYI: it was still avail­able for pre-or­der as this is­sue went to print). One thing’s for cer­tain: royal blood can still out­pace the most sea­soned of so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers. AB


As Christo­pher Bai­ley closed out 17 years at Burberry in Fe­bru­ary, one might have thought it ap­pro­pri­ate he fo­cus solely on him­self, but he sent a mes­sage of ac­cep­tance and cel­e­bra­tion fo­cus­ing on the LGBTQI com­mu­nity, mak­ing a do­na­tion to youth char­i­ties in­volved in men­tal health and sup­port­ing rights in the sphere. Vis­ually, the mes­sage con­fig­ured it­self clearly in rain­bow bags, bean­ies, jumpers and the spec­ta­cle of a sweep­ing coat in red, yel­low, indigo, green and vi­o­let on Cara Delev­ingne. With Kate Moss, Naomi Camp­bell, Daphne Guin­ness and Naomi Watts look­ing on at the gi­ant prism of rain­bow lasers that show­ered it all, there was, of course, more than a grain of his own story as a club kid in the 80s and 90s mix­ing and min­gling har­mo­niously with peo­ple from all walks of life. Vir­gil Abloh, a cre­ative who doesn’t think in bor­ders, drove home a sim­i­lar point come June at his de­but as cre­ative di­rec­tor of Louis Vuit­ton menswear: white light hit­ting a prism and re­fract­ing into a spray of colours, both in the clothes and on the floor in an om­bré rain­bow road. It was sym­bolic of the cir­cle he sur­rounds him­self with and the peo­ple he ex­alts in his clothes: all kinds, all welcome. AB


Ev­ery year, the first Mon­day in May is no doubt a most-watched on the fash­ion cal­en­dar, but the mega-wattage of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Art’s Cos­tume In­sti­tute gala ex­tends be­yond the red car­pet, as proved most poignantly in 2018. More than a mil­lion vis­i­tors passed through the doors to view the Cos­tume In­sti­tute’s ex­hi­bi­tion Heavenly Bod­ies: Fash­ion and the Catholic Imag­i­na­tion, an ex­hi­bi­tion that filled 60,000 square feet with price­less fash­ion his­tory, in­clud­ing litur­gi­cal garb never be­fore al­lowed to leave the sanc­tity of the Sis­tine chapel sac­risty, com­bined clev­erly with hal­lowed de­signs of fash­ion greats. The num­bers set a record and the red car­pet was hailed as one of the most en­thralling of re­cent times. It was a seem­ingly dif­fi­cult theme for celebri­ties to ap­proach with sen­si­tiv­ity but the re­sult was breath­tak­ing gowns, wings and di­vine de­tails of the high­est or­der that avoided blas­phem­ing in the face of the almighty, both ethe­real and the de­sign­ers cor­po­real. AB


Fur pro­test­ers ap­peared at the shows in Fe­bru­ary, and again in in­creas­ing num­bers in Septem­ber, with ac­tivists hav­ing an un­de­ni­able vic­tory: London Fash­ion Week went of­fi­cially fur-free at the spring/

sum­mer ’19 shows. Al­though not con­fined to 2018, there has been a sig­nif­i­cant uptick in de­sign­ers de­nounc­ing fur, a move that goes hand in hand with the push for sus­tain­abil­ity, both from con­sumers and mak­ers. Last year Gucci and Michael Kors were per­haps the most high­pro­file domi­nos to set off the re­cent round swear­ing off fur, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of those who have pre­vi­ously aban­doned fur in­clud­ing pioneer Stella McCart­ney, Gior­gio Ar­mani, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lau­ren and e-tailer Net-A-Porter. In 2018 Burberry, Ver­sace, John Gal­liano and Diane von Fursten­berg have all agreed as well to com­pletely cease use of ex­otic skins, an­gora and mo­hair by 2019. It’s also meant an un­lock­ing of the mar­ket share for faux-fur brands like Shrimps, House of Fluff, new­comer Jakke, Stand and cult milliner Emma Brewin. AB


The face and the name top of mind in fash­ion’s up­per ech­e­lons, 18-yearold Adut Akech Bior is an Aus­tralian story to tell world over. In only two years she has gone from her home town of Ade­laide to be­ing a house favourite of Chanel and Valentino, among many oth­ers, with an un­end­ing ros­ter of the in­dus­try’s best names vy­ing to work with her, all the while cul­ti­vat­ing a cir­cle of ad­mir­ers that com­ment as much on her in­ner beauty as her ob­vi­ous and as­tound­ing out­ward looks. Mo­ti­vated by fam­ily, loyal to her friends and en­cour­ag­ing of younger mod­els, Akech Bior is a teenager with ma­tu­rity be­yond her years and a ca­pac­ity for em­pa­thy and op­ti­mism to be ad­mired. She is our cover girl this is­sue. AB


The spring/sum­mer ’19 sea­son was the set­ting for two of fash­ion’s most an­tic­i­pated de­buts at ma­jor fash­ion houses:

Hedi Sli­mane for Ce­line (note: no aigu!) and Ric­cardo Tisci for Burberry. Both sig­nalled a change of guard, with Sli­mane’s com­plete over­haul of the Ce­line im­age and de­signs with an in­jec­tion of his sig­na­ture sex­u­ally charged youth­ful­ness and rock’n’roll in­flu­ence. At Burberry, Tisci cel­e­brated wear­able clothes and in­ter­gen­er­a­tional dress­ing: the first half of the col­lec­tion was for the mother, with pleated skirts and pussy-bow blouses, and the sec­ond half the daugh­ter – think mini-skirts and corsetry de­tail­ing. For the up­date on the de­signer mu­si­cal chairs, 2019 will be the de­but year of Bri­tish de­signer Daniel Lee, who will be tak­ing on Bot­tega Veneta as cre­ative di­rec­tor. In the world of old-school el­e­gance, Carolina Her­rera stepped down from her epony­mous la­bel to hand the reins to Wes Gor­don, and Hu­bert de Givenchy, he of Au­drey Hep­burn’s most beloved looks, in­clud­ing out­fits she wore in Break­fast At Tiffany’s and Sab­rina, died in March this year at the age of 91. ZW


A few years ago the term ‘slashie’ might have been met with de­ri­sion, but now mod­els are ex­tend­ing their fame to en­cour­age pos­i­tive change. Kar­lie Kloss ad­dresses the lack of women in tech­nol­ogy by en­cour­ag­ing fe­male stu­dents to code with Kode With Klossy. Bri­tish model Ad­woa Aboah es­tab­lished Gurls Talk, an on­line com­mu­nity for young women to dis­cuss topics like men­tal health, sex and so­cial me­dia, and has her­self spo­ken out about her ex­pe­ri­ences with de­pres­sion. Amer­i­can model Cameron Rus­sell has cam­paigned for bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions for mod­els with the group Model Mafia, and has shared anonymised ac­counts of ex­ploita­tion and sex­ual ha­rass­ment us­ing the hash­tag #MyJobShouldNotIn­cludeAbuse. She pre­vi­ously spoke about the snap judge­ment peo­ple make based on first im­pres­sions in her land­mark TED talk from 2012, en­ti­tled ‘Looks aren’t ev­ery­thing. Be­lieve me, I’m a model’ and is a UN ad­vo­cate and a Rain­for­est Al­liance am­bas­sador. Aus­tralian model An­dreja Pe­jić graced the April cover of Vogue, and is open about her ex­pe­ri­ence as a trans­gen­der per­son fol­low­ing sex re­as­sign­ment surgery. And Emily Rata­jkowski has long been vo­cal about be­ing de­fined by her phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance, and has com­mented pub­licly about US pol­i­tics, protest­ing against Brett Ka­vanaugh’s nom­i­na­tion to the US Supreme Court in Oc­to­ber. ZW


With grow­ing aware­ness of the need for run­ways and me­dia to rep­re­sent eth­nic and cul­tural di­ver­sity, Vogue Aus­tralia’s April 2018 cover fea­tured Akiima, Charlee Fraser, An­dreja Pe­jić and Fernanda Ly, who shared their sto­ries of child­hood, chal­lenges and of break­ing an ar­chaic and ho­moge­nous beauty mould, even though there is still more work to be done. As Akiima writes: “Un­for­tu­nately, we don’t get to see the di­ver­sity of Aus­tralian beauty. We have come a long way, but we still need to dis­cuss di­ver­sity in the mod­el­ling in­dus­try … be­cause we don’t want to keep ask­ing for a spot­light.” ZW


The de­ci­sion of fe­male at­ten­dees to don black at this year’s Golden Globes awards cer­e­mony was a vis­ually ef­fec­tive protest to ex­press their sol­i­dar­ity with vic­tims of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and gen­der bias. Eight fe­male ac­tors brought ac­tivists as their dates: Emma Wat­son took Marai Larasi of black-fem­i­nist or­gan­i­sa­tion Imkaan; Meryl Streep brought Ai-jen Poo, who is the di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Do­mes­tic Work­ers Al­liance; Michelle Wil­liams in­vited Tarana Burke, who is the founder of the #MeToo move­ment; Amy Poehler was ac­com­pa­nied by Saru Ja­yara­man, pres­i­dent of Restau­rant Op­por­tu­ni­ties Cen­ters United; Shai­lene Wood­ley took Suquamish Tribe mem­ber Calina Lawrence; Laura Dern’s guest was Mónica Ramirez, who pro­motes worker-led move­ments; and Su­san Saran­don took po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor Rosa Cle­mente. The evening cli­maxed with Oprah ac­cept­ing a life­time achieve­ment award, who con­cluded her speech with: “For too long, women have not been heard or be­lieved if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up.” ZW


It’s in the num­bers. For the first time in its 108-year his­tory, Chanel has pub­lished its fi­nan­cial po­si­tion to show its strength: to­tal sales of US$9.62 bil­lion in 2017. “We’ve de­cided to put the facts on the ta­ble about who we are,” said its chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Philippe Blon­di­aux to Reuters. Brush­ing off re­ports that it would be ac­quired by other lux­ury con­glom­er­ates, he stated: “This fi­nan­cial state­ment shows that we are amaz­ingly solid fi­nan­cially and we can keep our sta­tus as a pri­vate, in­de­pen­dent com­pany for the next few cen­turies.” In an­other show of bravura, Michael Kors flexed its am­bi­tions as an Amer­i­can com­pany in Europe by ac­quir­ing Ital­ian house Ver­sace for US$2.1 bil­lion. Ver­sace was one of the last few ma­jor in­de­pen­dent la­bels – the other is Dries Van Noten, which was ac­quired by Puig to en­sure a fu­ture for the com­pany. ZW

“We don’t get to see the di­ver­sity of Aus­tralian beauty … we still need to dis­cuss di­ver­sity in mod­el­ling”

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