2018: THE WAY WE WORE

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.

CROWN­ING GLORY

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

RAIN­BOW MO­MENT

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

HEAVEN SENT

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 FLIES

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

ALL ABOUT ADUT

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

HOUSE SHAKE- UPS

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

SLASH AC­TIVIST

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

ALL OF THE ABOVE

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

BLACK CAR­PET

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

SUPERBRAND POW­ERS

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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