Fashion by definition is about change and newness but 2017 was a year particularly marked by significant upheaval, new launches, closures and industry moves that we could scarcely keep up with. It was another year of flux, fragility and uncertainty, with a shared sense of instability that was felt throughout the fashion industry as well as across the entire world.
2017 was the year that the decline of print media became an inescapable reality as numerous titles closed or moved solely online, more designers consolidated their menswear and womenswear collections to present co-ed shows or moved away entirely from the traditional schedule, and there were major reshuffles in some of the most powerful positions in design and fashion media. Alexandra Shulman left British Vogue, replaced by Edward Enninful, Anne-Marie Curtis took the top job at Elle UK, Glamour UK closed its print edition, Christopher Bailey announced his departure from Burberry, Jonathan Saunders stepped down from DVF, Clare Waight Keller moved from Chloé to Givenchy and Bouchra Jarrar departed Lanvin.
2017 was a year of monumental change. Ahead are just some of the biggest fashion moments from the past 12 months.
1. The Supermodel Reunion At The Versace SS18 Show
At the Versace SS18 show during Milan Fashion Week in September, commemorating 20 years since Gianni Versace’s death, Donatella drew the collection to a close with an epic, unforgettable finale that has gone down in fashion history. OG Supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni and Helena Christensen strode down the catwalk hand-in-hand, wearing glittering gold lamé gowns, reminiscent of the seminal ’90s pop culture moment when Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell lip-synced down the runway to George Michael’s “Freedom! 90”.
As a new generation of supermodels emerges, namely Adwoa Aboah, Kaia Gerber, Bella Hadid et al (many of whom walked in the Versace show), the original set of supers, including Kaia’s mother, Cindy, reunited and returned to prove that it will take a lot to topple their reign.
2.Edward Enninful Was Appointed Editor Of British Vogue
In January, Alexandra Shulman stepped down from her position of editor-in-chief at British Vogue, a role she had held for 25 years. Much speculation followed surrounding who would fill her covetable role as one of the most powerful people within the fashion industry and British media. Would it be Katie Grand? Would it be Jo Ellison? Or perhaps Sally Singer?
In April, it was revealed that Edward Enninful would be taking up the position, a surprising appointment for a magazine that had become increasingly focused on speaking to a narrow market of white, middle class women. Enninful was not only the first man but the first black, gay man to take the magazine’s helm in its 101-year-history. His appointment marked a significant shift in the direction of the magazine as diversity and representation became a priority, as well as a refreshed vision, led by the super stylist and his newly appointed team.
In November, Enninful made his debut as editor-in-chief, choosing Adwoa Aboah as his first ever cover star.
3. Céline Dion Owned Couture Fashion Week
Think of Céline Dion and you probably think of a cracking set of pipes and timeless karaoke power ballads long before you think of a fashion icon. However, 2017 was the year in which the singer underwent something of a transformation. Working with stylist Law Roach, who has also worked with Zendaya, this year Dion really upped her sartorial game with looks by Off-White, Vetements (who can forget when she hilariously wore the Titanic hoodie in 2016), Saint Laurent and Gucci.
In 2017, Dion also attended the Met Gala for the first time and caused a style storm at couture fashion week in July in Paris, culminating in a mindblowing series of images and a video for Vogue US, celebrating her new elevated image.
4. Fashion Icon Azzedine Alaïa Passed Away
In November 2017, iconic couturier Azzedine Alaïa passed away, aged 82. Often referred to as the King of Cling, Alaïa was a master of creating dresses that fitted and flattered the female form, worn by everyone from Grace Jones and Madonna to Rihanna and Victoria Beckham.
In July, Alaïa showed his final couture show after a six-year hiatus, opened by Naomi Campbell, who looked upon the designer as a father figure. Following his untimely death last month, the Design Museum announced an exhibition dedicated to Alaïa’s remarkable career, which he himself co-curated before his passing. The exhibition will open in May 2018 and we’re predicting it will be an instant sellout.
5. Christopher Bailey Stepped Down From Burberry
In unexpected news that sent shockwaves through the fashion industry, Burberry announced in October that Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey would be parting ways with the British brand.
“As Burberry begins the next decade of its journey, Christopher has concluded that after 17 years it will be the right time for him to pursue new creative projects,” a press release stated. Bailey will remain in his role until 31st March 2018 but it has not yet been revealed who will be replacing him or what he himself will go on to do. Will Phoebe Philo take his position? Will Bailey go to Chanel? Will Bailey go to Ralph Lauren? Watch this space.
6. Kaia Gerber Took The Fashion World By Storm
Making her catwalk debut at the Calvin Klein show at NYFW in September, aged just 16, Kaia Gerber swiftly became one of the biggest models of the SS18 season, walking for Alexander Wang, Saint Laurent, Burberry, Versace, Miu Miu and even opened the Chanel show.
While many question the industry’s adoration and elevation of someone so young, Kaia’s striking looks, courtesy of supermodel mother Cindy Crawford, are undeniable.
7. Condé Nast Closed Numerous Publications
In November, Condé Nast shuttered Glamour UK, to the great surprise of the industry and its loyal readership of hundreds of thousands of women. Then it was revealed that Teen Vogue would be closing its print edition to focus online and other Condé Nast US titles such as GQ, W and Allure would all be reducing their number of annual issues.
Back in the UK, Tatler magazine made a number of redundancies before editor-in-chief Kate Reardon stepped down earlier this month. Unfortunately, these developments may be an indication of further magazine closures in 2018 as traditional print media continues to adapt to industry changes.
8. The Met Gala 2017
The theme of this year’s Met Gala was dedicated to Comme des Garçons, celebrating the avant-garde designs of Rei Kawakubo, but unfortunately, few attendees actually adhered to the theme. Of course we could count on Rihanna to slay, wearing one of the designer’s AW16 looks with lace-up heels that tied all the way up her legs. Tracee Ellis Ross, Michèle Lamy and Helen Lasichanh also delved into the house archive but the majority of celebrity attendees, beholden to the brands paying for their ticket to the party, wore creations by the designers they were accompanying.
The theme for next year, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination will hopefully offer a new opportunity for guests to properly explore the theme and the relationship between designers, devotion and divinity.
9. Fashion Became More Socially Responsible
As one of the most polluting industries which also promotes unattainable notions of beauty and luxury, 2017 was the year that fashion made steps towards being more socially responsible. Gucci announced that the brand would go fur-free, Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo then followed suit, LVMH and Kering committed to banning underage and underweight models and numerous brands pledged to become more sustainable. May more brands in 2018 continue to make the industry a safer, cleaner, happier place.
10. The ’80s Trend Took Over
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have noticed that ’80s mania has swept the catwalks as well as your favourite high street stores. Whether it was Netflix’s series GLOW, the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican, bedazzled, sequinned and shimmering party wear in every shop, or Gucci’s SS18 Elton-inspired collection, the 1980s were inescapable this year. Disco ain’t dead.
And of course the impact of Stranger Things still permeated with a takeover at Topshop as well as a Stranger Things T-shirt popping up on the Louis Vuitton SS18 catwalk, of all places.