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The biggest fashion stories of 2017

LEO BALANTE

Fashion and style continue to hog headlines, constituting to some of the biggest stories to mark any given year. As fashion plays a big role in shaping pop culture, we always find ourselves immersed and involved in waiting for next big thing to happen in fashion.

And in case you disagree, remember when the great Miranda Priestly in the canonical The Devil Wears Prada said, “You’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room…from a pile of stuff.” And by “people in this room”, she refers to anyone and everyone who’s making the world of fashion and style run.

Now, in times of real-time documentation and “share”-culture powered by social media, we have access to everything that is inclined to fashion and style, once a world closed only to the select few. For the first edition of Rank for 2018, we break down some of the biggest stories that shaped the past year.

Vintage resurgence

Probably the most evident trend that reigned supreme in 2017 was the resurgence of vintage fashion. Fashion racks on a global scale have shown elements that hark back to wardrobe and style essentials enjoyed in decades past. We have seen this evidenced in Gucci’s flamboyant embroidery while Versace has alluded to old-school logo tees.

Local stores didn’t pass up on this vintage trend though. We saw Korean superstar Nam Joo Hyuk decked in retro-party and athletic wear for the latest collection of homegrown brand, Penshoppe. The same went for James Reid and Nadine Lustre who embodied ‘70s retro glam in their widely-received Folded & Hung campaign, enjoying a collection that was largely reminiscent of a bygone era.

Gigi Hadid

Another retail giant, Bench, who celebrated 30 glorious years in shaping Filipino style, referenced to iconic advertisements and logo-designs that celebrated Filipino style sensibilities. How about an almost 30-year-old Bench billboard resurfacing in EDSA?

In November, we released a story that focused on this remarkable trend focusing on a brand that I personally laud, Regiment Store. Anton Miranda, the multi-brand store’s manager said of this trend, Vintage clothing has always served as the basis for contemporary garments so it is not surprising that we’re really just going back the roots. We’re going back to a time of quality and convenience, how things were done in the good ol’ days.”

Edward Enninful’s big statement

The year 2017 was a storied year for fashion and style media. We have seen a huge number of titles shutting down their print formats from Nylon, Teen Vogue, to British Glamour. Conde Nast Italia, mid-2017, also announced bidding farewell to some of Vogue Italia’s sister titles from L’Uomo Vogue (menswear), Vogue Bambini (childrenswear), Vogue Sposa (bridal) and Vogue Gioiello (jewelry). Locally, we have also seen exits of formidable titles from Esquire Philippines’ print edition as well as L’Officiel Manila.

Edward Enninful

But with all these departures come a tinge of hope as Edward Enninful brought a widely-celebrated first issue, steering the ship for British Vogue. Enninful, in his first ever venture, brought diversity to the forefront by choosing Adwoa Aboah on the cover. More importantly, the first edition with Enninful at the helm featured no latest shade of lipstick or the hottest steal in handbags on the cover but an impressive list of players in politics and the arts in its cover lines.

Aboah, shot by Steven Meisel, ignited a conversation on diversity, which inherently became the 45 year-old Ghana-born editor’s statement upon the release of his premiere issue.

Speaking of statements, in 2017, we saw a major fashion line vowing to join the anti-fur movement. Gucci, last October, joined the Fur Free Alliance and swore to put a stop on using real fur. This makde them the latest one to follow the footsteps of Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, and Net-a-Porter.

Epic shows

As it has been yearly, runway shows bring out some of the biggest fashion news that we chew on and 2017 is no exception. Who could ever forget the finger-snap worthy closer for Versace’s Spring 2018? The show paid homage to the globally-renowned house’s late founder, Gianni Versace, 20 years following his publicized death. Along with a collection that harked back on Gianni’s most iconic designs, the special show majestically brought together the original ‘90s supermodels, decked in gold on the runway. Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, and Helena Christensen all sashayed down the runway, holding each others’ hands beside Donatella Versace for an unforgettable finale ever to be made in recent years.

The year also saw an unforgettable Paris Fashion Week kickoff with global fashion powerhouse Saint Laurent staging its Spring 2018 show under the grandest Parisian venue known to man, the Eiffel Tower. Models decked in the brand’s latest collection walked in the show venue as the grand backdrop lit up and sparkled in the background. It has got to be one of the biggest fashion moments caught on film.

Statements were also made on the runway in 2017. Remember when Missoni, on February, sent a powerful message by joining the Women’s March? The brand carried out a pussy hat march of their own at the Milan Fashion Week where models and guest wore striped pussy hats similar to those worn by women during the Women’s March to serve as the brand’s feminist exclamation point.

Ashley Graham also brought down the house this year when she held her own at the Michael Kors runway, as the first-ever plus-sized model to don and strut the runway for the internationally-known brand. Graham also made waves when she appeared on Vogue Italia, unretouched and loving it.

Pop culture meets power brands

Mainstream media is known to influence fashion, vice versa. This year, we have seen how popular media has taken its strides in the world of fashion. For instance, following their big Oscars win, the cast of Moonlight, donned their Calvin Kleins for a Spring 2017 campaign where Mahershala Ali, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes, and Alex Hibbert were photographed in black and white by Willy Vanderperre.

On the runway, everyone’s fascination over the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things reached a high-fashion status when it was worn down the catwalk of luxury brand Louis Vuitton for its Spring 2018 collection. Many have applauded creative director Nicolas Ghesquière’s style decision to inject a basic oversized graphic tee featuring the show’s famed cast of boys over a bohemian floral blouse and baby pink ruffled trousers as a youthful touch in a collection of feminine silhouettes and embellished numbers.

The world also gasped in disbelief as Penelope Cruz was transformed into a television version of Donatella Versace in the telling of the tragic assassination of Gianni Versace for American Crime Story. The uncanny semblance was celebrated online as the look for the coming series was unveiled.

RuPaul’s Drag Race alumna, Valentina, on the other hand, graced the Vogue online channels to share a thing or two about her makeup. The drag queen-turned-reality show graduate was given a mainstream platform and it was a big win in so many levels.

Stars were born

Year after year, new style icons were born depending on a personality’s impact in his or her chosen field matched with apparent style sensibilities. This year, a couple of new names were elected to icon status starting with Kaia Gerber, the 16-year-old daughter of no less than one of the world’s original supermodels, Cindy Crawford, shot to fame following her runway debut at the Calvin Klein fashion runway. Not long after, she was already garbed at her best in showings of Aexander Wang, Saint Laurent, Versace, Miu Miu, and Chanel in New York, London, Milan, and Paris.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Rihanna may have long been a style icon for her rather controversial and polarizing fashion choices but in 2017, she has scored major points when she made a grand comeback at the New York Fashion Week for her Fenty x Puma Spring 2018 show, which proved that she was your resident bad girl, closing the show in no less than an iconic fashion, behind the dirtbike on the runway. On the Met Gala red carpet, she received fashion nods when she was one of the few ones who religiously followed to the Rei Kawakubo theme on the yearly style party.

Last, this year also saw the birth of a new royal icon, when the Kensington Palace announced the royal engagement between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the world turned on and homed in on the 36-year-old American actress and advocate for her sartorial decisions. In fact, the velvet “Tay” dress from Canadian brand Club Monaco, that she wore during the Holiday lunch with the royal family, was reportedly sold out.


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