2012 has been a bumper year for British fashion. Here’s my Fashion News Round-up for 2012.
First off, what were we wearing? For spring/summer pyjamas, peplums, neons and metallics were key trends. Autumn/winter’s new mood was romantic and prints were prolific – from winter florals to tartans. Flats were big news this year, sounding the death knell for the killer heel – Alexa made the smoking slipper instantly desirable and Isabel Marant’s wedge trainers became 2012’s ‘It’ shoe.
The first menswear-only Fashion Week (London Collections: Men) took place this year, firmly putting the spotlight on London’s menswear designers and offering a fantastic platform for British brands. The next volume takes place in February 2013 and is set to be even bigger.
Menswear sales increased this year, from Topman to Mr Porter. In contrast, womenswear showed a unique increase in the success of the ‘middle market’. Shops such as Cos and Whistles reported soaring sales, showing the emergence of a new kind of savvier shopper – less focused on disposable fashion but rather investing in slick, directional and more grown-up pieces.
A patriotic spirit dominated Summer 2012 in all walks of life (fashion included) thanks to the Jubilee, and then the Olympics. The Duchess of Cambridge’s patriotic ensembles kept the nation wanting more – and her bump is surely set to be one of the best-dressed in the land in 2013. Sport and fashion were summer partners too, with Stella McCartney designing Team GB’s kit (she went on to win a British Fashion Award in November as well).
At Graduate Fashion Week in June, over 1000 students showcased their designs. In the same week the Scottish Fashion Awards celebrated Caledonia’s fashion talent, with Christopher Kane winning Designer of the Year and Stella Tennant scooping Model of the Year. British Fashion has been in the world spotlight again this year, with London Fashion Week still a hot-ticket event. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Emma Hill of Mulberry was awarded a CBE and Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton an OBE for their contributions to the industry.
Significant changes in the world of high fashion came to a head this September. With Raf Simons filling John Galliano’s position at Dior and Hedi Slimane stepping into Stefano Pilati’s shoes as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, the Dior v Saint Laurent showdown dominated the Paris collections in September, and further drama unfolded between Slimane and the fashion press. All eyes will be on Paris in March 2013 for the next instalment.
Fashion seemed to have a bit of a reality check this year (unless open-mindedness is the new black). Lanvin featured a 62-year-old in their autumn/winter campaign and nonagenarian Iris Apfel modelled in adverts for MAC. Vogue pledged only to work with models over the age of 16 (although the Chinese edition went on to break the code in September) and in an interview with Vanity Fair Kate Moss revealed the reality of her life as a young model.
It’s been a stellar year for exhibitions: the V&A’s Ballgowns and Hollywood Costume exhibitions, and the Tim Walker and Valentino retrospectives at Somerset House (more on that soon). Just in time for Christmas, several highly-anticipated fashion books were released – I’m currently enjoying Grace Coddington’s fantastic memoir.
Here’s to another stellar year for fashion in 2013!
Happy Hogmanay and best wishes for the New Year to you all. Massive thanks to all my readers in 2012, I look forward to growing and evolving Everything Looks Rosie in 2013. Here’s a selection of shots from London Fashion Week spring/summer 13: Mark Fast, Margaret Howell, Issa London, Sass & Bide and Paul Smith.