Many defining moments occurred in the year we are ready to leave behind. Politics, news, community, and entertainment all had their share of major events. Some were happy and some tragic. It was the same in the world of fashion. While fashion has always been in forward momentum, it has its share of setbacks as well. For your enjoyment, I will present some of the highlights of Fashion in 2011.
Every fashion year begins with the legendary Awards Season. This is when we common folk get to sit in our sweats with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and gaze on as our favorite starts play ultimate-Hollywood-dress-up. These are the top five best dressed of the 2011 Awards Season, as voted on by the fans at ranker.com:
#5- Hilary Swank at the SAGs in a nude one-shoulder Atelier Versace gown
#4- Julianna Margulies also at the SAGs in a red sweetheart neckline strapless Yves Saint Laurent gown
#3- Hailee Steinfeld at the Golden Globes in a beautiful yet age-appropriate cream colored Prabal Gurung gown paired with a turquoise clutch
#2- Selena Gomez at the Grammys in a shape hugging shining silver full-length gown
#1- Mila Kunis at the Oscars in a stunning Elie Saab lavender chiffon Grecian-style gown
Shortly on the heels of Awards Season was one of the biggest events of the decade: the Royal Wedding. West Coast residents rose from their beds at 3:00am to witness one beautiful girl’s dream come true of becoming a princess. And what a moment it was in fashion when the soon-to-be Princess Katherine stepped out of her car in a flawless custom-made Alexander McQueen gown.
Following the wedding the whole world watched was Spring 2011 Fashion Week. We saw hot trends like A-line 1960’s inspired coats grace the Michael Kors runway. Wes Gordon displayed military-inspired jackets and Marc Jacobs showed off his interpretation of the jewel-toned silk dresses of the 1970’s. On the DKNY runway we saw a marriage of two timeless trends in the sleek and tailored trench dress. It was a clever combination of the design of a classic trench coat with the silhouette of a standard shift dress. It was a classic example of how re-inventing an old classic can instantly make it modern and fashion forward. Another trend that began popping up on runways this year was mixing prints. Something that no one would dare do five years ago has suddenly become fashionable. The idea behind this trend is to stick to one or two colors or else it just turns into chaos.
In the summer of 2011 more than 630,000 people were drawn to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to gaze upon the stunning creations of Alexander McQueen in an exhibit dubbed “Savage Beauty”. The designer, who committed suicide last year, was honored in this exhibit by showcasing many of his most breathtaking designs. Many waited up to five hours to see the designer’s creations.
At the end of July the much anticipated premiere of the ninth season of fashion’s favorite reality show, Project Runway, aired. We met a variety of up-an-coming designers; however the one stand-out was Anya Ayoung-Chee. The former Miss Trinidad and Tobago shocked the judges when she revealed that she had only learned to sew four months prior to trying out for the show. Despite receiving a barrage of criticism from her competitors for her lack of experience, the island beauty’s talent triumphed in the end. Anya emerged victorious after showing a flowy and feminine collection inspired by her homeland at Bryant Park Fashion Week. The judges named her the winner of Project Runway season nine. Hers was a style that not only fared well with Heidi, Nina, and Michael. Anya was also voted the favorite designer of the season by the fans.
On September 13, 2011 Target debuted a 400 piece collection of clothing and house wares created by posh Italian designer Missoni. Not only did the outside of many Target stores across the nation resemble that of what you would expect on Black Friday morning, but the frenzy of consumers eager to snatch up Missoni’s designs crashed the Target website many times throughout the day.
The changing of seasons and the leaves turning to beautiful colors created a picturesque backdrop for the Fall 2011 Fashion Week. The leading trend that was showcased by multiple designers including Michael Kors, Marchesa, and BCBG Max Azria was the color red. In fact it showed as such a hot trend that fashion magazines started running pieces on the Little Red Dress being the best trend for the Fall/Winter season. Juxtaposing prints showed up on the fall runways as well, showing us that mixing patterns is a trend that can transcend seasons and also will be sticking around for a while. Ponchos and draped coats also made a comeback this fall, showing up on both the DKNY and the Michael Kors runways. For a deeper look into the fall and winter trends of 2011 you can access my Twelve Days of Fashion piece, showcasing a new trend for each day.
So, as we say good-bye to 2011 and prepare for the new year, let’s take a moment to reflect on all the ups and downs, triumphs and failures, both in fashion and in our lives that made the year what it was. And hopefully we can celebrate our victories, learn from our mistakes, and make 2012 the best year yet!