From #TimesUp to Meghan Markle and Pradamalia: 12 moments that shaped fashion in 2018
From runway triumphs and designers switching alliances, to Dolce & Gabbana’s China debacle, fashion has turned more than a few heads this year
The annual Grammy Awards ceremony turned into a fully fledged political movement, when many of those who attended wore white roses pinned to their clothes in solidarity with the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements. Hot on the heels of the audience wearing all black to the Golden Globes (shunning the traditional red-carpet parade), the Grammys saw stars opt instead for all-white.
Gucci decided to turn things – literally – on their head for its autumn/winter 2018 show in Milan, when it sent models down the runway wearing knitted balaclavas, cradling baby dragons and, in a few startling cases, carrying replicas of their own heads tucked under one arm. Ever a brand to push boundaries, Gucci also drew fire for dressing white models in Sikh turbans.
Not to be outdone by the previous month’s shows, for its autumn/winter 2018 spectacle, Chanel recreated an entire forest inside Paris’s Grand Palais. Models walked across a floor deeply carpeted in autumn leaves and past entire trees, in a collection of rust-coloured clothes.
US first lady Melania Trump triggered a wave of criticism when she set off for a children’s shelter in Texas wearing a jacket with: “I really don’t care do U?” scrawled across the back. The children in question were those separated from their parents by policies introduced by her husband, US President Donald Trump.
A total of 1.9 billion people watched Meghan Markle marry Britain’s Prince Harry, wearing a custom-made dress by Givenchy’s creative director Clare Waight Keller. In classic Givenchy fashion, the gown had a boat neck and simple cut, while the hand-embroidered train carried emblems of all the countries in the Commonwealth, in a salute to the new role Markle was assuming. For the wedding reception, the new Duchess of Sussex changed into a halter-neck gown by Stella McCartney.
Beyonce and Jay-Z threw down a challenge to the art establishment with their music video shot in the Louvre in Paris. Clad in couture, the pair referenced, or recreated, many of the famous artworks housed in the museum’s collection, in a takeover that was as visually beautiful as it was politically charged. The couple were challenging perceptions that art is the sole preserve of white cultures.
Forbes magazine stated Kylie Jenner’s worth at US$900 million (Dh3.31 billion), putting her on course to become the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, thanks to her eponymous make-up range. Despite only launching her brand in November 2015, Jenner, 21, silenced her critics with products that outperformed all others on the market.
Material Girl singer Madonna, turned 60 and celebrated the milestone by visiting Moroccan city Marrakech. A few days later, however, she attended the MTV Video Music Awards dressed – bizarrely – in traditional Moroccan Berber attire, drawing flak for cultural appropriation.
Designer Hedi Slimane presented his first show as the creative head of Celine, signalling his return to the runway after leaving Saint Laurent in 2016. In a case of fashion deja vu, however, the new Celine collection felt eerily similar to that presented by Saint Laurent, now headed by Anthony Vaccarello, and a bemused audience watched as both houses trotted out near-identical collections.
Just after meeting with President Trump while donning a “Make America Great Again” hat, Kanye West released a line of T-shirts calling for “Blexit” – an African-American exit from the Democratic Party. A few days later, West claimed that he had nothing to do with the project and that his name was used without his consent. He then announced he was quitting social media. The hiatus, predictably, didn't last long.
Dolce & Gabbana sparked a huge scandal in China after releasing a teaser video for its Great Show in Shanghai showing a Chinese woman struggling to eat Italian food with chopsticks. Although no doubt meant as humorous, it clearly missed the mark, with many taking to social media with #BoycottDolce. The situation escalated further when Stefano Gabbana then seemingly lashed out on social media in a racist tirade against Chinese people. The company claim its account was hacked, but the damage was already done, with more than 150 million people taking to the internet in protest, forcing the designers to cancel the much-hyped show and issue a public apology.
Just as the fashion world recovered from the Dolce & Gabbana debacle, Prada sparked yet more controversy by launching a collection of toys and key rings that bore an uncomfortable resemblance to long-disgraced golliwog dolls. With their oversize red lips, the toys were criticised for depicting “blackface” and a campaign – led by a New York civil-rights attorney Chinyere Ezie – forced the label to pull the products and issue an apology.
Updated: December 27, 2018 03:04 PM