As the Tens draw to a close and the Twenties get ready to dawn, WWD casts an eye on the dizzying amount of change the last decade has brought to the fashion scene — including streetwear’s rise; a growing voice from younger — much younger — generations; the blurring of gender lines, and a rising environmental awareness, not to mention the indelible mark left by the #MeToo movement.
It was a tumultuous period, with the recasting of old orders by technology, which took a central role in rearranging the era’s priorities.
WWD turned to industry figures, including retailers, historians, curators and trend forecasters, to sift through the Tens, and decide what defined them, fashion wise.
What was the look of the decade? Who was the designer of the era? And how about the future: Will the Twenties roar again?
Strong mentions for the decade’s standout look included Demna Gvasalia’s oversize imprint at Balenciaga, the gender-bending baroque aesthetic from Alessandro Michele at Gucci, the recasting of women’s wardrobes by Phoebe Philo at Celine and Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior and the arrival of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton. The reign of the sneaker made a mark. Some wondered, is Hedi Slimane the new Karl Lagerfeld? Could Philo return? Is Tom Ford the man for Pucci?
Here, thoughts from the industry.
Pamela Golbin, artistic director, Jacquard by Google Artist Residency:
Look of the decade:
Accessories once again played a large role in defining fashion. From the ubiquitous ‘It’ bag of the previous decade, the ‘Tens’ saw the emergence of the ‘It’ shoe and specifically the triumph of the ‘It’ sneaker.
Designer of the decade: While Demna Gvasalia acted as the great disruptor both for the heritage house of Balenciaga and for his own brand Vetements that brought together a collective of creatives championing a new aesthetic of supersize proportions and covetable logos, Phoebe Philo, Rei Kawakubo and Maria Grazia Chiuri redefined the modern wardrobe, empowering women with their strong personal manifestos.
Runners-up: Reimagining contemporary beauty for the house of Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli has set in motion a vision of poetry and inclusivity seamlessly casting together past and present, high and low, couture and streetwear to establish a new fashion template.
Crystal ball: After fashion’s ubiquitous collaborations with art, its creative dialogue with technology will generate the next game-changer.
Alessandro Maria Ferreri, chief executive officer of The Style Gate:
Look of the decade: [See below Dior outfit with mesh skirt, checked windbreaker and bucket hat.]
Designer of the decade: Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Runners-up: Jacquemus, JW Anderson.
Crystal ball: What if Tom Ford could relaunch Pucci?
Piero Piazzi, president of Women Management:
Look of the decade: Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton.
Designer of the decade: Alessandro Michele at Gucci.
Runners-up: Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta.
Crystal ball: Whoever will follow simplicity and sustainability.
Ida Petersson, men’s wear and women’s wear buying director at Browns:
Look of the decade: Streetwear seen through the eyes of the luxury world. There have been so many different ‘cult items;’ the Gucci fake logo T, alongside Off-White x Nike hysteria, and at one point it was almost impossible to get hold of a Vetements hoodie or the Triple S sneaker.
Designer of the decade: Virgil Abloh for Off-White. Virgil led the revolution that saw us all reimaging what luxury means and catapulted streetwear into the mainstream and his appointment at Louis Vuitton sealed the deal.
Runners-up: I would also say Alessandro Michele for Gucci; he completely transformed a brand and cemented its status once more in the fashion world all while questioning and repositioning gender roles. Finally, Demna Gvasalia for Vetements and Balenciaga who, alongside Abloh, helped change how we view and how much we are prepared to pay for a T-shirt!
Crystal ball: Continued musical chairs at the big houses and the return of Phoebe Philo (please let this be true!).
Tiffany Hsu, Mytheresa fashion buying director:
Look of the decade: The masculine and sharp shoulder line, slim legs, mini and midi hemlines are signature silhouettes of these past years. And, of course, we saw the return of the high waistline.
Designer of the decade: For me this has to be Phoebe Philo — she completely redefined the wardrobe of the modern woman.
Crystal ball: I think nostalgia for the early Nineties will have a strong influence on the new decade.
Simon Longland, general merchandise manager, men’s wear, accessories and
Designer of the decade: Kim Jones for Louis Vuitton and Dior, and Alessandro Michelle for Gucci.
Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director, Net-a-Porter:
Look of the decade: The 2010s was a decade of two clear style movements. First, a modern take on the Seventies was one of the strongest aesthetics with high-waisted pants, cropped flares, chiffon blouses, incredible prints and color. With Alessandro Michele at Gucci, we saw new a kind of reverence for vintage, which was unexpected and felt incredibly refreshing. His retrospective approach to inspiration was, paradoxically, entirely modern. It’s also great to see his evolution and the last collection’s nod to the simplicity and modernity of a new decade, the Nineties.
The 2010s also saw the resurgence and popularization of streetwear across all categories, which infiltrated the luxury market. Super-directional designer sneakers, track pants and bomber jackets became must-have items for the biggest streetstyle stars of the decade. And the fashion insiders – the editors and the buyers – wore sneakers in their day-to-day and front row at the shows. Comfy was the new cool.
Designer of the decade: Alessandro Michele. Runner-up: Denma Gvasalia.
Crystal ball: This coming decade will be about quality over quantity. Fewer high spec pieces, purchased for their timelessness and longevity over their ‘wow-now’ factor. This will not be at the expense of style; spring 2020 collections gave us a lot of beautiful collections to be excited by. However, we are now focusing heavily on a hard-working wardrobe, featuring pieces that can be loved and worn in multiple ways, over multiple seasons.
Natalie Kingham, fashion buying director, Matchesfashion:
Designer of the decade: Demna Gvasalia’s work at Vetements and Balenciaga was very defining for the decade. He elevated sportswear into the luxury fashion arena — who would have thought we would all be investing in sneakers and sweatshirts at high-fashion prices points. Also, his oversize silhouettes feel very ‘of the decade’ and we hadn’t really seen this before.
Runner-up: Alessandro Michele for Gucci; he changed the direction of the brand and the whole world went maximalist.
Crystal ball: We can definitely see a shift to a more minimal and palette-cleansing style, this has been influenced through Bottega Veneta’s new mood and the clean Scandinavian aesthetic becoming stronger. Our customers have always been engaged with a minimalistic aesthetic, one of the female customer muses we buy for is the ‘Purist,’ which nods to these luxurious, more pared-back pieces. This will continue for spring 2020 with the focus being on timeless pieces. We can see our younger customer embracing a more purist wardrobe, too, and investing in a few special pieces from designers. Sustainability has become a key part of the conversation this decade; we are all shaping up and thinking more carefully about what we are buying. Buying more consciously will become more and more important within the next decade.
Jennifer Cuvillier, style director, Le Bon Marché:
Look of the decade: More than a look, silhouette or ‘It’ product, it was the global emergence of a number of talents that developed and found their place in the fashion planet. There was a burst of creativity, expression and personality that extended to collaborations outside of fashion. The decade was also marked by a big advancement in the exchange with art, fashion, architecture and photography. The importance of lifestyle from casual to sophisticated, creating a universe or an experience around an inspiration rather than a product in particular.
Designer of the decade: All designers made a mark on the decade and left their imprint, but Karl Lagerfeld is certainly the one who has marked recent decades, particularly the last one.
Crystal ball: More creative, more short-lived, personalized and human experiences will be experienced and shared.
Pascale Camart, buying director of women’s wear and lingerie, Galeries Lafayette:
The departure of Carine Roitfeld of Vogue marks a major shift in editorial treatment at one of the industry’s most iconic magazines, Vogue. The 2010s saw the arrival of digital and the explosion of social networks with bloggers showing up at fashion week shows around the world — including Tavi Gevinson in the front row of Marc Jacobs in 2010.
Look of the decade: Phoebe Philo’s arrival at Celine and her first fashion show in 2009 for the spring 2010 collection marked a major shift in fashion following the Balmain euphoria: It was the beginning of chic minimalism. This feminine, designer aesthetic marked the 2010s through to the arrival of streetwear at luxury brands, symbolized notably by Vetements’ designer Demna Gvasalia’s arrival at Balenciaga. Luxury players sought to draw in Millennials through streetwear fashion, and the youngest fashion consumers are most interested in this ‘new’ luxury. Shortly after, there was a certain return to femininity with the founding of Jacquemus and his ‘Santons de Provence’ spring 2017 and ‘La Bomba’ spring 2018 collections.
Designer of the decade: Phoebe Philo, without hesitation. She introduced a new artistic approach to Celine but also to the broader fashion world, with feminine and chic collections for women.
Crystal ball: Daniel Lee of Bottega Veneta is a must-follow rising star.
Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue:
Look of the decade: The last decade was a very significant one of change and evolution for the fashion industry as a whole. Topics such as diversity, size, shape, gender fluidity have risen to the surface. Twenty ten to 2020 was a very transformative decade not just from a fashion point of view, but how we’re looking at fashion, how we’re perceiving fashion and translating fashion into everyday culture. The lines definitely blurred. It was also a very powerful year of designer transition.
Designer of the decade: This was not a decade that one particular designer defined. It was a group of designers in the last five years that really are leading the way for the next decade for fashion for the future. Talk about transformative — Alessandro Michele’s mark at Gucci was revolutionary. He took a sleeping giant back to a mega-brand that took the globe by fire. Virgil Abloh’s debut collection at Off-White took this idea of streetwear to a whole new level. Then he became the first African-American man to become the creative director at Louis Vuitton.
Crystal ball: This current lineup of designers — whether it’s Virgil, Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino, Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane at Celine, Stella McCartney, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at The Row, Gabriela Hearst — the list goes on. There just has been such an incredible influx, a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing fashion. When we talk about bringing everyday culture to how we translate fashion into our everyday lives, these designers are really setting forth the future of fashion. I think we can anticipate a much more conscious ecosystem within fashion in how we’re looking at it, approaching it, translating it. This generation of designers is very mindful of that.
Yvan Deng, illustrator:
Designer of the decade: From my point of view, Karl Lagerfeld is the designer of the decade not because he built one of the most powerful fashion houses, not because he handled creativity for three brands with completely different concepts, not because he was a collector, a photographer or an artist. I think he is the designer of decade because he shaped what the world knows as women’s style.
Linda Fargo, senior vice president of the fashion office and the director of women’s fashion and store presentation at Bergdorf Goodman:
I love the idea of what ’20/20′ implies, and would like to believe that it’s the onset of accelerated ‘visionary’ activities. I’m hoping that the decade ahead, providing that we work to straighten up our obligations to the planet and to each other, could be phenomenally exciting and groundbreaking. A brave, smart, cool, new world! The One World unifier of instant communication and self-determined content via social media, which was probably one of the most far-reaching developments of the last decade, can lead to so many more, new entrepreneurial opportunities. No one has a crystal ball, but I think self-made phenoms will be on the rise in every field — new business models entirely. I can see differentiated lifestyle ideas may take hold, crossing consumption and behaviors and engaging all senses. ‘Fashion only’ seems flat and overmined. Mavericks and underdogs may rule — or at least have their day. Authenticity, breakout creativity and ‘Do It For Love Not Money’ are a welcome ethos and qualities I think the decade ahead is looking for.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute:
More than one image, I felt the mood of certain periods through the last 10 years. In 2010, we were still coming out of the 2008 downturn that was so serious and had everybody up-in-arms. The colors spoke of the 10-year period and how it would change year by year. The serenity blue and rose quartz pink engaged a lot of people. Choosing two colors for the year in 2016 indicated that we’re not looking at them as so gender-related anymore. The idea that it’s OK for men to wear pink started a different kind of a conversation. Color trends began to linger on longer, like tangerine tango that for many years was not the most preferred. But the attitude had changed in 2012 and we have not seen its popularity wane — we’re still seeing it in projections for 2020. That tells us that people are less fickle about their color choices. If they still love the color or have learned to appreciate it in a new way, they need to hold onto it. Maybe it was an investment piece and they don’t want to throw it away. We’re less of a giveaway society — holding onto what we have, but being more clever about the way we use it. We’re changing our combinations instead of saying, ‘That’s so yesterday.’ The need for trends still addresses the human need for novelty — what’s new, what’s different. The secret to trends and forecasts is what can you offer that satisfies that human need for a little bit of novelty — something different, a refresh. It’s the way that it’s being employed that is different. It’s not necessarily getting rid of what you already have but how you integrate it to make something fresh and new.
Look of the decade: A sleeveless turquoise Peter Som buckled belt dress with a flounced hemline. Integrating all of those elements into one garment struck me as such a forward notion in design. As for standout designers, the influence of television and more specifically ‘Project Runway’ was astounding in giving opportunity to new, young designers.
Designer of the decade: Christian Siriano for being ‘hugely talented,’ having longevity, ‘a great sense of color,’ and for creating ‘mostly outstanding’ designs.
Runners-up: Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy.
Crystal ball: Expect designers to give greater consideration to the way that garments are put together — the mix of the old and the new and not having to abide by the rule book. One example of the marriage of old and new is classic blue, 2020’s color of the year, which speaks to traditionalism and technology. The interest in vintage with a modern element has a lot to do with it — like Rachel Brosnahan’s outstanding wardrobe in the new season of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.’ Those kinds of shows go back to periods that speak to an elegance in fashion but with a bit new humor. To me, that is the most outstanding direction for the future.
Elise By Olsen, founder of Wallet magazine:
In 2010, I was 10. One very distinct change is the view on the state of print publishing. I started doing my magazine Recens in 2012, 2013 — my first publication. At that time, there was this whole maybe generational misconception that print was going to die out. Now it’s way more positive or optimistic. Yes, maybe this model doesn’t work for print publishing but it’s approached like a luxury project. In the beginning of the decade, people were telling me you have to have a digital side. I said, ‘No, I don’t want to do that.’ Now we’re seeing a boon of independent publishers and niche magazines. What’s also interesting is all the change at the big fashion houses. It’s become less about being a technically good designer and more about being a talented creative director that oversees many sides — not just the design, but the campaigns, in a lot of ways marketing, retail and architecture. It’s interdisciplinary at the moment, which is also something that has grown in these last 10 years.
Look of the decade: Fashion has changed so drastically. There was this trend of minimalism — very heavy — in the beginning of the decade. Then it moved over to obviously streetwear, Vetements, the revamp of Helmut Lang and Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton by Abloh. Now at the very end, there is a lot of focus on technicality and more designers are considering a collection holistically. There is a focus more on objects or pieces instead of making one huge collection of a lot of the same things. The system has changed as well. And the seasonal cycles are being disrupted by bigger fashion houses and younger designers. Of course, the ways that the brands are marketing or doing p.r. has changed a lot, too.
Designer of the decade: Demna Gvasalia. He has been at the forefront of things. There has been a lot of focus on the Nineties style and having this nostalgic feeling about fashion. He has had the Nineties style but with more of a futuristic aesthetic. He has translated that for a younger audience that didn’t even live through the Nineties.
Runners-up: Phoebe Philo is great, but I don’t think she defined the decade per se.
Crystal ball: This past decade has been turned upside down in every way possible. It probably will continue to do so, impacting fashion and the way that we consume information, media and even art. I would hope that the whole cycle slows down a little, but that might be utopian at this point. Designers and brands will think more about what they put out and the things that they do. There will be a focus more on archives and preservation. My generation is starting to consider what’s going to happen to all the information that is out there, how are we going to preserve it and who is going to keep it? Data tracking and content as well — Facebook and Instagram feeds, and memories, too. Eventually, maybe Instagram will be less popular. If so, what’s going to happen to all that amazing content that’s out there? A lot of people will be considering digital loss, archives and preservation — even the bigger fashion houses will think more about their archives, history and the legacy — safeguarding material. In the beginning of the decade, it was unheard of that young people would participate in the global cultural conversation. By the end of the decade, it became normal. Every brand and fashion house is involving a lot of young people. Even Greta Thunberg is making such a huge impact and she is 16. I don’t think that would be possible in 2010. That is a change that I participated in with my first publication Recens, which was made by and for young people. That kind of changed the landscape with a lot of different things, allowing young people to actively take part and be vocal and visible.
Riccardo Tortato, fashion director, e-commerce, Tsum.ru:
For the first time between 2010 and 2020, the fashion industry understood the rise of e-commerce with consumers. Amazon become the biggest company in the world, fashion e-commerce conglomerates like Yoox Net-a-porter became a major player in the ‘retail’ business. All stores developed their own, small e-commerce sites while Farfetch sought a new e-commerce model inspired by the success of Uber. It is the beginning of the end of the classic retail business and only the best player will survive.
Look of the decade: Sneakers.
Designer of the decade: Hedi Slimane. He started the decade with an artistic approach to his personal blog before returning back to the game from 2012 to 2016 as creative director at Yves Saint Laurent before changing even the name of the historic house. His contribution at Saint Laurent Paris was well-received by press and clients, and the Slimane effect on the brand was strong. Appointed creative director at Celine in 2018, and the press and buyer reaction to the first show was very controversial.
Runners-up: Virgil Abloh. In 2013 he created Off-White, a streetwear phenomenon characterized by graphic lines on jeans and T-shirts. In a few seasons, the brand developed to become a worldwide unique point of reference for streetwear and all the other fashion brands are influenced by this new trend. In 2018, Virgil Abloh become the creative director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear with a first, epic show. DJ, designer and artist, Abloh certainly defines the decade.
Alessandro Michele. In 2015, an unknown member of Frida Giannini’s Gucci creative studio became creative director and the story of Gucci changed in one blink. Michele started his Gucci revolution with a teaser collection in fall 2016, throwing the press in total shock with an innovative mix of genders and a mix of vintage styles. An invasion of color and excess started to fill the Gucci boutiques around the world. Clients were confused for one second and then in love. Gucci became the second-biggest fashion brand in the world.
Crystal ball: A famous Vogue director one day told me: ‘Fashion is a big monster, it eats everything it needs and then spits it out when it grows tired of something.’ Twenty twenty will be the decade of the new luxury and the new ‘well made’ in contrast with the previous decade of streetwear. But 2020 will be also the time when we need to think how fashion can be sustainable considering the quantity of new customers approaching the luxury industry from different parts of the words. Will the industry be able to provide enough ‘exclusive feeling’ and massive amount of products able to satisfy the constant growth in demand of luxury goods?
Florence Müller, fashion historian and curator:
Look of the decade: The 2010s will be remembered as the decade of the selfie: the word entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. This mass phenomenon has turned fashion, or in any case the clothes we choose to wear, into a necessity. Everyone thinks they can potentially become a media star. Fashion gives you a way to control your own image and to portray yourself on social media in the most attractive or unique way. For this reason, fashion during the last decade has constantly bounced between two extremes: normality — an attractive and consensual look — and extravagance, with something more disturbing, a trend that was stronger toward the end of the decade. Even if the term is mocked today, the decade was dominated by the hipster, a trend that implied a form of innate sophistication. Makeup had to look ‘natural’ and the figure of the Parisienne, who seems to not give a care in the world about her appearance, was envied worldwide. The #MeToo movement also had an influence at the end of the decade via the rejection of fashion pieces that ‘enslave’ women: high heels, short dresses, low-cut tops, and transparency — even if in the past the major trend for red carpet dresses was to show a lot of skin. As far as the silhouette is concerned, the waist is back at its natural level, highlighted by high-waisted trousers — no longer low-slung — and belts on dresses and skirts. Shoulders hesitated between the tentative return of oversize Eighties padding and a slimmer look. The return to midi and maxi lengths was a strong trend, even if short hemlines are still favored by young women.
Designer of the decade: Even if he started in 2015 — Demna Gvasalia, for both his own brand Vetements and for Balenciaga. He’s probably the designer who has been the most copied since, because he perfectly articulated one of the biggest trends of the decade: the blend of high fashion and streetwear. He also championed the return to oversize silhouettes and gender bending, but usually in a subtler way than other designers. Finally, he managed to reverse the traditional interpretation of beauty by choosing models who don’t conform to fashion’s usual beauty codes on the runway.
Runners-up: Very short shorts; T-shirts with political slogans; complex prints; the return of sneakers and flat shoes; streetwear; ath-leisure and yoga pants (especially in the U.S.); the return of the boot; the oversize tunic dress; the sparkly evening gown; the pantsuit; ‘useful’ hats; the return of the logo; makeup for men; looks that can be worn by both men and women.
Crystal ball: I would love a return of the Roaring Twenties! But it’s impossible to predict fashion. It seems like differences and alternative realities will be more widely recognized, bringing more diversity. Age-old ideas that drove fashion for decades might lose some of their strength and exert less pressure: having to be thin, classically beautiful and young. This particular element of change is already true today.
Pascaline Wilhelm, fashion director, Première Vision:
Look of the decade: The rise of sportswear has deeply uprooted our conception of elegance. There were initiators before the 2010s, but the last decade was completely disrupted by streetwear and the hybridization it brought with it. I’m thinking about the work of Virgil Abloh, Vetements, Kenzo and Felipe Oliveira Baptista at Lacoste. There is a lot more freedom within fashion; it has adapted to the change in perception of time, speed and connectivity.
Designer of the decade: Pretty much nothing happened in fashion between 2000 and 2010, but a whole new generation of designers emerged within the last decade. Marine Serre, Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh of Botter, Craig Green, Demna Gvasalia of Vetements: These new brands aren’t purely about aesthetics; they also have a social message. They deal with sustainability or social issues — that’s something completely new to this decade.
Runners-up: After working on the concept of sustainability for around 10 years, now there is a real industrial response that can offer a lot of optimistic promises. Also, the return of the bourgeois was a big thing for fashion.
Crystal ball: It has already started, but fashion is going to have to adapt to the speed of change. It’s something we don’t yet know how to deal with. I’m not only talking about the speed of production, but also speed of thought and of creation.
Pascal Monfort, founder, REC Trends Marketing:
Look of the decade: This decade was spectacularly rich for fashion. As both a historian and a prospective fashion consultant, my pick is the invasion of sportswear (activewear, streetwear, outdoor style) and its impact on the industry as a whole. From the growing presence of technical pieces on the runway to sneakers massively dominating the footwear market, this invasion is all encompassing and worldwide; it impacts all genders, all generations and all types of socio-styles. The fact that everyone wears sneakers today whatever the occasion, including at work and even in the sectors that were the most resistant, is the most significant of trends. It’s a known fact that 80 percent of sneakers sold worldwide will never be used for any sports-related activity. The demand is huge and pushes all the fashion players to get on board, whether they are luxury or mass-market, and turned Nike into the clothing brand with the biggest yearly revenue. Zara and Adidas are respectively in second and third position. Traditional marketing and communication models were also completely reconsidered in the 2010s. The decade saw the birth of new tools created both by brands and users themselves. The era was formidable for imaginativeness and newness. It was also the golden age of collaborations. They used to be anecdotal and opportunistic; in 10 years, they have become systematic and highly strategic.
Designer of the decade: There is, according to me, a leading pack of names that all contend for the title of designer of the 2010s: Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, JW Anderson, Uniqlo and Converse; Alessandro Michele for Gucci; Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga and Vetements; Kim Jones for Louis Vuitton men’s then Dior Men. But the designer who had the biggest impact on the decade is Virgil Abloh, through his work for Pyrex, Off-White, Nike and Louis Vuitton men’s. He was all over the media and the creative space. He became the master of successful collaborations: Nike, Ikea, Rimowa, Byredo. Even if the fashion intelligentsia didn’t unanimously embrace him due to his atypical career path and the fact that he was seen as an outsider, LVMH officialized his status by giving him creative direction of Louis Vuitton men’s. He is a true celebrity and has an unprecedented community of young fans. The 2010s will forever be the decade of Virgil.
Runners-up: There are a lot of runner-up trends, but the one that created the biggest upheaval — because it is not simply a trend — is sustainability. The fashion industry has finally realized the urgency. No fashion player can ignore it and has to act fast if he or she wants to avoid being penalized by consumers…and slowly disappear.
Crystal ball: I am hugely optimistic about the change in mentalities and the positive revolutions that are taking place daily; 2020 will be the year of ‘future positive turbulences.’ The 2020s will have similarities to the 1920s. I don’t see the Charleston making a comeback, but I can imagine the birth and diffusion of great evolutions that will come from the minds of powerful women.
Christian Lacroix, designer:
Look of the decade: It was a landscape dominated by bigger and bigger luxury groups, and runway shows like performances, a circus traveling worldwide with sets sometimes bigger and more interesting than clothes on social media. On the other hand, you had a brilliant, clever commercial digest of collections by H&M, Zara, Cos, etc. The decade ended with vintage again and upcycling, ethically conscious collectives versus self-indulgent luxury and capitalist consumption. Echoing the late Sixties, both extremes fight against each other in the U.S., U.K. and French political scenes. There were no more seasonal, unique silhouettes, but a crowd of different propositions, all relevant and expressing an aspect of the period. Nevertheless, because of social media buzz, advertising images and fashion people watching the belly of fashion, some ‘official’ silhouettes stood out, even if they were not so widely seen in everyday life: Vetements’ and Balenciaga’s oversize Eighties style; Alessandro Michele’s baroque extravagance at Gucci and his back-to-the-Nineties mix and matching, or Valentino’s couture opulence, even if all those creations are not much seen in the street where parkas, jogging, sneakers and sportswear win everyday favor with looks which have their own specificity, tribal rites, subtleties, languages and special sophistication.
Designer of the decade: I already named some houses above, but some even more intellectual and niche designers captured my interest: Jonathan Anderson at Loewe and for his own brand; Phoebe Philo; Simon Porte Jacquemus of course with his strongly personal, innovative and charming approach to business, and Marine Serre. I expect to be surprised by something new each morning, something innovative, both powerful and full of charm, owing nothing to the past but epitomizing the period to come: I must say I had that sensational feeling with Craig Green, whose fascinating work comes from nowhere but his vision. Raf Simons, too, gave me a lot of shock and emotion at the same time, making fashion that is both stunning and relevant. Anyway, there was nothing really new under the sun, especially when you are mature enough to have worn all trends since half a century and more. I’m amazed by the way very young students and designers are thrilled, fascinated and crazily inspired by Eighties and Nineties couture from Yves Saint Laurent to Mugler, Montana and, without any pretension, by some of my own collections, if I trust my new friends on Instagram.
Runners-up: Gender blurring is a powerful path forward, not just a gimmicky fast-fashion trend but a reality. We’re back to the Age of Aquarius in the Sixties.
Crystal ball: When a period is not so secure or self-confident, we look for and find security and confidence in the attic, in the past, which always seems to be a lost paradise, even if it wasn’t.
Michaël Bonzom, creative director for Asia, Nelly Rodi:
Look of the decade: The streetwear look, which had a social impact as much as a stylistic impact. Kanye West with Yeezy, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Virgil Abloh top the list. From Off-White to his nomination at Louis Vuitton men’s, Abloh has created a real enthusiasm and a whole new communication and distribution system. He brought innovation in terms of street culture — like his R&B references, which deeply resonate with the 2010s — and via his associations with the art world. He also worked with powerful partners, such as Nike and Ikea, to conceptualize the notion of drops in the luxury market, thus exciting the digital natives. In his wake are Heron Preston, 1017 ALYX 9SM, and the incredible success of Rihanna’s Fenty. The Kardashians are also worth a mention: They created all sorts of business outlets for themselves, from ready-to-wear collaborations to cosmetics, in addition to their TV show and affiliated products.
Designer of the decade: Hedi Slimane. Using the same clear, rebellious codes focusing on vintage references and an L.A. vibe, he injected a new life into both the Saint Laurent and the Celine look, both times perfectly in tune with current social values: chic and elevated rock ’n’ roll vibes with a strong secondhand feel for the first, and the bohemian bourgeoisie for his two latest Celine collections. He is strongly involved in all projects and his input is present on each and every step, from the idea to the finished product: retail concept, digital distribution, arty catwalk shows, brand communication… Slimane can be considered to be a neo-Karl [Lagerfeld].
Runners-up: Eco-conscious fashion for sure, with names such as Marine Serre, Christopher Raeburn, Y/Project and Koché. ‘Recycle, rethink, redone’ is the new mantra in fashion, with a focus on local production and recycled garments. But the wave of hipsterism that came from Brooklyn and Detroit bringing gentrification in cities from 2010 to 2015 revealed a deeply embedded paradigm: consuming less and better in order to save the planet. This gave way to a non-gendered, workwear-inspired look nodding to agricultural wear, with total denim looks and a Sixties revival. It’s more of a lifestyle than a look: co-living and co-working, the group over the diva. This desire for altruism, which is much needed and full of hope, is seen as a given by new generations for the years to come.
Crystal ball: Actions to do better are currently being put in place. Luxury groups are faced with the dilemma of seeing the planet, and thus humans, disintegrate. It’s our responsibility to raise awareness and act differently, why not with humor and whimsy, using new tools such as gaming/e-sport and crazy events.