Dior appoints its first-ever female creative director
A new era of Dior was ushered in with Maria Grazia Chiuri departing Valentino – ending her extended creative partnership with Pierpaolo Piccioli –to make her debut with a fierce ode to femininity sent down the Spring/Summer 2017 runway. Chiuri’s appointment broke with tradition as men have long shaped the femininity of the French fashion house – Chiuri follows in the footsteps of Raf Simmons, John Galliano, Gianfranco Ferré, and Yves Saint Laurent.
New Zealand evolves into a serious shopping destination
Much to every fashionista’s delight, 2016 saw the arrival of highly anticipated luxury and high street brands in New Zealand. The opening of Chanel’s very first fragrance and beauty boutique and Tiffany & Co. in downtown Auckland, quickly transformed Britomart into a luxury shopping destination. The year ended on a high note with Louis Vuitton opening its new Queenstown resort store in late October and introducing ready-to-wear with the revamped Queenstown store in December.
Alessandro Michele makes fashion fun again
He may be just two years into the role of creative director at Gucci but in brief period of time Alessandro Michele has transformed the Italian fashion house into the hippest, most covetable luxury brand around. With his embellished menagerie of creatures, a kaleidoscope of colour, texture and ornate yet quirky detailing, maximalism is well and truly back, with Michele to thank.
See-now, buy-now dominates the future of the catwalk
Changes in consumer behaviour are having an overarching impact on the world of fashion: “see-now, buy-now” dominated runway discourse in 2016 with a number of designers – Tom Ford, Burberry, Thakoon – foregoing seasonal shows in favour of showing in-season collections. While a handful of designers are embracing the change and transforming their business models to meet new demands, resistance is being felt within the wider industry. Designer burnout is prevalent: ex Dior creative director Raf Simons spoke out about the pressure the current system is putting on designers; Phillip Lim recently declared the see-now, buy-now trend as unsustainable. Watch this space in 2017.
Fashion makes a political statement
From a year that began with Beyoncé’s evocative halftime Superbowl performance and ended with handfuls of designers refusing to dress First Lady to be, Melania Trump, the world of fashion and politics collided time and time again throughout 2016. Few in the fashion world shied from voicing their political allegiances in the United States and beyond, with many left uncertain about the impact Brexit will have on British fashion. With more political and economic uncertainty on the horizon, only time will tell what role fashion and style will play in 2017.
A more diverse fashion world emerges
Diversity continues to be the runway’s philosophy du juor, with an increasing number of fashion insiders calling for a more inclusive and diverse approach to the catwalk and campaigns over the course of 2016. While fashion has a long way to come before diversity is ingrained in its ethos – transgender and plus-size models remain significantly unrepresented on the catwalk and in ad campaigns – according to Fashion Spot, the Spring/Summer 2017 runway was the first time more than a quarter of models cast were nonwhite – something that is long overdue in our opinion.