Fashionville: The Best (and Worst) of 2009

12/23/2009 3:00 AM |

What If the World Threw a Recession and No One Came?
2009 answered the question: What would fashion folk do if the country stopped spending? The answer: Throw more lavish parties, launch more lines, and create a lot of fanfare around a movie that celebrates the way things used to be. Well, even if The September Issue couldn’t save the glossies, maybe over-the-knee boots (or the Snood) will save fashion.

Trends that likely won’t make the cut in 2010 but that we nonetheless indulged in:
Saints forgive us, we bought strong-shouldered blazers, over-the-knee boots and lavish, sparkly statement necklaces. Truth be told, we never dreamed in a million years we’d buy such extravagant-looking clothing in a recession.

Trends that likely won’t make the cut in 2010 and that we wisely managed to avoid:
Dizzying as fall’s sensational looks were, we still couldn’t reconcile our consciences to accept the purchase of things like fur vests (who’s cold now, bitches?) and leather shorts (or dresses, or really anything that’s not pants).

Nonsensical words we never thought would be important until this year:
Snuggie, Slanket, Snood, Gaga.

Biggest Buzzkill: Topshop
Remember when Topshop opened? Blogs tracked the opening with a fervor not seen since Proenza Schouler for Target. Kate Moss was like a god. People cried when the opening was delayed, drooled into their pillows thinking about that one time they went to the store in London, and lined up at dawn waiting for the doors to be flung open. And now? It’s like an H&M or Mango—over-saturated, over-trendy, and impossible to navigate. Passing the behemoth on Broadway feels eerily like running into an old high school boyfriend.

Cult we’ll never quite understand: Chanel Jade Nail Polish

Never in our wildest imaginings could we have anticipated that a nail polish would rival the fervor seen around Chanel’s purple-y black Vamp, and that the color of said polish would be a creamy, sickly green (currently selling for over $100 on eBay). We miss the 90s.

The Phenom: Alexander Wang
To recap: Wang’s Fall 2009 show in February was one of the most surprisingly difficult to land a ticket to (you could literally feel the buzz building around this kid), and by his Spring 2010 show in September, he was headlining Milk Studios’ calendar, sold out his accessories collection in hours and hosted an after-party with Courtney Love in a 14th Street gas station-turned bar. He’s so good, it’s scary.

No money for a store? Try a pop-up! Need a fast influx of cash? Try a collaboration!
Every time we turned around this year, there was another pop-up installation (Brooklyn Flea “Gifted” Market in Manhattan! L.A.’s Jenni Kayne suddenly has a shop in Soho!) and cross-brand collaboration (Opening Ceremony + Wild Things! Rodarte + Target!). Sure, it was overwhelming, but maybe it was exactly the kind of interspecies mingling that one needs to keep the tribe alive.

The New Golden Touch: MObama
Forget Oprah, forget Stephanie Meyer—this year, everything Michelle Obama touched turned to gold, from
J.Crew to Jason Wu. Within a year, a style blogger who was covering the First Lady’s ensembles had already scored a book deal (Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy), and Jenna Lyons of J.Crew earned herself a reported million-dollar bonus.

The Dearly Departed: Christian Lacroix & Martin Margiela
No, they’re not dead, but they’re certainly done with fashion for the time being. Lacroix’s house could not be saved from its own towering debt and was reduced to a mere licensing business with a handful of employees, while the mysterious Margiela quietly took his leave from the house he created, with no clear intentions to ever return.