I have a particular perspective on history.
It used to seem to me that history is something really far from us. Something we study, we try to understand and remember.
Teachers in school usually tell us we are the result of our ancestors’ choices, but we don’t really consider history as something that belongs to us.
History is unreachable, untouchable, fascinating. Have you ever considered we will be one of those ancestors too?
Have you ever thought that what we’re living now will be considered history one day, not so far from today?
And what about fashion? Which memorable events of 2015 will be remembered as important moments of fashion history, 50 or 100 years from now?
So here are some events that in my opinion were relevant in 2015 and could possibly have a deep influence on fashion in the future, or at least be worth remembering.
I always welcome suggestions, so after reading my list, if I forgot something (I make amend but an entire year full of fashion news is actually challenging to monitor) you’re very welcome to add your thoughts in the comments.
Ready to look back at 2015?
Museums are celebrating fashion more than ever as the number of visitors to these events is soaring.
These exhibitions are not only a way to celebrate the stars of fashion history but also a way to influence today’s culture and be a reference for the future.
March 8 – Lanvin at Galliera
Celebrating the 125th anniversary from the foundation, Jeanne Lanvin exhibition opens at Galliera. The exhibition is under the supervision of the creative director Alber Elbaz.
March 14 – Savage Beauty
“Savage Beauty” moves from Met in New York to London at the V&A. The fabulous work of arts of Lee McQueen needed more space in Europe and all his creative efforts moved back where it all began. In London.
April 1 – Jean Paul Gaultier
Since starting its international tour in June 2011, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” has drawn more than a million visitors. In its tenth stop, the exhibit has returned home to Paris, at Grand Palais, which for the very first time staged a designer exhibition.
April 6 – YSL + Halston
At the Museum at FIT NYC opens “YSL + Halston: Fashioning the ’70s”. The exhibition aims to find a correspondence between the two designers, whose works during the seventies was very closely related. The exhibition will have a great influence on seasonal trends.
May 1 – Armani
Giorgio Armani opens his first museum dedicated to his entire career in fashion. Armani Sylos is a gift for the city of Milan from an incredible entrepreneur and a great Italian designer .
May 7 – China at the Met
The Met Exhibition “China: through the looking glass” explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western Fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries.
June 3 – Shoes at V&A
At the V&A in London opens the exhibition dedicated to the history of shoes “Pleasure and Pain”, which looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes. A memorable journey through time and space.
These are some of the most talked about fashion designers and brands of the year.
Will they become established brands of the future or lose their momentum in the next few years?
Mansur Gavriel debuted their first shoes collection, expanding their product line after the ravishing success of their statement bags, upon which their business is based.
The founder of Self Portrait Studio, Han Chong, made the fashion world talk about the brand’s breakthrough in 2015. The designer created a hit, reinventing the concept of a must have piece, within an affordable price range.
Anya Hindmarch hit a sweet spot for the customization trend. Through her signature leather stickers she created a whole new world of accessories, dedicated to make unique your bags and purses. Such creativity and wit gave the brand an international success.
2015 will be remembered for the many changes at the creative helm of some historic fashion houses.
The most unexpected appointment of Alessandro Michele as creative director of Gucci has already made waves in the fashion world. Will this be the most lasting story of the year in the future history of fashion?
January 12 – Galliano at Margiela
Galliano debuted as Margiela’s creative director. Fashion world applauded the poetic and effortless talent of Galliano, who decided to not walk down on the runway at the end of his maiden show, according to Margiela’s best tradition. A new era for couture may have opened.
February 18 – Peter Copping at Oscar de la Renta
First catwalk collection designed by Peter Copping for Oscar de la Renta. After Oscar de la Renta’s passing in 2014, this is the first collection ever to not be designed by the founder of the fashion house. The brand’s past and its future gathered together to witness the changing of the guard.
February 26 – Alessandro Michele at Gucci
Alessandro Michele designed his first Gucci collection. The change of style was so strong and so impactful, that the fashion world just couldn’t ignore, and put the Italian designer in the spotlight. His balanced chaos and romantic attitude will have a strong influence on seasonal trends and Gucci will regain the front covers of fashion magazines.
September 9 – Chow and Osborne at Donna Karan
Donna Karan debuted under the new artistic direction. Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne think about a different type of woman, a millennial in a perpetual state of progression and discovery. Both are determined to avoid a deep archive dive lest they risk suffocation by a storied past. Donna Karan without Donna Karan for the first time ever.
October 7 – Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga
Balenciaga appointed Demna Gvasalia as new creative director.
Following the sudden departure of Alexander Wang, Balenciaga has appointed the Georgian designer, co-founder of Vetements, a designer collective, to take over the creative direction of the Parisian label. Another major change in fashion and a thrilling appointment for the next fashion season, as this is one of the most interesting venture to observe in the years ahead.
October 22 – Raf Simons
Raf Simons left Dior. After a difficult decision Raf Simons decided to quit as creative director of one the most important fashion houses in the world. He felt the world around him was too superficial to think about new ideas and too fast to be matched with his creative effort.
Should the future of fashion really focus on changing its mechanisms to support designers in fulfilling their creative potential?
October 28 – Alber Elbaz
Alber Elbaz surprisingly left Lanvin after a gorgeous career and an exhibition, celebrating the 125 years of the Maison.
His sudden departure might suggest his vested interest in following the footsteps of other celebrated designers to Dior’s creative direction? We will soon discover how the history of the House of Dior will play its new chapter.
Goodbye to these Italian fashion icons
Micol Fontana, co-founder with her sisters of the Fontana Atelier in Rome, died at the age of 98; Elio Fiorucci died in his home in Milan and Mariuccia Mandelli, better known as Krizia, died at the age of 90.
These people have played a significant part of the Italian fashion history and their work and dedication to fashion will be remembered and esteemed.
As consumers keep a voracious appetite for fashion latest hits, the fashion system itself confronts serious issues that will inevitably be a part of its future in the years to come.
November 6 – Balmain for H&M
Balmain for H&M sells out in a moment. After a thrilling party, a prefect fashion show and thousands of hashtag #balmaination, the collection is sold in one morning, both on-line and in-store. The affordable 80′s inspired style of Balmain conquered the customers.
March 1 – Dolce & Gabbana on family
Dolce&Gabbana Viva la mamma collection hit the catwalk as a celebration of motherhood, dedicated to all the mothers of the world. The collection wanted to portrait the perfect ”Famiglia” (with also a pregnant Bianca Balti on the catwalk). Dolce&Gabbana without any kind of diplomacy take sides against “synthetic children”, provoking the stark reaction of Elton John: “Boycott them!”.
May 29 – The True Cost
“The True Cost” documentary has been released. Produced by Livia Firth, it shows the real environmental impact and alarming human costs behind the huge business of fast fashion. This is a movie that makes consumers reflect on the meaningless products of fast fashion, analyzing the workers conditions and the impact this industry has on our planet. Somehow devastating and cruel, the movie is a fundamental turning point for the fashion industry.
July 28 – Birkin vs Hermes
Jane Birkin tells Hermes to change the name of its Birkin bag, one of the luxury goods maker’s best-selling bags due to what she calls “cruel” crocodile farming and slaughtering practices.
The CFDA Fashion Awards aim to recognize extraordinary design excellence across the industry, and these were 2015 most relevant winners:
- Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row as womenswear designers of the year
- Tom Ford as meanswer
- Tabitha Simmons as accessories
- International award to Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino
Although by now most fashionable moments happen in the streets for everyone to see, exclusive red carpet events still give us moments to remember, through the carefully curated looks wore by today’s shiniest stars.
January 25 – Emma Stone
Emma Stone in Christian Dior Couture attended the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
February 8 – Rihanna
Rihanna in Gian Battista Valli Haute Couture attended the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
February 22 – Lupita Nyong’o
Lupita Nyong’o attended the 87th annual Academy Awards in a Calvin Klein collection dress, a custom pearl and ivory beaded gown, which was stolen after the show.
May 4 – Rihanna
Rihanna, in a huge Gou Pei Couture attended the “China: through the looking glass” Costume Benefit Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art.
So this is my selection of some of the most significant moments of this year in fashion.
A list of events that in 100 years will awake the curiosity of people, fascinating our descendants.
Curiosities, facts, exhibitions and catalogues, awards, rumors, everything is part of fashion history and even if we consider it present, so forgettable, sometimes boring and not so valuable, what we’re living now will be part of a story in the future.
And even if fashion history addicts (here I am) have an adoration for the past, I want to enjoy being part of history now, in this confusing and chaotic fashion present!