The Fashion Statement: The Top Ten Fashion Influences of 2009
For a year that was fraught with Depression era-like woes, 2009 wasn't a bad year for fashion. Here's an informal roundup of the year's top 10 inspirations.
Michelle Obama: From the inaugural gown by Jason Wu to the shorts scandal over the summer, the First Lady kept our interest. She spoke volumes to the fashion community by launching the careers of little-known American designers giving them a leg up when they needed it most.
M.C. Hammer: Harem pants was a huge trend of 2009 but the look hasn't come back without controversy. In November, the Wall Street Journal took a look at the fad and quoted Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour as saying, "To be honest, they are not my favorite."
Michael Jackson: Michael Jackson's death was arguably the biggest media story of the year. Suddenly, blogs, TV and magazines were saturated with images of military jackets, pedal pushers, white socks, fedoras and penny loafers. Harper's Bazaar's September issue paid tribute with Agyness Deyn dressed as the King of Pop.
Playboy Bunnies: Marc Jacobs can be blamed for the bunny ears, but the larger fashion news story was the over-the-knee boots (or OTKs) that first emerged on Madonna courtesy of Louis Vuitton (also designed by Jacobs). Numerous designers from Prada to Hussein Chalayan made the movement a force to be reckoned with in the footwear biz.
Mad Men: Skinny suits for men has been in Italy for years and American menswear designers like Thom Browne was an early proponent. But TV show Mad Men has arguably played a role in adapting the American male's eye to the '60s trim silhouette.
Gallery: The Fashion Statement, Trends 2009
Africa and the Middle East: First there was Ralph Lauren's spring 2009 collection of djellabas, turbans and black veils. Then Givenchy took the Middle Eastern route sending out models elbow-deep in gold cuffs and weighed down in heavy veils of ornate gold jewelry no doubt influenced by the great veil debate in France. Whether they were making a statement or not, designers were all about North African and Middle-Eastern dress.
Boogie Nights: Towering platform heels threatened to unseat the "Hemline Theory" as a stock market barometer. The shoe theory is conversely: he worse the economy gets, the higher the platform shoes. Alexander McQueen sent out dangerous versions.
Marlene Dietrich: The '40s was one of the strongest themes of the year. Hollywood-like glamorous gowns, somber tweeds, fur stoles, strong shoulders and the exaggerated hip-to-waist ratio channeled Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn and Joan Crawford.
The Economy: The economy did more than turn fashion magazines into the size of newsletters and kill fashion companies like Christian Lacroix. Designers reached back to the '30s for elements like pageboy hats, cropped trousers and distressed jeans.