Ruth Bell at Gucci SS 16. Photo by Sonny Vandevelde.



Celebrating The Biggest Fashion Moments Of 2015

It’s finally December 31st, and the year is coming to a close. Tonight at midnight, as people pour champagne down their throats and make poor decisions about driving their cars, 2015 will fade away. And what will remain? ISIS? Global warming? Trump? Oh, the sweet memories.

But some good things did happen in 2015! In the fashion world, it was an exciting year, filled with designer shakeups and genderless clothing and all sorts of delightful craziness (and some actually scary craziness). Here, we’re looking back on the most important moments of 2015. Here’s to the next year! We pray that none of you will vomit tonight, but no guarantees. Happy New Year!

Designers Got Real About Racism

MADE alumnus Kerby Jean-Raymond, the designer behind Pyer Moss, makes incredibly cool clothing, and he also made a real statement. For his spring collection, Jean-Raymond created a video featuring activists and creatives alike, all of whom were interviewed about race, racism, and police brutality. “The video is really challenging the narrative that’s been sort forth by media,” he told us. “People who aren’t accustomed to black people, who have only seen us on television, might think that we’re aggressive, or that we’re less than, or that we deserve to be killed by the police.” Jean-Raymond saw a real problem, and he decided to do something about it, with both the video and a collection focused on police brutality. He and other designers and activists in the industry are trying for real change, and we applaud them.

These Pyer Moss boots reflected the worst of police brutality.

Major Shakeups At Fashion Houses

The two biggest shockers of the year happened in a span of a week. Raf Simons left Dior, and just a few days later, Alber Elbaz was ousted from Lanvin. Both designers disparaged the speed at which fashion moves these days. As Simons told The Cut, “When you do six shows a year, there’s not enough time for the whole process. You have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important.” Balenciaga also went through major changes, as creative director Alexander Wang left after less than three years. His replacement, Demna Gvasalia, echoed Simons and Elbaz’s sentiments.  “You know we deliver winter in July; it doesn’t make any sense…It’s just so confused that I feel something needs to happen to find a new mechanism or system to work because it is a lot of money wasted as well, on development, on selling things we don’t really need,” he said. With all these displacements and controversies, will the powers that be change things up? We’re… not exactly holding our breath.

Lanvin SS16. Photo by Sonny Vandevelde.

Marc Jacobs Was Naked On Instagram And Made A Shirt About It

Marc Jacobs accidentally posted his (very nice) butt on Instagram, with the caption “It’s yours to try!” So, how did he handle the humiliation of being nude in front of his hundreds of thousands of followers? The man made a t-shirt, gently poking fun at himself, that he then sold in stores. It’s been said many times that Jacobs is a genius, but this might be the best thing he’s ever done. And just a few weeks later, he showed a triumphant collection celebrating America at this writer’s favorite venue in New York, the Ziegfeld Theater. Marc rules.


Designers Found Innovative Ways To Show Their Collections

There’s a lot of controversy at the moment about the fashion calendar. But although the traditional seasons may still be in place, designers definitely found a lot of ways to shake things up. MADE designers like Telfar and Gypsy Sport showed their collections in creative and offbeat ways; Telfar showed a mesmerizing video and was heavily inspired by White Castle. He served up the square burgers at both the show and the afterparty, which was in an actual White Castle. Gypsy Sport’s amazing models vogued and breakdanced down the runway, making for a truly incredible show. Other designers left the catwalk behind entirely, like Vaquera and Shan Huq, who both showed in churches, and Nicopanda, which gorgeously took over a gentleman’s club in the Financial District.

Nicopanda, shot by Christine Hahn.

Diversity In Modeling Is On The Rise

While the modeling industry is still so, so far from perfect, strides were made this year. The runways were only slightly less white than last year (get it together, world), but models of color were heavily featured in shows like Hood By AirLineisy Montero ruled the runway, and Jourdan Dunn won model of the year at the BFAs — she was nominated alongside Malaika Firth, adding a hint of diversity to proceedings that are traditionally very white.

A number of designers, like Gypsy Sport and Moses Gauntlett Cheng, worked outside the standard gender spectrum, and trans models like Hari Nef continue to kill it. 2015 was also a good year for body positivity. Lane Bryant launched their massively successful “Plus Is Equal” campaign, and the campaign’s major star, Ashley Graham, continues to do better and better (she was just featured in the LOVE’s advent calendar). Plus size (or “curve”) models are just getting more successful; for example, the world seems to have fallen in love with Barbara Ferreira, who gets more Internet famous by the day. We believe it’ll all go IRL very, very soon.

Barbara Ferreira by Petra Collins for It’s Me and You.

Givenchy Came To New York

The historic French house said au revoir to Paris, and showed in NYC for the first time. It was a massive, massive show, filled with pop stars and Kardashians. But there was a somber air to the event; Givenchy’s show took place on September 11th, on a pier in the Financial District. The date didn’t go ignored. Marina Abramovic, one of Creative Director Riccardo Tisci’s closest friends, designed an introduction that included a couple wrapped in a tight embrace, in full view of One World Trade Center, as a Buddhist monk chanted. The soundtrack of the show itself incorporated hymns from different languages and religions; as Abramovic said, “Our choice of music, from six different cultures and religions, has the power to unite people without discrimination.”

The show was big and expensive, and the afterparty was maybe even more gaudy and wild. But Tisci still managed to respectfully pay homage to the most horrific day in American history. It felt more like a homecoming than a departure.

Givenchy SS16. Photo by Sonny Vandevelde.

Our favorite collection: Everything by Alessandro Michele for Gucci

Alessandro: we love you. We love you so, so much. Those patterns! That 70s style! The layering! The brocade! Please never go away. You are perfect.

Gucci FW 15.
Gucci FW 15. Photo by Sonny Vandevelde.

Stay tuned to Milk for fashion in 2016.

Milk exclusive images by Christine Hahn and Sonny Vandevelde. Additional imagery via Fernando Leon, Petra Collins, and Instagram.  

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