What we have always loved about fashion is it’s potential to bring joy. We as HighSnobette editors feel so lucky to not only have witnessed many of these special moments but to also have come to know and watch grow many of the artists and designers behind some of our favorite projects. Below in no particular order we share what we regard as some of the best, joy-bringing efforts of 2012:
Designer Melody Ehsani’s star has been on the rise for quite some time now, but her “Queen of the Jungle” necklace (above) in many ways stamped her official arrival. We lost count of the stylish celebrities spotted in this vivacious fun piece.
Leah McSweeney has always been a force of personality. She literally is the MTTM brand, as backed by an intensely loyal supporting staff + fan base. Like many young brands the label went through its stumbles when investors pulled out, but the tenacious McSweeney was able to hold on to the name and this year the label found its own inimitable stride again, as marked by the brand’s “Supreme Bitch” snapback cap, which received the blessing of none other mega-style star Rihanna.
Akin to children of rockstars, Ronnie Fieg is street-inspired retail royalty, having cut his teeth working the floor of famed New York City retailer David Z starting in his teens. In 2012 we were so excited to see him take the bold step of opening his own store, Kith, a format for him to continue to showcase his talent, creativty and hustle-man acumen.
More than a designer Jules Kim embodies the artist’s life and as such her creations for her label Bijules have always had a dreamy feeling, like a direct manifestation of our collective unconscious, not perhaps as palpable as terra firma but every bit as real and important. Her ‘Il Futura” collection is perhaps her most groundbreaking one yet, pushing forward the boundaries of how we view and wear jewellery.
Alexander Wang as new creative director for Balenciaga—we’ve always seen him as immensely talented and very much of his generation so we while we were sad to see the great Nicolas Ghesquière go, we think Wang has the potential to help the storied Spanish label soar to new heights. Wang as a man of color heading a European fashion house is an extra serving of icing on the cake.
Prada’s Spring 2012 runway (one of the featured shoes as worn by Carine Roitfeld below) will go down in history as one of Miuccia’s and the fashion world’s greatest—artistic, joyful, new married with old, statement making yet still wearable, all the characteristics that go into any historic collection.
Celine Autumn 2012—a watershed collection that defined the current moment in fashion—new minamalism as defined by sleek chic looks with a hint of decadence around the edges.
A-Morir designer Kerin Rose’s Skytop sneaker collaboration with Supra, the first female the brand has ever collaborated with, produced a set a kicks that warmed our sequin-covered hearts to their core.
Not forgetting the art world, we loved designer and artist Ayana Evans’ performance art piece Operation Catsuit, a video which in a somewhat hidden though totally exposed manner, Evans examined the community’s views on race, sexuality, and the feminine form. The reactions are fascinating, especially Evans’ own attempt in the end to make sense of it all.
Let us take a moment to toot our own horn—we the Snobettes were extrememly honored to be tapped by Adidas as creative directors behind the #WhiteSpaceProject for NYC. Thanks to Coco & Breezy and Yuna who helped realize our vision and brought it all home for us.
Rihanna, Rihanna & Rihanna: She continues to serves as our patron fashion saint of what HighSnobette stands for, but we viewed the unexpected pixie haircut she revealed at the MTV VMAs in September as a standout style moment. Props to her longtime hair stylist Ursula Stephan, who has been a great partner in realizing Rihanna’s tresses-related visions.
Through her wry humor using her love of fashion as her foil, Leandra Medine, better known as blogger Man Repeller, has charmed the pants off of us since her arrival. Here was a woman who understood the conflict that exists between fashion and feminine ideals, chose loyalty to the former and rather than depressing us with tales of woe cracked us all up and helped teach us to take ourselves a little seriously. What a delight that our hero in 2012 found true love, marrying her prince charming (that’s Medine in her Marchesa gown below), who accepted her layering pieces and all.
The launch of Girls by HBO heralded the arrival of an incredible new talent and fresh voice, Lena Dunham. We mostly watch for the (sometimes overly) real-feeling drama each week but as fashion editors were also fascinated by the subplot that is Dunham’s sly commentary on modern-day style.
Frank Ocean coming out party—it was a long time coming, but hiphop has finally started down the path of disgarding its sad legacy of homophobia. Some credit one could argue should be granted to rap artists Kanye West and Asap Rocky, who foreshadowed the moment by repeatedly heralding their friendships with designers who happen to be gay, as well championing the cause of passing on judgements based on one’s sexual orientation.
Nike Dunk Sky Hi–Given its hardcore commitment to performance as a brand statement, the sneaker brand giant’s willingness to create a style that was strictly made to look pretty was major news (and btw a story that we broke–see image below) even if the rest of sneaker world didn’t see it that way. Honorable mention to Nike’s Fly Knit, not as much the shoe itself as the marketing that is so much of Nike’s genius. Because while a sneaker featuring a knitted upper is hardly revolutionary, you have to give props to Nike for its ability to build unprecedented levels of hype and anticipation around this “new” concept.
80%20 Original Hidden Wedge—while a lot of credit for the hidden wedge movement is given to the talented Isabel Marant, truth be told it was New-York designer Ce Ce Chin, who first launched the modern day version of the concept. Our favorite style this year was the smart “Pepper” wedge ankle boot, though we also adored the brand’s “Edie,” not a wedge, rather an open-toed loafer that speaks to Chin’s finesse for staying one innovative step ahead of the competition.
We were thrilled by Nailgasm, a documentary directed by Brass who explores nail art from it’s roots in black communities to current trends and leading designers. Brass also spearheading the funding for the production, which is anow vailable to view on line.
While many of the pieces did not sell out as predicted, the H&M and Maison Martin Margiela collaboration is worthy of mention as an event that had fashion lovers clutching their pearls in 2012. H&M earned kudos from design lovers everywhere for forming a major venture with a label that until recently was mostly known for its following of in-the-know devotees. And despite knowing the garments might be less commercially viable, H&M allowed Margiela to be Margiela, with many of the pieces from the collabo reissues from collections that were shown long before the bump in popularity it received from Kanye West and ASAP Rocky lyric mentions.
And finally, we were thrilled with all the babies born in the year 2012, fresh hope all of them including the famous ones we tend to hear the most about—Vivien, daughter of Giselle; Sienna, daughter of Adriana Lima; Romy, daughter of Julia Roitfeld; Marialucas, daughter of Mariacarlo Boscono; Noah, son of Alessandra Ambrosio; and of course Blue Ivy (below), daughter of Beyonce. Kisses and best wishes to them and to you in 2013!