Tops in 2013

From LuluLemon’s Bad Year to Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian’s Baby Bumps, The Year in Fashion News

John Galliano made a comeback (sort of), Alexander Wang nailed his Balenciaga debut, and Marc Jacobs left Louis Vuitton to take his namesake label public. Plus, more major moments.

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The past year had its ups and downs. There was Alexander Wang's stunning debut for Balenciaga and Anna Wintour's new role at Condé Nast. There was John Galliano's kind-of comeback, and a series of really bad PR stunts for Lululemon. There was tragedy and mourning for the Missoni family, and even some jail time for Dolce & Gabbana. In the ever-rovolving door of fashion, here's a look at 2013's biggest happenings. 

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Alexander Wang's Balenciaga Debut

Expectations were high for Alexander Wang's debut Balenciaga collection during Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013. Although some were concerned by the 30-year-old designer's young age and "lack of" experience in the fashion industry, Wang pulled off his first French fashion show with a bang. The collection featured marbled patterns and voluminous jackets, and, most importantly, stayed true to the aesthetic that Cristobal Balenciaga himself created. The New York Times's Cathy Horyn wrote of the collection: "Mr. Wang brought his street smarts to those couture volumes that are indelibly Balenciaga. He minimized them so that they looked more realistic for today. He reduced the construction so that, in effect, the look was a top and a pair of trousers, or over-the-knee bots in black suede modestly decorated with silver metal knots. But the results were not boringly minimalist." Suzy Menkes dubbed it a "promising start," while the Financial Times's Vanessa Friedman said, "it was clean, it was exact."

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The Missoni Family Tragedy

It was a sad year of mourning for the Missoni family, who lost two of its members—Vittorio and Ottavio Missoni. In January, it was reported that a prop plane carrying Vittorio Missoni and three other passengers went missing after leaving the Los Roques islands, just off the coast of Venezuela. After almost a year of grueling investigations and hope that Missoni and the other passengers were alive, the plane's wreckage was discovered in deep ocean waters. In October, the family came forward and identified a found body as the missing Vittorio. In the midst of that tragedy, the family lost another member. In May, Ottavio Missoni, founder of the luxury knitwear brand, passed away at the age of 92 at his home in Italy. 

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John Galliano Makes a Comeback (Sort Of)

Seemingly shunned by the fashion community, John Galliano was back on everyone's radar in 2013. The most surprising news came in January, when it was announced that Galliano would be doing a three-week apprenticeship in Oscar de la Renta's NYC studio, as well as assisting with the designer's Fall/Winter 2013 collection (the pieces, including bucket hats and dark capes, certainly resonated with Galliano's aesthetic). Following Galliano's collaboration with de la Renta, there was speculation that he would be named the 81-year-old designer's successor. Galliano's future with the company, however, remains uncertain.

 

This past year, Galliano also began addressing his public issues, giving his first print and television interviews since his anti-semetic and racist rant in October 2010 that cost him his Dior gig. In June, Galliano sat down with talk show host Charlie Rose—and a month later he opened up to Vanity Fair—with whom he discussed his childhood taunting and substance abuse issues, both of which he claims contribute to the extreme anger he experiences today. To round out his comeback, Galliano was tapped as a guest fashion editor for British Vogue and was selected to design costumes for Steven Fry's upcoming stage adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

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Anna Wintour's New Role

In March, Anna Wintour solidified her spot as Queen of Condé Nast when she was named Artistic Director of the company, in addition to her demanding position as Vogue's editor-in-chief. Wintour's new job consists of taking on some of S.I. Newhouse Jr.'s editorial roles, as well as "look for new talent and reinforce aesthetic." Wintour addressed her new role, stating, "It is something I do a lot anyway in my role at Vogue. I advise all sorts of people in the outside world, and really, I see this as an extension of what I am doing, but on a broader scale." First on Wintour's agenda? Re-vamping the shopping glossy Lucky magazine, to which she replaced then editor-in-chief Brandon Holley with young editress Eva Chen, whom Wintour describe as the "quintessential Lucky girl." Chen then made major internal editorial changes of her own, adding people like legendary stylist Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele to the staff and placing Blake Lively on its first, more high-fashion oriented September cover. Next on Wintour's plate is rebranding Glamour magazine, which lost over 28% of newstand sales in the past year. 

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Lululemon's REALLY Bad Year

Talk about bad luck. There were sheer pants, fat-shaming comments, and a loss of practically all its top-level employees. It's a surprise Lululemon didn't just call it quits. In March, the company came forward, announcing what men already knew: that yoga pants are see-through. As a result, the company had to recall 17 percent of its leggings, creating an uncontrollable PR disaster, as well as an estimated $67 million loss in sales. Only three months after the sheer pants epidemic, Christine Day resigned from her position of CEO (if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen, right?), leaving the position empty for the rest of the year. Then, there was the outspoken, fat-shaming founder Chip Wilson, who claimed that some women's bodies simply don't work for Lululemon products. It seems that he too couldn't handle the backlash—Wilson resigned from the company in early December.

Larry Busacca/Getty; Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Battle of the Baby Bumps: Kim vs. Kate

It was a battle of American "royalty" versus the actual British monarchy when Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton's pregnancies overlapped by six months. Kim received serious backlash for her pregnancy weight gain, while Kate somehow remained stick-thin right until baby Prince George was born. More talked about than their soon-to-be kin, however, was their maternity style. Poor Kim—in her newfound fashion glory—tried so hard to be embraced by the style world, sporting sky-high stilettos that were way-too-tight for her swollen feet, and, sigh, that horrid custom Givenchy dress to the Met Gala. Several poor clothing choices and a 65-pound weight gain later, Kardashian experienced serious fat shaming for her pregnany pounds. The high-point of her pregnancy? Landing the cover of CR Fashion Book's third issue, baby bump and all. Middleton, on the other hand, continued to show she reigns in the style court with an array of simple and classy overcoats and frocks. As usual, Kate did it better.

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Dolce & Gabbana Receive Jail Time

If you want to play, you've got to pay. Designers Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana were sentenced to one year and eight months in jail following reports of tax evasion. The duo's trial began in December 2012 after accusations that they had sold Dolce & Gabbana to a holding company in Luxembourg in 2004 to avoid corporate taxes. As a result, prosecutors speculated that the company owed over $400 million in taxes (which they were later fined) to the Italian government. In June, after a six-month long trail, Dolce and Gabbana were found guilty.

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Louis Vuitton's Revolving Door

The rumor mill was in full gear when speculations surfaced that Marc Jacobs would be leaving his 16-year-stint at Louis Vuitton. The news was confirmed in October, with Jacobs ending his tenure with an unforgettable presentation: a runway show that encapsulated some of his most recognizable collections at Vuitton (the Spring/Summer 2001 collaboration with graffiti artist Stephen Sprouse and the escalator entrance from the Spring/Summer 2013 show). Following Jacobs's announcement, the rumor mill continued to spin, speculating Nicolas Ghesquière—who left Balenciaga in November 2012—was the most likely candidate to take the reins at Vuitton. Once again correct, Louis Vuitton confirmed on November 4 that Ghesquière would become the company's new artistic director, starting with the Fall/Winter 2014 collection. Jacobs, on the other hand, is reportedly taking his company public within in the next three years.

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Angela Ahrendts Leaves Burberry for Apple

Burberry has been one of the top design company's to embrace the integration of fashion and technology; the company was the first to live-stream its runway show, and its most recent collection was filmed on the then-unreleased iPhone 5s. Angela Ahrendts joined Burberry in 2006 and began expanding the British brand into U.S. markets, pushing retail into areas including Asia and Africa, and restructuring the brand's internal corporate ladder. After seven years with the company, Ahrendts called it quits and made a surprising move to Apple as senior vice president of retail and stores. Christopher Bailey was named CEO in her place and will maintain his former position as chief creative officer of the brand.

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Lady Gaga Becomes the Face of Versace

Lady Gaga and Donatella Versace have always had a close friendship, so it was no surprise when the designer selected the pop star to front the brand's Spring/Summer 2014 campaign. Rumors circulated in November that Gaga had been shot for the upcoming ad in London by photography duo Mert and Marcus. Only a few weeks later, the Queen of Pop was confirmed as the face of Versace, with campaign images surfacing of Gaga sporting the iconic Versace Medusa, looking like a serious Donatella doppleganger. Plus, Gaga dedicated an entire song on her ARTPOP album to Donatella. Now that's true friendship.

Ben Gabbe/Getty; Time & Life Pictures/Getty; Slim Aarons/Getty

RIP

The fashion world lost some of its most beloved members this year. Celebrity stylist Annabel Tollman died of natural causes at the age of 39. John Casablancas, founder of Elite Model Management (and known for turning some of the world's biggest names—including Naomi Campbell, Iman, and Cindy Crawford—into supermodels) passed away from cancer. Longtime designer—and print lover—Lily Pulitzer left behind a legacy of Floridian patterns and vibrant colors when she passed away in April at the age of 81.