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LIFE

We look back at the big moments in fashion for 2014

Take a trip down memory lane as we revisit 2014's most defining fashion moments

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 December, 2014, 11:37am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 December, 2014, 11:37am

The chic Amal Alamuddin, the high-profile lawyer who married George Clooney, emerged as one of this year's biggest sartorial sensations. She won points for style and substance, as well as catching the heart of Hollywood's most notorious bachelor.

The fashion industry wasn't prepared when Anna Wintour dedicated Vogue US's April cover to Kimye (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West) decked out in their wedding finery. It provoked plenty of criticism, but Wintour had the last laugh, as sales exceeded expectations (it's estimated the issue sold more than 300,000 copies).

In November came the image that was supposed to break the internet: Kim's nude and well-oiled derriere on the cover of Paper Magazine.

The one Kardashian the high-fashion set were happy to embrace is Kim's stepsister and model, Kendall Jenner. In less than a year the 19-year-old has gone from bratty reality TV star to model du jour, opening big shows at Paris Fashion Week and fronting campaigns for mega brands such as Givenchy and Estée Lauder.

There was the usual round of inexplicable celebrity trends inspired by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Pharrell Williams - don't get us started on that huge hat!

The power moves

This year marked change for some of the world's biggest luxury brands as new and familiar faces stepped into various creative roles. The fashion season kicked off with a range of debuts, including Asian designer Jason Wu, who brought some glamour to German brand Hugo Boss, while Jeremy Scott's tongue-in-cheek collection at Moschino poked fun at fashion and consumerism by way of McDonald's. Johnny Coca from Céline joined Mulberry as head of the British accessories label. The one that everyone had their eye on however was ex-Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere, who showed his first collection for Louis Vuitton featuring an uber luxe collection of staples from 1970s-style dresses to understated leather coats.

And while Rihanna caused a stir when it was announced that she is to join Puma as its new creative director, the one we will all be watching come March is John Galliano. The couturier will be making a comeback as creative director for cerebral fashion house Maison Martin Margiela. We already got a sneak peek of what's to come when Anna Wintour stepped out wearing a Galliano for Margiela piece recently.

Hi-tech hustle

Ralph Lauren's Polo for women launched in Central Park in September with the world's first 4D holographic fashion show projected onto a wall of water.

And fashion's obsession with technology took a new turn this year as we moved from digital content to wearable technology. It started with designer Diane von Furstenberg teaming up with Google to give its Google Glass frames a fashionable makeover (she first showed them on her catwalk show in 2012). Retailer Opening Ceremony partnered with Intel to create a luxury smart bracelet dubbed Mica, while Tory Burch collaborated with FitBit. In September Ralph Lauren charted new territory by bringing the trend to clothing by dressing ballboys at the US Open in a black shirt that can monitor heart rate, breathing and stress levels.

The one item, however, that everyone wants a piece of is Apple's iWatch. In September Apple invited several high-profile fashion editors to the launch to reveal the watch's functions, which include health, home and mobile payments. A few weeks later at Paris Fashion Week, designers including Karl Lagerfeld attended a private presentation at Colette to see the designs, including an ultra luxe gold version. It's even made the cover of Vogue - and it's not gone on sale yet! Surely that's a sign of good things to come.

Fond farewells

Several designers ended their contracts this year, including Christophe Lemaire at Hermès, Peter Copping at Nina Ricci, Guillaume Henry at Carven and Marco Zanini, who left Schiaparelli after just two collections. At Gucci there was a double whammy as both creative director Frida Giannini and her boyfriend, chief executive Patrizio di Marco, announced they were leaving. Giannini's final show for the brand is not until February, but everyone is already speculating about who will fill her shoes.

Beyond the catwalks, we lost some of our most beloved designers and influencers. Mick Jagger's partner, designer L'Wren Scott, tragically took her life earlier this year. The industry mourned the loss of noted Central Saint Martins professor and mentor Louise Wilson, and fashion commentator Joan Rivers died in September. The biggest shock, however, was the loss of designer Oscar de la Renta, who succumbed to cancer in October. R.I.P.

Wardrobes of the elite

Far from the runways, the world's political elite had their own fashion moment this year. The striking purple and green traditional Zhongshan suits (more commonly called the Mao suit) that head of states wore to the Apec summit in Beijing caused quite a stir stylistically, not least because they had a touch of Star Trek about them.

It was really much ado about a coat when Russian President Vladimir Putin draped his over Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan at an Apec event. Putin's gallant gesture was noticed by the media, sending tongues wagging and mainland internet censors into overdrive.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first official visit to the US had the usual amount of world media scrutiny, with style critics divided over what to make of the Duchess' style. Some praised her quiet, understated elegance; others called her sartorially boring.

The snooze button

Maybe it's trend fatigue but the most influential fashion movement of the year actually took place on the streets as men and women embraced "normcore" (which, according to Wikipedia, can be defined as "a unisex fashion trend characterised by unpretentious, average-looking clothing"). GAP had its "dress normal" advertising campaign showing plain jeans, T-shirts and simple sweaters. Cue the rise of nondescript clothing ranging from simple black blazers and T-shirts to jeans and sneakers.

Designers also jumped on the bandwagon, adding their own luxe take to everyday essentials. Celebrities weren't immune, either, as red carpet arrivals lacked their usual lustre. Just as well Joan Rivers wasn't around to witness it.