This is my 2011 fashion round-up. It’s more vitriolic than my usual fare, but let’s all be nice to each other, eh?
1. John Galliano, the world’s foremost fascist fantasist – whoops, sorry, I meant FASHION fantasist (Freudian slip of the hand there) has not had a good year. He lost his coveted job at Dior, became essentially unemployable and for what? Telling a woman that she had a ‘dirty Jewish face’. Is that such a crime? Oh wait, he was in France and anti-semitism is actually a crime there. Galliano’s excuse in court was that he was an addict, which makes perfect sense and is in no way a pathetic, facile excuse for inciting hatred.
2. Speaking of borderline Nazism, Marc Jacobs took inspiration from seminal sado-masochistic film ‘The Night Porter’ (in which a Jewish woman develops a master-slave relationship with her former camp commandant) for his Autumn/Winter Louis Vuitton show. The show is highly praised for it’s daring inventiveness, which is largely due to Jacobs essentially ’discovering’ the high-heeled welly. A generation of woman sigh and ignore the fetish trend entirely because it is totally useless – much like the aforementioned wellies. I’m fairly sure that we won’t be seeing businesswomen in latex suits and moms dropping off their tots to Montessori school in full bridle, harness and SS cap gear but, unless your mother is Daphne Guinness, I could be wrong.
3. The Donatella Versace for H&M collection went on sale in November amidst months of hype and an opening party that included a performance from Prince. The party had an exclusive pop-up shop, which resulted in many fashion editors sporting bruises the next day (slim elbows are sharp elbows, people). The essential downfall of this high-street collaboration is, while Versace is great at making expensive clothes look cheap, this just made cheap clothes look even cheaper. Proof that the perfect designer/high street collaboration is as elusive as the Sasquatch – the pictures look moderately convincing but the reality is always disappointingly pedestrian.
4. The delicate balance of the animal print equilibrium was disturbed when Carine Roitfeld, editrix of Vogue Paris, declared that snake print is so much more chic than leopard, the normal jazzy print of choice for hipsters and sexually repressed administrative assistants. Soon after, Roitfeld was sacked – coincidence, I think not. Topshop also turned the trend on its head with a slew of clothes that featured dalmatian print – this is the closest the fashion world will ever get to a lightbulb moment. If you’re forced to choose, dalmatian print is a safe bet. It says ‘I’m cute AND I remind you of a non-threatening Disney movie’, while snakeskin says (amongst other things) ‘I may be a high-class prostitute’. And we womenfolk wouldn’t want to be threatening, now would we?
5. 2011 has been the year of the inexplicable style icon. Internationally, we have Sarah Lund, the detective in cult tv series the ‘The Killing’ (favours a good festive jumper), Rooney Mara (multiple facial piercings and a look that is a cross between stealth bomber and Nine Inch Nails superfan) and Wallis Simpson (Nazi sympathiser who said ‘you can never be too rich or too thin’). Closer to home we’ve got Paul Galvin, a GAA footballer who left teaching and was almost immediately offered a fashion column in a national newspaper. Media integrity eh? You can’t beat it. Previously, Galvin was famous for attempting to fish hook a rival on the pitch and successfully tugging jeggings on his well-developed thighs, but not at the same time.