We'll cut right to the chase: A lot of crazy shit happened in the fashion world this year. While the industry that we call home can sometimes seem isolated and fantastical, many of its key players and events made headlines even in the mainstream media over the course of 2011.In the last 365 days, we've seen our share of ups and downs: There have been exciting new beginnings and tragic falls from grace. A royal wedding and a Sarah Burton for McQueen dress captivated the world, while Galliano's dress for Kate Moss made the fashion world swoon. We've celebrated the return of older models—like when 46-year-old Kristen McMenamy wore a bikini on the cover of Vogue Italia—and saw plenty of controversy surrounding very young ones. Just when we thought the boundaries of gender identity were breaking for good and that Lea T could kiss Kate Moss on the cover of LOVE, a men's mag openly calls androgynous model Andrej Pejic a "thing." We took it all in stride, and we've hopefully come out better on the other side.Looking back at 2011, we've chosen twenty major moments that we believe defined the year in fashion. Which one made the biggest impact on you?
Usually, it’s editorial shakeups that get us all confused and inspire us to create befuddling charts and guides to recap and (at least attempt to) make sense of movement within the fashion industry. Lately, however, it seems that most of the movement is taking place at big fashion houses. Whether it’s the economy or designers getting burnt-out, it seems like a top level position opens (or gets filled) every week. From Galliano's exit from Dior to Marios Schwab's from Halston (which happened so recently we didn't have a chance to include it), here’s our little visual guide to the recent ins and outs at major fashion houses.
Following the announcement on April 6 that Balmain was parting ways with Christophe Decarnin, comes word that one of his key deputies, Olivier Rousteing, will succeed him, WWD is reporting. There isn't much known about Rousteing. From his LinkedIn profile, WWD learned that the designer has worked at Balmain for three years and worked at Roberto Cavailli for six years before that. According to sources Rousteing is "as a young and promising creative dynamo."
Balmain designer Christophe Decarnin's absence after the label's fall show in Paris raised eyebrows. Rumors followed that the designer had been hospitalized for depression. Now WWD is reporting (and a press release confirms) that after five years, Balmain is parting ways with Decarnin. According to the New York Times, the house will name a successor next week, and the new creative director is expected to come from within the design team. In a press release from Balmain announcing Decarnin's departure, ceo Alain Hivelin said “since 1945, the house of Pierre Balmain has been one of the leading French and international luxury brands. Christophe Decarnin’s work with the house’s design team contributed to the success that the brand has enjoyed in recent years.” Decarnin is credited with building a frenzied hype around the label. His silhouette of strong shoulders on cropped tailored jackets over slashed t-shirts and skinny jeans--a look easily identifiable with Decarnin's stylist during his reign at Balmain, current Vogue Paris EIC Emmanuelle Alt--was something customers wanted, even with the hefty price tags ($1,625 for a ripped t-shirt). As much as customers seemed to lust for Decarnin's Balmain (and editors too, considering the $35,000 gold Balmain dress from fall 2010 that landed seven glossy covers), he had his critics, too--Cathy Horyn once called his clothes "elegant trash." As for who will replace Decarnin?
Before she left for the Nina Ricci show, Leah and I were discussing Balmain over GChat. Her review will be published later on today, but it wasn't the clothes that we were talking about. It was the fact that designer Christophe Decarnin was MIA at the show:
PARIS--Minimalism might be the new old thing, but Balmain designer Christophe Decarnin could give a flying f*ck. He made that quite clear today at Le Grand Hotel, where he showed his Spring 2011 collection. Models including Daria, Carmen Kass (with a shaggy new pageboy cut), and Isabeli Fontana stomped down the runway to what seemed like several iterations of Frank Sinatra's "My Way." And indeed, Decarnin did it his way. Save for a plain white jacket near the end of the show, the designer presented his signature sparkly blazers, some ripped t-shirts, and few pieces embellished with studded crystals.