There’s really never been a better time to be a model. Many will argue with me that the pinnacle of the profession was the glory days of Naomi, Christy, Linda, and Cindy. But they never had social media. In 2013, we witnessed the rise of a new class of supers who have since become household names. Cheeky Brit Cara Delevingne has amassed over 3.5 million followers on Instagram and is trailed by paparazzi everywhere she goes. Last week, Joan Smalls, Jourdan Dunn, and Chanel Iman became pop stars in their own right with the release of Beyoncé’s “Yoncé” music video, in which they dance like divas alongside Queen B. Hell, they’re even reclaiming the covers of fashion magazines.
This year, I was also thrilled to see a few of my favorite catwalk veterans make comebacks. Naomi herself had jaws on the floor when she opened and closed the Atelier Versace show—looking fiercer than ever—back in July. After a couple of years off the runways, Catherine McNeil walked in forty-two Fall shows (she’s kept the momentum going with a profusion of ad campaigns and editorials, in addition to an impressive Spring season), and Daria Werbowy had a cameo at Balenciaga. Who doesn’t love @dotwillow? As for the hottest newcomer? That prize goes to Edie Campbell, who was crowned Model of the Year earlier this month at the British Fashion Awards.
All of us love animals, but designers seem to have a special place in their hearts for little critters. They were virtually impossible to miss on the runways this year. If Givenchy’s Bambi was the most memorable, 2013 found plenty of other designers channeling their inner spirit animals: Miuccia Prada reasserted her love for cats at Miu Miu, with playful kitten coats that echoed her Spring ’10 collection. Diane von Furstenberg took us on safari. And Milan newcomer Stella Jean perched owls on top of her African “wax and stripes” prints. Most recently, Phillip Lim featured poodles for Pre-Fall. Animals came in like a wrecking ball off the runway, too. Who can forget Miley Cyrus at the American Music Awards in her high-cut catsuit?
Need proof that fashion has become increasingly seasonless? Look no further than the Spring runways. Despite the spring season, there was no shortage of statement-making furs. Miuccia Prada sent out vibrant intarsia furs printed with trompe l’oeil bras and female visages, while Fendi’s Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi whipped up shaved-mink toppers that weigh mere grams, as well as fuzzy ear cuffs, handbags, and playful “buggies” charms. Elsewhere, pelts were incorporated into accessories like Michael Kors’ twisted cashmere shrugs backed in sable, and Burberry Prorsum’s shaggy clutches. Showing fur alongside summery dresses makes sense, given these collections hit stores in February, but then you have a designer like Francisco Costa, who threw that reasoning out the window by whipping up a pale lilac shearling for his latest Calvin Klein Collection Pre-Fall outing. Even if it delivers in May, that coat was covetable enough to buy now and wear later.
With the holidays in full swing, we’re in a festive spirit here at Style.com. And when it comes to party looks, we’re feeling for fringe—the stuff was all over the Spring ’14 runways. Imagine twirling on the dance floor in the white leather jacket from Altuzarra, or shimmying about in Emilio Pucci’s glam poncho. Decorative tassels added an artisanal touch at Dries Van Noten, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander Wang, while dense, carpetlike shag turned up at Proenza Schouler and 3.1 Phillip Lim. If a full-on fringy outfit is too much for you, get the look with a bohemian handbag similar to the ones we spotted at Céline, Valentino, and Gucci.
New It bags and It shoes regularly enter the fashion orbit, but this season’s unexpected must-have accessory is the humble—or not so humble—belt. Back in September, we clocked Céline’s Thanksgiving-appropriate pilgrim buckle on Anna Dello Russo, Giovanna Battaglia, and Elina Halimi, and noticed plenty of statement-making cinching on the Spring runways, too. Michael Kors, Haider Ackermann, and Tom Ford created a wasp-waist silhouette with classic men’s leather belts, while other designers assumed a more-is-more approach. Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz featured sweet cummerbunds decorated with bedazzled hearts; Peter Dundas sent out medallion-spangled bands worthy of a boxing champion at Emilio Pucci; and Vera Wang was snapped wearing an ultrawide style that swallowed up her entire torso.