Fashion review of the year: From Marc Jacobs to Stuart Vevers, it was all change at the top

Marc Jacobs bowed out, John Galliano made amends and Marks & Spencer made lots of very, very pink coats. From spats to fat-cats, Alexander Fury wraps up the year in style

Revolving doors

With new names placed at major-league players Dior, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga last year, we assumed fashion’s upheavals were done for the next decade or so. Think again. Out with the old, in the with new: 2013 was another year of our fashion boundaries shifting, most seismically, Marc Jacobs leaving Louis Vuitton after 16 years to focus on his eponymous label. His replacement? Nicolas Ghesquiere, hitherto of Balenciaga. He shows his first take on the LV legacy at Paris Fashion Week in March. Stuart Vevers’ leap from luxe-but-niche Spanish house Loewe to American accessory behemoth Coach also raised eyebrows: Coach is a job so cushy it was rumoured it could coax Jacobs from Vuitton. And Vevers’ replacement at Loewe is young Irish designer and new LVMH stablemate JW Anderson. More designers taking a spin in fashion’s ever-revolving doors were Marco Zanini (formerly of Rochas, now helming Schiaparelli), Alessandra Faccinetti (now at Tods), Emma Hill (no longer at Mulberry), and the house of Mugler (out with Nicola Formichetti, in with David Koma). Let’s hope that’s the end of these designer musical chairs. At least for a season or two.

Stylish spats

Fashion loves a catfight, and 2013 gave us plenty, starting with Jean Paul Gaultier, who announced on Twitter that critic Tim Blanks was banned indefinitely after a chiding review of his winter haute couture collection (fashion’s memory span is short: they had made up by Gaultier’s September S/S 2014 show). Then, in October, notoriously ban-happy Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane severed a  15-year relationship with the Parisian store Colette because it sold a t-shirt spoofing his rebranding of the house, bearing the slogan “Ain’t Laurent Without Yves”. Collette was barred from the spring Saint Laurent show and its order was cancelled. Dolce & Gabbana, however, takes the bruschetta: its spat was against the Italian government, and specifically the city of Milan, for the reaction to charges of tax evasion to the tune of £342m. The label’s nine Milan shops, its Martini bar and Gold restaurant were closed for three days in July this year, “in indignation”, according to notices posted prominently in the windows.

Big buy-outs

The conglomerates that still dominate the international fashion scene – namely, Kering and LVMH – went on a shopping spree in 2013. The former snapped up major stakes in London designer Christopher Kane and New York new blood Altuzarra – Kane is already on course to open his first stand-alone boutique in 2014. LVMH, meanwhile, took stakes in accessories designer Nicholas Kirkwood and the JW Anderson label, simultaneously appointing Jonathan Anderson head of Loewe, aged just 29.

Lacroix, sweetie

Elsa Schiaparelli isn’t a name that resonates in the public consciousness – despite a 2012 retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum, archive pieces fetching six figures in recent auctions and the fact her Surrealism-inspired haute couture still causes palpitations among the fashion cognoscenti. Leave it, then, to Absolutely Fabulous haute couturier Christian Lacroix to garner a firestorm of publicity around the relaunch of the Schiaparelli brand. He made a triumphant return to fashion in July this year, showcasing a selection of styles inspired by the house’s trademarks. Marco Zanini, Schiaparelli’s new creative director who debuts his designs in January, has a hard act to follow.

Arty farty

Fashion and art have never been quite so closely intertwined as in 2013. Maybe it’s the Schiaparelli effect – or, more likely, Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP album, whose launch visuals and videos fused the work of Jeff Koons with fashion photographers Ines van Lamsveerde and Vinoodh Matadin. However, the latter feels less cause than effect. Kim Jones teamed up with the Chapman Brothers back in January 2013 for his winter Louis Vuitton menswear collection: gremlins and bog-eyed monsters crawled their way across carpet-bags and intarsia sweaters. This summer, Miuccia Prada collaborated with Damien Hirst to create a selection of bags, encasing real insects in plexiglass. The bags were limited to a run of 20 – like artworks – and were sold by silent auction. Miuccia Prada is very arty: she has a Hirst sheep on display at her Milanese HQ, and also employed a selection of artists and illustrators – Miles “El Mac” Gregor, Mesa, Gabriel Specter, Stinkfish, Jeanne Detallante and Pierre Mornet – to decorate the backdrop to her spring 2014 show. Some of their work cropped up on the accessories and clothing items, too. The acme of fashionable artiness? Karl Lagerfeld staged his Chanel show, featuring paint-daubed prints and quilted artist’s portfolios – in a fake Tate, filled with ironic Chanel-themed “artworks” specially manufactured for the event. Many of the guests, ironically, wanted to buy them.

In the pink

Fashion would have us believe the mantra of 2013 was “Think Pink”. At least as far as our outerwear was concerned. Cerise coats were sent out on catwalks as diverse as Miu Miu (pastel and polka-dotted), Fendi (fluoro shearling) and Rochas (blush alpaca). Marks & Spencer doesn’t strictly count as catwalk, but its generously-lapelled prawn-cocktail-hued overcoat was a ubiquitous outerwear emblem of the autumn/winter season. All pretty, in pink.

Did anyone wear actually wear those rose-tinted throw-overs? Not that I saw. But they looked great on magazine pages, in shop windows, and will doubtless still have a charm on the sales rails.

Isabella Blow, 2002 (Diego Uchitel) Isabella Blow, 2002 (Diego Uchitel)  

Blow job

That legendary stylist, talent-spotter and exuberant lover of all things fashionable and headgear-related, Isabella Blow, passed away in 2007. But 2013 was undoubtedly her year. An exhibition charting her exuberant personal style, Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, opened at London’s Somerset House in November, showcasing designs by designers she championed, including Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy. Those  designers were often inspired by her flamboyant personality, while the clothes they made were often worn by “Issy” herself until they fell apart. A catalogue of the show’s exhibits – a careworn selection of some of the finest fashion of the past 25 years – was shot by Nick Knight on Isabella’s family estate, while fellow English Eccentric Lady Amanda Harlech styled models sporting Isabella’s greatest hits. She also scooped up  the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator  – thanking Issy all the way.

Kate the Great

Gisele Bündchen may have made the most money – for the nineth consecutive year – but Kate Moss was unofficially crowned Supermodel of the World for 2013. This year, Kate the Great re-inked her clothing deal with Topshop (the next line comes out in early 2014), and bagged a Special Recognition trophy at the British Fashion Awards for her 25 years in the business, presented by her friend Marc Jacobs, whose penultimate Vuitton show Moss closed. She became a Contributing Fashion Editor at British Vogue – and, naturally, also featured on the magazine’s cover – not once, but twice, in less than 12 months.

In from the cold

Shunned in 2011 following his anti-semitic rant, and noted for his absence throughout 2012, 2013 marked the year British designer John Galliano began to make his tentative return to the fashion industry. In February, he undertook a three-week internship with Oscar de la Renta, the high-priced, high-profile granddaddy of Seventh Avenue couture. The sinuous pencil-skirts, puckered-peplum jackets and theatrical touches of de la Renta’s winter 2013 collection vibrated with Galliano’s romantic handwriting. In June, he made an appearance on US talk show Charlie Rose to discuss his rise and fall, while a piece in July’s Vanity Fair, titled “Galliano in the Wilderness”, featured his first print interview since his dismissal from Dior in February 2011. Fashion fans intimate that Galliano is primed to replace the 81-year old de la Renta imminently.

Whenever, and if ever, that happens, you can rest assured that John Galliano will be ready for his close-up.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine