The fashion world never fails to produce plenty of memorable moments. From Met Gala couture to the royal family’s standout style and the most unlikely of brand collaborations; the past year has been a shining example of an ever-evolving industry that has continued to value during uniquely challenging time creativity and self-expression above all else. Here, we break down our biggest moments in luxury fashion over the last twelve months:
Francis Bourgeois for North Face X Gucci
Everyone’s favourite train TikTok-er, Francis Bourgeois made headlines in January when he was chosen to star in the Gucci x North Face campaign. His infectious enthusiasm for trainspotting has gained Francis a huge following in the past year – counting musicians Joe Jonas and Sam Fender as fans.
Francis joins an impressive alumnus, with the likes of Harry Styles, Lana Del Rey, and K-pop superstar Kai all featuring in recent Gucci campaigns. This smart and unexpected move from the Italian design house was perfectly timed and incredibly well received by Francis’ following and the industry alike.
Kim Kardashian in Balenciaga at the Met Gala
Kim K made fashion headlines once again when she wore an all-black ensemble that covered her entire face and body to the 2021 Met Gala. The iconic look by Balenciaga, which came complete with gloves and a train, divided opinion more so than any other Kardashian-Jenner Met Gala look to date. Whilst Kim herself was apprehensive about the design, Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia said the masked element was “conceptually speaking, quite important”.
Noting the event’s theme ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ Gvasalia said, “This is a costume gala. This is not a Vanity Fair party where everyone looks beautiful. There’s a theme and you have to wear the mask. That is the look.”
Chanel’s Beauty Advent Calendar
Consumer demand for luxury advent calendars continues to grow year on year. The fashion world responded with offerings from the likes of Charlotte Tilbury, Liberty, were and Net-a-Porter. Generally these luxury calendars were always expected to sell out well before December 1st. However, during Christmas 2021 saw Chanel launch their first-ever beauty advent calendar, which – after a series of scathing unboxing videos on TikTok – was met with a lot of controversies.
Consumers were disappointed to discover the calendar contained not one, but five sticker sets. In addition, a key ring and a miniature snow globe failed to provide consumers with enough value for it’s eye-watering £610 price tag.
Of the beauty products included, only six were full-sized. All three of the fragrance gifts were different-sized versions of the brand’s iconic No.5 – playing into the overall theme of the calendar but leaving anyone who isn’t a fan of the classic scent underwhelmed.
Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s president of fashion, said “Chanel thought it would please some of its customers by offering this type of product. We see that you have to be careful and therefore, in the future, we’ll be much more cautious.”
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Virgil Abloh’s passing
The creative world lost a true visionary in Virgil Abloh who passed away in November 2021 aged just 41. After spending two years living with an aggressive form of cancer. The modern fashion designer and founder of Off-White made his mark on the industry as the first black creative director at Louis Vuitton and the most visible black designer in fashion.
Abloh trained as an architect and went on to add DJ, furniture designer, and artist to his resume – even designing the album covers for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s joint album Watch the Throne, as well as West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy among others. Gigi Hadid, Hailey Bieber, and Justin Timberlake were among the stars paying tribute to the “once-in-a-generation creative mind”.
Kate Middleton in Jenny Packham
In October, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge turned up to the catwalk along with some of the biggest stars in the fashion world. Walking the red carpet in South Kensingtons, Royal Albert Hall for the final installment of Daniel Craig’s Bond, No Time to Die.
Wearing a dazzling gold Jenny Packham gown from the designer’s 007 capsule collection, the Duchess stole the show. With her undeniable influence on women’s fashion (the pink Seraphine dress which she wore for her first official portrait with William and George sold out in two hours, and the brand saw a 400% increase in sales thereon after) the choice to wear Packham’s design meant fans of the Duchess were able to live the red-carpet fantasy by snapping up their very own Bond Girl dream dress.