by Lupe Baeyens
With 2019 drawing to a close earlier this week, we glance back at the luxury labels and fashion items that defined the last year of the decade. Our list is comprised of the usual suspects yet we also welcome some newcomers. From statement sleeves to microscopic handbags, sit back, relax and take a stroll down the last twelve months of fashion, one look at a time.
2019 marks the year of blurring the lines, whether these are gender-specific, seasonal or overlapping industries. This years most coveted wedding dress was worn by the breathtakingly stunning Hailey Baldwin Bieber. The model wore a custom-made Off-White dress designed by the brand’s creative director Virgil Abloh and women’s head designer Sabrina Mandelli. The most iconic detail? The embroidered veil that read: ‘TILL DEATH DO US PART’. As if that wasn’t enough Vigril, went on to break the internet, yet not our bank accounts, with his sold-out range at IKEA. By no means did Virgil Abloh deter from his usual fashion responsibilities, currently artistic director at Louis Vuitton and head of his own label Off-White bringing immensely successful A/W and S/S collections to the runways of Paris.
Making a looming comeback, not that they had ever left, was the Italian leather label Bottega Veneta. Under the creative direction of Daniel Lee, the Italian brand is profiting from a true renaissance. After sending sleek minimalistic looks down the runway in early February, the brand was propelled into the fashion orbits, and popped left, right and centre. From clutches, square toed boots and plaid leather sandals, Bottega Veneta was impossible to miss and we can’t wait what Lee has in store for us in 2020.
The French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus proved himself master of conjuring idyllic French scenes, first by converting a warehouse into ‘Place Jacquemus’, only to go on and transform his home turf into a David Hockney-esque painting, with a bright fuchsia train splitting the Provençal lavender fields in half. In combination with his collections, which were bold in colour and effortlessly played off micro and maxi again each other (yes, maxi sun hat, we could hardly look past you) Jacquemus can look back on his first decade of fashion with great pride, and this had to be rewarded a place on our list.
It took Kim Jones just one collection to make his mark on the legendary French maison. The British designer, who will go in history as the first Brit to ever be at the helm of Dior as well as the man who introduced streetwear to luxury mens fashion, impressed with his ability to blend modernity with meticulously tailoring. With his ‘Dior Box’ in front of the Parisian landmark Hôtel National Des Invalides he once again stole the show. Models strutted on a moving walkway, only to stand still on a conveyor belt, according to Jones, transforming them into sculptures while showing off his brilliantly cut collection with plenty of nods to the rich history of the Dior.
Copenhagen Fashion Week brought us some of the best street style of the year, it can come as no surprise that the Danish brand Rotate concludes our list of most coveted brands of 2019. The Copenhagen based label specialises in dresses where no sleeve is to big and waist to cinched. The playful dresses and blazers created by the design-duo Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Friis Madsen were all the rage with stylists and influencers worldwide, securing them a place on our list and making them OVERDUE’s one-to-watch for 2020.
We’ve sifted through leather goods, life size bears, brought to life paintings and wedding gowns, it’s time to get your most-seen items of 2019 list and start ticking. We start our round-up in early February during Paris Fashion Week when Jacquemus made headlines before even kicking off his AW20 show, after all, Simon Porte Jacquemus is a name so nice, he needs to be mentioned twice. Guests received a personalised microscopic version of Le Chiquito, which took the fashion industry by storm in 2018. His micro bags went on to spawn a fascination for the tiniest of bag, making the shrunken bag the first top item of 2019. Definitely a style over function find, as most of this mini bags fit no more than a lipstick and a phone (if you’re lucky).
Our next must-have item — or in this case colour — of the year: bright pastel lavender. This shade of purple popped up in full looks, as an accent colour and is now available in most high street shops as a descendant from the runway shows across the fashion capitals. Without a doubt a remnant of the Ultraviolet Pantone colour of the previous year. It’s lighter sister dominated both on and off the runway, and our favourite way of styling was from head to toe.
Purple wasn’t the only colour that was meant to be worn as a full look, print came out in full play too. From Clueless-vibes with bright tartans or, by no means less bold, animal prints, no combination was too wild. Zebra, giraffe, snake and cheetah were clashing with such intensity it almost become cohesive.
Comfort was key this fashion, that or there was a unexpected heightened interest in cycling sports. Athleisure has been on the rise for year and in 2019 fashion’s finest swapped out their shorts for a equally skin-tight yet lycra version. The shorts are preferably paired with a bra worn under an oversized blazer, adding a touch of finesse to the look, the contemporary blend of sexiness with a touch of class and comfort.
Finishing off our list is the bucket hat, making a resurgence in 2018, this functional headpiece was here to stay, but the crown didn’t come easy. Bedazzled hair clips and pompous headbands made a respectful entry, but could not quite dethrone our hat of the year 2019, albeit in vinyl, furry or teddy renditions.