Extravaganza is the word that best describes the past year in fashion. Designers celebrated anniversaries with blow-out bashes and spectacular shows staged in exotic locales. The excessive mood, no doubt, was fuelled by a booming luxury business as the mega-fashion brands roared in to conquer new markets where the nouveau riche have a voracious appetite for designer goods.
But amid the celebratory mood, there were a few somber moments as the fashion flock lost a few of their fine feathered friends. And they also took a peculiar interest in the personal life of one of their most talented members. When the "it'' bag of the moment is an $18 canvas tote touting "I'm not a plastic bag," you might think the tide of fashion has turned decidedly green. And it has, to a point. The rise of eco-friendly fashion is surely the top trend of the year. But fashion fans also mobbed H&M for cheap, made-in-China togs from Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, king of glitz and glam. And luxury giants like LVMH were racking up double-digit growth, largely through the sale of the fragments of dreams that are handbags and perfume. Scarlett Johansson and Catherine Deneuve flog the ubiquitous LV monogram bags in glossy ads, and people buy them, real or knockoff.
Marc Jacobs, the grunge creator credited with Louis Vuitton's soaring fortunes, was the bad boy of fashion this year, trumping trend headlines by starting his namesake show in New York two hours late - again.
Bad girls with questionable clothes were neither few nor far between, although good Dreamgirl Jennifer Hudson wore a bad outfit to the Oscars. And then there were the fashion standouts like Cate Blanchett - again.