It was the year that gave us more snaps of Kim Kardashian in bike shorts with heels than we care to remember and (god forbid) the return of the hair scrunchie as high fashion, but 2017 also brought with it some decade-defining highlights.

Big stakes designers like Erdem Moralioglu, Victoria Beckham and Jonathon Anderson offered the masses a chance to own a piece of their usually prohibitively expensive wares through capsule collaborations with H&M, Target and Uniqlo respectively.

We met a pared back, Daisy Duke denim-clad Lady Gaga (who then blew us away in sequined Versace at the Superbowl), bought amped-up original gangster vibe kicks in droves, and landed ourselves a new Aussie celeb style obsession in Oscar hopeful Margot Robbie.

Unforgettable as all those things were, five much bigger pivotal moments truly defined the fashion year that was. Each propelled the industry forward, reflected the mass feeling of the moment, changed the way we’ll remember this decade or was simply worn a whole lot by the celebs and style stars we’d all love to dress like.

So in no particular order, we give you GRAZIA’s pick of the most defining fashion moments of 2017.

Paris Fashion Week street style
Credit: Getty Images

1. Maria Grazia Chiuri TURNED A TEE INTO A POLITICAL WEAPON

Without question, 2017 was the annum of the politically-tinged slogan T-shirt, preferably one with feminist overtones. We saw them at Stella McCartney, Sandro Paris and every high street store that sells to millennials, but it was Christian Dior’s freshly instated first female creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, who kicked both kicked off the trend and ruled it with her Spring/Summer 2017 collection’s We Should All Be Feminists white tee.

That humble tee became the single defining fashion item of the year. And while its hefty price tag shocked many as much as Trump’s fateful rise to power, the message – a masterful prediction at its time of creation of the women’s marches set to follow soon after, plus later scandals like the Weinstein fiasco reveals – defined the year.

Its SS18 sequel at Paris Fashion Week, which quoted feminist historian Linda Nochlin on a Breton-striped tee by stating Where Are There No Great Women Artists, continued the conversation. What will Chiuri’s February’s AW18 show bring?

SEE THE GLORIOUS STREET STYLE OUTSIDE THE DIOR SS18 SHOW HERE.

GALLERY: SOME OF THE DIOR TEE’S MANY CELEBRITY FANS


2. Cindy and Kaia Gerber replaced the hadids as hottest model duo in the biz

While the fashion world had watched fascinated as teenaged Kaia Gerber dipped her toe in the modelling water over the past few years – the occasional minor campaign here, magazine shoot there – the Spring/Summer 2018 show season was her real arrival.

Having turned 16 just before the Spring/Summer 2018 shows, Gerber was finally free to walk as an ‘adult’ (models younger than that need complicated ‘child performer’ permits). After stepping out at Calvin Klein, Alexander Wang, Fendi and opening the enormous-scale Chanel presentation, she was dubbed her mother Cindy’s lookalike (a fair call – she truly is), suddenly becoming an instant style icon to the masses and the hottest property in the industry. Many claim she’s the beginning of a new round of true fashion supermodels – the antithesis of everything the over-hyped, commercial, identikit Victoria’s Secret alumni stands for.

Better still for us, her iconic mother had somewhat of a revival moment this year too. The 51-year-old’s headed multiple global campaigns, vocally and physically supported her daughter, walked for Versace at Milan Fashion Week, juggled a investment property portfolio and co-headed what’s probably the most aesthetically blessed family in the world (son Presley is also a model, as was multi-millionaire businessman hubby Rande in his day).

Starring together in campaigns for the likes of Omega and on the cover of VOGUE Paris, it seems the sum total of mother and daughter (who are reportedly very close) is far greater than their separate parts. It’s really is good to be a Gerber.

SEE THE CHANEL SS18 RUNWAY SHOW (OPENED BY KAIA GERBER) IN FULL HERE.

Kaia Gerber for Chanel SS18
Credit: Getty Images

3. Raf Simons proved he deserved the ‘best ready-to-wear designer alive’ cred

When 49-year-old Belgian creative Raf Simons made a clean sweep of this year’s biggest global fashion awards – Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards and both Womenswear and Menswear Designer of the Year at the CDFAs 2017 – few in the business were surprised. To label limelight-shy Simons both popular and revered in fashion is an understatement.

Formerly creative head at Christian Dior, Jil Sander and his eponymous label, Simons presented his first collection for Calvin Klein AW17 at New York Fashion Week in February 2017, a symphony of tailoring, denim and subtle cowboy references that were an apt nod to the brand’s quintessentially American roots. Given his interest in art, grasp of minimalist design aesthetics and the Calvin Klein’s identical MO, the partnership was always going to be a match made in style heaven.

The only shock in his announcement as new creative director in late 2016 was news he would be the first to head up all arms of the Calvin Klein business – including Denim (co-created with fellow Brit Luella Bartley), Underwear, Performance, Home and of course the high-end Calvin Klein Collection, since rebranded 205W39NYC (the coordinates of the company’s Manhattan HQ). We’re already excited about what he’ll wow us with in 2018.

SEE RAF SIMON’S CALVIN KLEIN SS18 RUNWAY COLLECTION IN FULL HERE

Calvin Klein Autumn/Winter 2017 global campaign
Credit: Willy Vandepere

4. Donatella Versace made us cry (both happy and sad tears)

On the twentieth anniversary of Gianni Versace’s murder, his sister Donatella reminded us that no-one compares to either her brilliant, much-missed brother or the collective power of the original Supers, most of whom are now aged in their fifties.

The Versace creative powerhouse and vocal advocate for women closed her Spring/Summer 2018 show by sending five of her late sibling’s favourite supermodels – Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni – down the Milan Fashion Week runway.

It was the most nostalgic moment in fashion for the entire year, at the same time reminding us where the original ‘90s high glam trend really began (Gianni’s iconic more-is-more aesthetic is still referenced constantly by stylists and other designers). It also celebrated positive change in the age diversity arena of late.

Expect even more memorials when Ryan Murphy’s hotly-anticipated American Crime Story series about Gianni’s murder airs later this month.

SEE THE VERSACE SS18 COLLECTION IN FULL HERE.


The original supers returned as part of a Gianni Versace tribute to close the Versace SS18 show
From left: Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Donatella Versace, Naomi Cambell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen
Credit: Getty Images

5. Louis Vuitton gave us the most hyped fashion mash-up of the decade so far

It was clearly a case of the lucky seventeens. On July 17, 2017, exactly 17 years after Louis Vuitton sued New York street label Supreme for copyright, the French luxury house dropped the most shocking fashion mash-up of the year into boutiques. Within hours, the Louis Vuitton x Supreme capsule collection became the most-hyped cult pieces (mens or womens) of the year.

When Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director Kim Jones sent the fire engine red pieces down his Louis Vuitton AW17 runway in January, some critics called it the most important fashion capsule collaboration in recent history.

What seemed an odd match at face value – French high fashion married to cult skate gear – actually proved creative and commercial genius, bringing with it a whole new level of cool cred for Vuitton. Texan rapper and reported Kylie Jenner baby-daddy, Travis Scott, sat FROW at the AW17 show where it debuted, decked out in the pieces before they hit the runway. Before the sun set that day, he owned every piece from the collaboration.

Months later when more widely available, every male model, sportsman or rapper with an ounce of style cred owned pieces too (it practically became Bieber’s uniform for a spell there), as did a handful of edgy ladies like Cara Delevigne and Kendall Jenner. Qeues at the Bondi Beach Pop-up store when the collection dropped in Australia are now the stuff of retail legend.

What did the rebel skate brand release way back in 2000 to irk the French house enough it called lawyers? A mock skateboard deck wrapped in Louis Vuitton’s traditional logo. How ironic that this new collection’s skate deck sold out almost instantly for many tens of thousands of dollars.

SEE THE LOUIS VUITTON AW17 MENS COLLECTION (INCLUDING SUPREME CAPSULE) HERE. 

Louis Vuitton Mens AW17
Credit: Getty Images

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