1. The move to instant retail gratification
"Time and tide wait for no man," as Geoffrey Chaucer famously penned. Although it's certain that he wasn't referrring to the fashion retail timeline then, 2016 was the year that the industry hastened its pace. Biting the bullet were brands that showed at New York and London fashion week — with Burberry, Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger leading the charge. How it's going to pan out? Only time will tell.
2. An archival release by Vetements for the new Style.com
Perhaps the most talked about brand of the year, Demna Gvasalia and crew has the industry poring over their every move — and fans obsessing over every look. Which is why the brand's re-launch of its first ever season exclusive to e-tailer Style.com had even its most loyal supporters raising questions. Why was Vetements dipping into its archives so early into its métier? The thing is, fashion hardly needs yet another discipline master — what it really lacks is a rule breaker like Gvasalia. And besides, wasn't it such bold-faced dissidence that earned the industry's reverence to begin with?
3. Louis Vuitton's new product packaging
It seems silly that the aesthetic of a brand's paperbags and boxes warranted a tsunami of emotion-led reactions — but the thing is, like a house's iconic motif or signature design code, its packaging holds a deep bond between consumer and company. Switching over from brown to saffron tinged with cobalt a few months ago, 2016 will go down as the year the French label swapped out an iconic 'chocolate brown' for contemporary 'caramel'.
4. A laundry list of collaborations
Fashion's inner corterie has been known to guard its doors with an iron padlock, but this year saw its younger generation of designers rising in rebellion. Favouring creative cross-pollination over secrecy, there was no turning back once the floodgates were unlocked. No man's an island, indeed.
Here, a (non-exhaustive) list of the most notable collaborations we've been keeping tabs on:
Moncler x Off-White
Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid
Gosha Rubchinskiy x Fila
Gosha Rubchinskiy x Kappa
Vetements x Brioni
Vetements x Canada Goose
Vetements x Juicy Couture
Vetements x Manolo Blahnik
Adidas x Kanye West
Adidas x Pharell Williams
5. New blood in historic houses
Another year has come and gone, and fashion's musical chairs goes on. Most notably, Maria Grazia Chiuri's departure from Valentino and entrance at Christian Dior; Hedi Slimane who hopped off the Saint Laurent train with Anthony Vaccarello taking his spot; and Bouchra Jarrar filling Alber Elbaz' post at the house of Lanvin. In other noteworthy news? Pierpaolo Piccioli embarked on a solo crusade for the first time ever at the Italian name.