Whether you're counting hits or misses, 2014 certainly left a mark fashion-wise. From the runways to the red carpets to the slopes of Sochi, it was an endless parade of see-through dresses, ugly Olympic sweaters, cool cats in extra-large hats and just about one of everything wearable in between. So, before we turn the page to see what the new year has to offer, it's worth a quick glance in the rearview mirror at some of the fun, the fantastic and the failures that were the year in fashion.
The fashion runway served up no shortage of memorable moments.
The runway's revolving door churned out more couplings, uncouplings and exits than sweeps week at a soap opera. Nicolas Ghesquière made his runway debut as the new designer at Louis Vuitton, and
Some serious style stalwarts took their final final bows, among them
At times, the various concert stages of 2014 started to feel like extensions of the high-fashion runway: Clothes stole the show on Jay Z and Beyoncé's On the Run tour, with sexy costumes by Versace and Givenchy for Bey.
Style-wise, the awards show red carpet circuit was the gift that kept on giving. Rihanna underdressed to impress, choosing to bare her breasts via a see-through Swarovski-crystal-covered Adam Selman dress at the CFDA Awards, ironically wearing as little clothing as legally possible to an event celebrating clothing. It was also the year someone paid retail for a red carpet dress and caused a brouhaha in the process: Hayden Panettiere wore a black-and-white Tom Ford gown to the Golden Globes, even though he didn't ask her to.
From her very first footfall on the red carpet,
Pharrell Williams and his headgear nearly hijacked the Grammys when the singer-musician-fashion collaborator hit the red carpet sporting a Vivienne Westwood mountain hat that before the year was out would spawn a millinery meme, a faux Twitter account (@PharrellsHat) and generate $44,100 for charity when it was bought at auction by Arby's.
But the best red carpet callback, and first full-blown fashion meme of the 2014 awards season, didn't have to reach back a decade; it barely had to reach back an hour. Thanks to the leveraging power of social media, the white silk Dior Haute Couture gown
Also trending on the red carpet? The well-dressed baby bump, with the list of celebrities giving a stylish swaddling to their yet-to-be-borns including
A couple of high-profile weddings had memorable fashion moments too. Barbara Walters named Amal Alamuddin the most fascinating person of 2014 for marrying longtime bachelor
A signature made
The next-best thing to getting your name on a museum might be getting your name on a lifestyle brand — and 2014 found no shortage of celebrities angling to position themselves as lifestyle gurus a la
In the realm of sports dressing, Ralph Lauren was roundly criticized for the design of the
First Lady Michelle Obama hosted an inaugural White House Fashion Education Workshop at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., with fashion professionals including Diane von Furstenburg and Jason Wu on hand to mentor design school students (with FLOTUS revealing, along the way, that she wears Spanx). And the royal fashion plate known as the Duchess of Cambridge sent tongues a-wagging during a New York City visit for stepping out in a blue Jenny Packham gown she'd worn not once but twice before.
Even though nobody can quite define it, the word "normcore" was on everybody's lips this year, referring to the trend toward understated luxury that had us seeing pricey sweatpants on the menswear runways of New York and designer-label sneakers everywhere, from Chanel's spring 2014 catwalk collection to Alexander Wang's fall 2015 NY Fashion Week runway.
And finally, the biggest advancement in wrist real estate for 2014 and 2015 — the Apple Watch — was unveiled to mixed reviews. But, what it lacks in style (at first glance we called it "an egg timer with straps" it will undoubtedly make up for with all kinds of gee-whiz technology behind the bezel, making it a potential game-changer in the wearable technology arena.