Fashion teams up with pop culture

Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic

Body by Beckham

Women weren’t the only ones baring skin in ads this year. Fast fashion giant H&M debuted its first Super Bowl ad for the David Beckham Bodywear collection, starring the soccer star in his skivvies. During the London Summer Olympics, images from the campaign were projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover. (February, August)

The ‘20s roar

The fall 2012 runway collections were steeped in 1920s influences, from Ralph Lauren’s “Great Gatsby"-inspired gowns to Tory Burch’s sportswear inspired by 1920s Deauville, to Frida Giannini’s Art Deco black-and-gold fringed flapper dresses at Gucci. The 1920s were roaring on screen, too, with HBO’s popular “Boardwalk Empire,” set in the 1920s, sparking a retro haircut craze for men and the “Artist,” set in 1927, nabbing multiple Oscars, including a statue for costume design. Expect the flappers and fringe to keep swinging into 2013, when Baz Luhrmann’s “Great Gatsby” is to hit movie theaters in late summer. (February)


Capitol Couture

The style-obsessed world of the popular YA novel “The Hunger Games” was brought to life on screen by costume designer Judianna Makovsky, with a cast of hundreds dressed in everything from utilitarian garb with Depression-era grit to glam-gone-grotesque get-ups inspired by the latest haute couture. The character Effie, one part Marie Antoinette and one part Isabella Blow, could barely walk in her shoes — which was intentional. “She is a fashion victim,” Makovsky said. The studio launched a website,, dedicated to fashion inspired by the film, and collaborated with China Glaze on a range of nail polish colors. (March)

Fashionable politics

Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour made the list of top fundraisers released by the Obama reelection campaign. Holding star-studded fundraising events in June, September and October, she raised so much money — more than half a million dollars — that rumors swirled that she could be rewarded with an ambassadorship to France or England. (June, September, October)


New-media stars rising

Street style bloggers Scott Schuman ( and paramour Garance Doré ( won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Eugenia Sheppard Media Award, cementing their status in the fashion media pantheon. (June)

Never mind glass

Christian Louboutin designed a pair of limited-edition heels inspired by Cinderella in honor of Walt Disney’s rerelease of “Cinderella” on Blu-ray and DVD. The mesh heels were embellished with crystals and butterflies — and sported the designer’s signature red soles, of course. (July)

Sex and the single girl

Before Carrie Bradshaw of “Sex and the City,” Joan Holloway of “Mad Men” and Anastasia Steele of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” there was Helen Gurley Brown. The legendary author and Cosmopolitan magazine editor died in New York at age 90, leaving behind a generation of women emboldened by her controversial view of feminism-laced female sexuality. (August)

Gangnam style

South Korean pop star Psy’s “Gangnam Style” was the surprise hit of the year. The song, a dance-y satire of the Beverly Hills-like Gangnam district of Seoul, became an international smash hit after its surreal music video went viral on YouTube. Then its influence quickly spread into all realms of popular culture, including fashion. Psy’s stylish sunglasses and powder-blue tuxedo coat were a popular Halloween costume, and designer Jill Stuart has announced plans to team up with Psy on a line of “Gangnam Style” clothes that will be exclusive to Asian markets. (September)


Sports report

Athletes descended on New York Fashion Week, where they polished their personal brands and tested their reporting for media outlets. Olympian Ryan Lochte, the swimmer with questionable style chops, covered the runways for E! Entertainment. There were enough basketballers on the scene (Russell Westbrook, Chris Bosh) to play a pickup game. Tyson Chandler and wife Kimberly were reporting a story for Vogue magazine. And Rajon Rondo was deputized as GQ magazine’s fashion intern. It may have been the first time in fashion week history that an intern was guaranteed a front-row seat. (September)

A very Vreeland world

She helped popularize bikinis and blue jeans, discovered Lauren Bacall, launched Twiggy and advised Jackie O. Diana Vreeland, who died in 1989, transformed fashion in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, when she worked at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue magazines. This year, she was celebrated in a number of media, with Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s documentary “The Eye Has to Travel”; Amanda Mackenzie Stuart’s biography “Empress of Fashion”; a museum exhibition in Venice, Italy; and a Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award in Beverly Hills. (September)

Imperfect pitch

“It’s not a journey. Every journey ends, but we go on.” So began Brad Pitt’s now-infamous Chanel No. 5 ad, and it seems that the commercial will go on in the form of countless parodies. The black-and-white ad’s weird spoken-word tone was widely spoofed on TV and the Internet and provided an easy joke for late-night talk shows. For his part, Pitt denies seeing the parodies but says “fair play” of the jokesters poking fun. (November)

Babe in the woods

Tavi Gevinson launched a fashion blog, Style Rookie, at age 11. This year, at the advanced age of 16, she sang “Heart of Gold” in the animated film “Cadaver,” was cast in an upcoming live-action movie in August and published her first book, “Rookie Yearbook One,” in September. Oh, and she gave a Ted talk. (February, August, September, April)


Bond in style

This year marked 50 years of James Bond on film and 50 years of Bond’s sartorial flair. The latest chapter, “Skyfall,” with suits (and, yes, a tuxedo) by Tom Ford, was released in November. Some critics called it the best Bond yet, and the box office seems to agree — earlier this month it became Sony Pictures’ highest-grossing movie of all time. (November)

Tribal trouble

November might have been Native American Heritage month, but a couple of gaffes proved that pop culture still has a long way to go in the sensitivity department. No Doubt’s Wild West-themed “Lookin’ Hot” video featured Gwen Stefani on horseback, with a feather in her hair, and the Victoria’s Secret fashion show had model Karlie Kloss marching down the runway in a bikini and a feather headdress — a scene that was cut before the broadcast aired. Both No Doubt and Victoria’s Secret felt the need to quickly and publicly apologize. (November)

Michael Darling contributed to this report