2012 fashion and style around the globe

Special to the Los Angeles Times

London calling

The queen’s Diamond Jubilee was a chance to look back at 60 years of colorful suits and hats. And everyone seemed more than eager to hop aboard the royal train, including Pantone, which color-coded her highness’ most iconic outfits, and Taschen, which published a coffee table book chronicling the royal family. (February)


So long, Sassoon

Vidal Sassoon, whose modern, wash-and-wear geometric haircuts changed the rules — and women’s lives — died in Los Angeles at age 84. (May)



Ralph Lauren fumbled with Team USA’s Summer Olympics opening and closing ceremony uniforms when it was revealed they were made in China, not America. The stiff, boarding school-style jackets emblazoned with an oversized Ralph Lauren Polo logo, “complimented” by military style berets weren’t exactly subtle either. Lauren later promised that the 2014 uniforms will be made in the U.S. (July)

Olympic style

They don’t give medals for style at the Olympics, but if they did there were several trends that might have made the podium: Nike debuted new FlyKnit Trainers and Volt sneakers. The lightweight and eco-friendly shoes, in a bold shade of highlighter yellow, turned heads at track and field events and on the medal stand (and were summarily bought up by arm chair athletes at home). The late reggae superstar Bob Marley inspired the Jamaican Olympic team uniforms (a collaborative effort between his fashion designer daughter Cedella Marley and Puma). Stella McCartney designed the host team kit for Great Britain, and her choices had some Brits seeing red thanks to a dearth of that hue in the uniforms. Additionally, athletes from around the world sported patriotic nail art. (July, August)


Grill and bare it

When American swimmer and fashion lover Ryan Lochte won his first gold medal, he stepped up to the podium and gave a big grin — revealing a custom made jewel-encrusted American flag dental grill. The United States looked on, embarrassed. Lochte bared more than that when he was photographed on Vogue’s June cover running arm in arm on a beach with fellow Olympians Serena Williams and Hope Solo, all clad in tasteful bathing suits. (June, July)

Mars Rover guy

The frenzy surrounding the historic landing of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity was nearly eclipsed by the instant Internet celebrity of Bobak Ferdowsi, the mohawk-haired flight director at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. (August)


Not well-suited

When Mitt Romney formally introduced Paul Ryan as his running mate, many fashion pundits were distracted by Ryan’s wardrobe for the occasion: an ill-fitting coat, pants that hung baggy at the ankles and no tie. We compared the ensemble to David Byrne’s absurdly oversized suit from “Stop Making Sense.” The RNC must have hired Ryan a stylist after the event, because later in the campaign Ryan began to look more like a potential candidate for the second- highest office in the land and less like a 14-year-old wearing his dad’s clothes. (August)

Red Sole Diaries

A New York Court of Appeals ruled that Christian Louboutin’s signature red soles are entitled to limited trademark protection, after the designer sought a preliminary injunction to prevent Yves Saint Laurent from selling similarly styled shoes. The decision covers only shoes with a contrasting red sole and a different color top. The much-publicized case reignited the debate over trademarking fashion designs. (September)

The fashion front

During the heat of the presidential campaign, former Fox News pundit Glenn Beck announced that he was starting his own line of jeans to protest a Levis commercial that he claimed showed support for the Occupy movement. Beck’s 1791 Supply & Co. jeans sell for the hardly populist price of $130. Also on the political style front, Macy’s received calls from online petitioners to dump Donald Trump — the Donald Trump Signature Collection of business clothes, that is. The gripe was over the billionaire’s involvement in the “birther” conspiracy movement and his election night Twitter rant calling for revolution after President Obama was reelected. Macy’s representatives later released a statement saying that they’d keep stocking the Trump products as long as customers kept buying them. (October and November)

First fashionistas-in-training

First Lady Michelle Obama has been praised for her chic sense of style, and now her daughters are receiving similar acclaim. First Daughters Sasha (wearing Chris Benz) and Malia Obama (in Gregory Parkinson) garnered particular attention for choosing colorful, full short skirts to celebrate their father’s reelection. Meanwhile, HMX, the parent company of President Obama’s go-to suit label Hart Schaffner Marx, filed for bankruptcy just a month before the election. By the end of the year, Authentic Brands Group — the company that owns the licensing rights to Marilyn Monroe’s likeness — had snapped it up for a reported $72.3 million. (October, November, December)

Adam Tschorn and Booth Moore contributed to this report.