Fashion forward: 10 things to get excited about in 2011
As the year winds down, it's time to gear up for the fashion trends, people and happenings that will define 2011. Here's a rundown of things I'm looking forward to seeing, shopping, watching and reading.
1) Skirts falling. At last, some clothes for women who don't look to the Kardashians for style tips. The tyranny of the mini is over and skirts are falling. Midi, maxi and knee-length skirts were all over the runways for spring at Jil Sander, Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent and more. But they're going mass, too. I've got my eye on this sparkler from J. Crew's spring collection (left).
2) Tom Ford. He directs, he designs, he guest-edits magazines. Is there anything he can't do? The sultan of sex who defined fashion in the 1990s at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent is returning to women's wear at last.
Proving that he hasn't lost his talent to provoke, when he previewed his collection in September on some of the most beautiful women in the world (Beyonce, Lauren Hutton, etc.), he used the oldest trick in the Hollywood playbook, telling his select few guests, "No pictures please."
Of course, that only made us want him more. Since then, he's released photos on his terms in glossy magazine spread after magazine spread. But come Oscar week in February, he will roll out the red carpet for real, and throw a party for his new boutique on Rodeo Drive. No doubt the flashbulbs will be blinding.
3) Fashion at the museum. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute hosts a retrospective of Alexander McQueen's work in May (with the requisite Vogue-sponsored gala opening). But first, L.A.'s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the designers behind the Rodarte label, will be the subject of a show opening March 4 at the the Museum of Contemporary Art at Pacific Design Center.
4) Fashion on film. Due out in June is the Madonna-directed film "W.E.," (after Wallis Simpson and Edward, the Duke of Windsor) about the love affair that cost him the throne. Arianne Phillips is designing the costumes for the notorious fashion plates, so I expect great things. Phillips has collaborated with Madonna on her past four concert tours, as well as designed costumes for films such as "A Single Man," "Walk the Line" and "The Crow."
On the other end of the entertainment spectrum, there's "The Muppets" opening Thanksgiving weekend. Since it's a Disney film, you know the fashion collaborations are going to be off the hook.
5) Royal aisle style. I still remember staying up all night to watch the Charles and Diana nuptials, and I know come April 29, I will be glued to the screen again watching Prince William and Kate Middleton. The gown, the flowers, the cake...the world is waiting in breathless anticipation. It should also be interesting to see if Middleton becomes an ambassador for British fashion in the way that First Lady Michelle Obama has been for American fashion.
6) The new political guard. If there is one person I'm eager to observe dressing for today's political stage, it's California Governor-elect Jerry Brown. In his 1970s heyday, he was a rake in double-breasted suits with sharp lapels. But now, almost nothing is known about what he wears.
Compared with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who favors suits by Armani, Brioni, Prada and Gucci, has been known to carry a Prada weekend bag and refers to himself as a "shoe queen," Brown is practically anti-fashion--which could almost be more interesting.
7) Shopping, high and low. Lanvin is opening its first West Coast store at Two Rodeo Drive any day now. And British chain Accessorize (think Claire's but so much better), which opened its first U.S. store in New York in October, will be rolling out locations across the U.S. throughout the year.
8) Designing, high and low. Following on the heels of 2010's hit Lanvin for H&M collection, designers continue to branch out. I'm most intrigued by Derek Lam's crowd source-designed collection for EBay. He will show his designs in February, and shoppers will vote on EBay to determine which pieces are produced. Karl Lagerfeld's collection for Macy’s is also one to watch. It hits stores in September.
9) The Gaga effect. Fashion editor and stylist Nicola Formichetti, a frequent Lady Gaga collaborator(yes, he was behind the meat dress), will show his first collection as the new creative director for the house of Thierry Mugler in March. Chrome hip fins? Metallic leotards? I can honestly say I have no idea what to expect, but I might wear a raincoat just in case.
10) New media move. While I will miss late night dinners and early morning pity parties with my best fashion week friend, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post fashion editor Robin Givhan, I look forward to reading what she writes from her new perch at Newsweek and Daily Beast. Because if anyone can redefine how fashion and style is covered online, it's Robin.
Photos top to bottom: A look from the J. Crew spring collection courtesy of J. Crew.
Fashion designer and film director Tom Ford. Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times.
A still from "Muppet Movie" courtesy of Disney.
Kate Middleton arrives at the Thursford Collection in Norfolk, England on Dec. 18. Reuters/stringer.
California Governor-elect Jerry Brown. AP/File.
Robin Givhan, left, and Booth Moore.