2016 was undoubtedly a year of flux, instability and uncertainty, with a widespread feeling of fragility that was reflected in the fashion industry as well as the world at large. As in the previous year, in 2016 we saw a significant number of major departures from fashion houses: Hedi Slimane exited Saint Laurent, Peter Copping left Oscar de la Renta after just a two-year stint, Maria Grazia Chiuri moved from Valentino to Dior, Peter Dundas left Roberto Cavalli and the Public School boys stepped down from their roles at DKNY.
This year we saw leading brands begin to operate in an entirely new way, shaking up the traditional schedule, whether it was merging menswear and womenswear collections on the catwalk or showcasing in-season collections (rather than presenting designs six months before they hit the shops) with the advent of the “see now, buy now” movement.
British Vogue celebrated its centenary while we witnessed first-hand the unpredictable future for print magazines, as InStyle folded in the UK. We also said goodbye to the most stylish First Lady, Michelle Obama, who championed both established and emerging designers with her elegant and sometimes experimental style.
2016 was the year that Demna Gvasalia affirmed his title as the King of Fashion, ruling the runways with his directional designs at Vetements and Balenciaga, despite disappointingly white-washed casting at his shows. Alessandro Michele continued to hold the fashion world in his thrall with his geek chic, clashing patterned, vintage-inspired vision, and Jonathan Anderson's accessories at J.W.Anderson and Loewe were carried in the hands of every editor during fashion weeks.
Just as gender fluidity became almost fully integrated into the mainstream, we lost two of the 20th century's greatest music and fashion icons, David Bowie and Prince; both were breaking gender boundaries decades earlier.
Thankfully, despite some designers' decision to include no non-white models in their shows and campaigns, and Kanye West's controversial casting call for "multiracial" women only, in 2016 we saw much more celebration of body diversity and plus-size women.
In short, 2016 was a year of seismic change. Ahead are just some of the biggest fashion moments from the past 12 months...