2014's fashion pioneers

2014 was a pioneering year in fashion. From the reshuffling of creatives at the top luxury houses to streetwear brands becoming mainstream to Instagram celebrities to normcore, there was a new fashion order in the making.

The most talked about fashion moment was the appointment of Nicolas Ghesquiere as Louis Vuitton's new creative director. “Does not every designer ultimately seek to create something timeless?” This note with these words were asked of guests seated at Louis Vuitton AW14 in March of this year.

Louis Vuitton's appointment of Nicolas Ghesquire was 2014's biggest success story

If Ghesquiere’s debut at Louis Vuitton had any naysayers, these doubts quickly evaporated, as he set a new bar for aspirational and wearable luxury. When fashion houses such as Gucci and Prada were struggling to entice consumers and stockholders, Ghesquiere gave Louis Vuitton a refreshing new DNA. But there was no fashion overhaul or too much archive referencing, rather a re-coding rather than a de-coding. Together with his stylist Marie-Amelié Sauvé Vuittong presented a subtle nod to the 70s that has come to define this year's look in fashion.

Sometimes changing the face of fashion doesn’t require showing one’s face at all, according to Dazed & Confused. After Maison Martin Margiela’s much-lauded Artisanal Couture line for SS14, its designer Matthiew Blazy found himself in the spotlight after he was the subject of a piece by Suzy Menkes as one of the famously secretive fashion house’s lead designers.

Blazy, a former pupil of Raf Simons, never sought the fashion limelight, instead letting the clothes speak for themselves. With the recent announcement that Galliano was appointed to the house, Blazy is starting a new role at Céline, where his star is likely to shine even brighter.

British designers Luella Bartley and Katie Hiller made the headlines this year when they were appointed as the new creatives for the Marc by Marc Jacobs label. Their first collection, which presented a defining fashion tribes spirit for the brand, was unanimously well received, breathing new life into Marc Jacobs' ailing label.

J.W. Anderson was one of the UK's biggest triumphs in 2014, when his label saw investment from LVMH and he simultaneously took the creative director role at Loewe. After modernising the Spanish label’s 168 year old logo, Anderson debuted with an iconic Steven Meisel-shot campaign and a dreamy womenswear debut for SS15.

Another British triumph in 2014 was for Victoria Beckham. The popstar cum wag cum designer, has come an incredibly long way since wearing matching sarongs with her footballer husband and has re-invented herself as a bonafide fashion designer. Beckham's label, which current sells ready-to-wear, denim, accessories, eyewear, and also a diffusion line, recently opened a 6,000q foot store in London on Dover Street and was crowned designer of the year at the British Style Awards.

Beckham topped the list of Britain’s 100 most successful entrepreneurs of 2014, compiled for business magazine Management Today. The rankings are drawn up by assessing turnover growth and job creation over the past five years and Beckham saw sales growth of 2,900 percent and employment growth of 3,233 percent.

It would be a long list to name every mover and shaker that has influenced or changed fashion in 2014. It was a year that oscillated between the maximalists and minimalists of the new fashion order, proving that in fashion there is never a dull moment, nor a moment to sit still and take a back seat. From the the untimely death of Oscar de la Renta, to the aftermath of the Bangladesh factory collapse in 2013 that saw new laws put in place to protect those sewing our garments, the industry's net reaches far and wide, even to those who have no affinity.

And to every person who gets dressed in the morning, each of these garments we wear have their own story to tell.

 

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