Before any true new beginning, one needs to sift through the old, select the irrelevant from the things worthy of remembering and learn from past mistakes and actions. In similar fashion (pun totally intended), before we move on to what this new year has in store for us style-wise (and I'm sure we will not be disappointed), 2012 deserves a true farewell to arms with a short recap of its most memorable fashion moments.
1) Choupette - or, arguably, the most famous cat in the world, outshining probably even YouTube legend Maru. In any case, with its pristine white fur and exquisite grooming, Karl Lagerfeld's favourite companion has made her mark on the year and left us wanting more.
2) Angelina Jolie and the black velvet dress she wore at the Oscars - in truth, it was more the leg than the Atelier Versace couture that garnered the world's attention, but the dress deserves its kudos. After all, what is a leg without a thigh-high split to show it off?
3) Also at the Oscars - Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford (personally, I would have liked it even better cape-less, but I believe I am alone in that assessment), Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen (I dreamt of her in that dress for a week straight) and Rooney Mara in custom Givenchy.
4) Rooney Mara all around - Rooney was a breath of fresh, edgy fashion air as she travelled the world to promote "The girl with the dragon tattoo" and she was, by far, my candidate for best fashion break-out of the year. Best thing of all? Consistently flawless make-up and hair elevated each look to sublime perfection. In my humble opinion, quite naturally.
5) Designer come, designer go - As far as fashion designer changes go, this year had plenty. In fact, I don't seem to recall any other time (within my memory span, of course) when there was so much change. First, Raf Simons took John Galliano's old seat at Dior and debuted in the summer with a well-received haute couture collection. Second, Hedi Slimane took over from Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent and debuted in October with a ready-to-wear collection which was not so well-received. Pilati, in the meantime, is at Ermenegildo Zegna. Come November, Nicolas Ghesquiere was announced to leave Balenciaga only to be replaced by Alexander Wang. Also making headlines this year was that Christopher Kane left Versus to reportedly focus more on his own line. With all these changes in the major league still so fresh, it's shaping up to be an interesting 2013.
6) YSL out, SLP in - Hedi Slimane's first big move as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent was to change the brand's name to Saint Laurent Paris. The official explanation? A "return to the fundamentals of YSL and revive the spirit and the intentions that reigned over the creation of 'Saint Laurent Rive Gauche' in 1966: principles of youth, freedom, and modernity". But was it really worth giving up on the history and power of the YSL brand name? I am torn.
7) Golden Olympics - Olympics opening and closing ceremonies are always something to behold, but this year's London edition seemed to be tailor-made for fashion fans around the world - there was the Spice Girls reunion, an Alexander McQueen tribute and... a walk of the greats, the British Supermodels. Naomi Campbell, Lily Donaldson, Georgia May Jagger, Jourdan Dunn, Lily Cole, Karen Elson and Stella Tennant all came out in gold, like goddesses among people. And that moment when the curtain went down to reveal a frowning, sensual Kate Moss in a gold-sequined McQueen gown? Unforgettable by any standard.
8) The rise and rise of Cara Delevingne - Quirky, goofy and a bit of tomboy. Those are the words that sprung to mind when thinking of Cara Delevingne. Quite a way off the model mark. Yet, this year, the socialite and all round girl about town got hot and heavy with the high fashion world by opening countless shows in the New York Fashion Week, scoring campaigns for Burberry, Chanel and Stella McCartney to name a few and, as a culmination of such a successful run, winning Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. If that wasn't enough, last month she also put on her wings to walk the Victoria's Secret runway... can it get any better?!
9) Brad Pitt and Chanel no. 5 - It was like an earthquake - none of us saw it coming. Brad Pitt as the face of the iconic Chanel No. 5. Apart from the fact that he is, you know, a man, what he and Lady Chic Coco Chanel have in common is beyond me. Still, it was one of the most talked about collaborations of the year, and, marketing gimmick or not, it seems to have worked - sales of the perfume reportedly went up.
10) Anna Piaggi - In August, fashion lost one of its most celebrated front-row fixtures: journalist and quirky style icon Anna Piaggi. She may not have been everybody's cup of tea, but she sure will be missed.