2010-2019 – So What Was Fashion?

McQueen’s Plato’s Atlantis collection, spring/summer 2010

The decade got off to a glum start in February 2010 with the unexpected passing of fashion’s brightest star, Alexander McQueen (although his last collection would go on to influence women’s fashion well into the decade.) Most fashions at the beginning of the decade were restyled knock-offs of vintage looks, jersey dresses and cardigans that clung and draped about the body, or jackets worn over T-shirts and spandex leggings – a substitute for pants that is still popular at the end of the decade. Footwear had a new look with open-toed boots and hyper-styled shoes with towering platforms and skinny heels by designers like Nicholas Kirkwood.

Nicholas Kirkwood, 2010

Things got even more glum in 2011 when fashion’s next brightest star, John Galliano, had a public melt-down that ended his stint at Dior and put his career on hiatus while he went through rehab. Fashion moved towards drab colours like putty, nude, grey, and eggplant. McQueen’s legacy inspired short, mirror-print dresses that paired well with the new footwear styles and stood out from the animal prints, boho tops, and other trends that had been recycling through fashion since the turn of the century.

Luxury brands began to embrace their own vintage histories when companies like Chanel loaned dresses from past collections to stars walking the red carpet. Lagerfeld’s vision for Chanel would became increasingly similar from season to season as he perfected a look that really didn’t need to explore new directions to remain successful.  

Kate Middleton’s fascinator was the biggest fashion story of 2011

Fashion industry news in 2012 included Marc Jacobs leaving Louis Vuitton after 16 years, and Galliano picking up the needle again after his temporary banishment. It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of who was designing under what label. Sarah Burton was expertly maintaining Alexander McQueen, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli took on Valentino, Hedi Slimane replaced Stefano Pilati at Yves St. Laurent, Alexander Wang took over Balenciaga from Nicholas Ghesquiere, and Raf Simons was named creative director at Dior. The revolving door of young creative directors at long-established ateliers got more confusing as the decade progressed. 

Tattooing remained popular but with concerns over tanning-bed induced skin cancer, spray tans (identifiable by their orange hue) became more common. For men, undercut hairstyles with shaved temples were matched up with moustaches for ‘Movember’ cancer awareness campaigns. 

The problems of fast fashion created by companies like Zara, H&M, TopShop, Primark, and Forever 21 began making news. The high cost of cheap clothing in a price-war race to the bottom came to light when the Savar factory collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013 killing over 1100 employees who made Benetton, Joe Fresh, Walmart, and other fast fashion clothing brands.  

Inclusive and diverse – real women model Rick Owens spring 2014 collection

Steampunk was fading when the Hipster lumbersexual arrived in 2014. Men with dad-bods and man-buns adopted full Ozark-style beards, plaid flannel shirts, 90s grunge-style ripped jeans and knitted toques. For women, black boots, catsuits, and biker jackets were popular, sometimes worn with seapunk pastel tinted hair, or long hair with swept-to-the-side bangs like Taylor Swift. The new buzzword for the year ‘normcore’ identified dressed-down looks like pyjamas worn by teenagers to school.


For non hipsters a trend for dressing up became evident when Yahoo revealed their top searched question of 2015 ‘How do you tie a tie?’ While more businessmen were donning blue suits with brown shoes, the most controversial fashion news story of the year occurred when Barack Obama wore a tan suit for a press conference during an August heat wave. Across the Canadian border, Justin Trudeau’s novelty socks were the only faux pas commented on by the fashion press. 

For women, neutrals were making a strong comeback, and trouser suits gained momentum in every pant style from legging tight to palazzo wide. Fashion was finally moving away from retro vintage inspirations to conspicuously contemporary styles, using futuristic textiles and technology via designers like Iris van Herpen.

Iris van Herpen 2015 — too extreme for most, but influential in pushing fashion to look forward to the future

The Adidas collections by Stella McCartney brought rise to the new term ‘athleisure’ in 2015. Her upscale athletic clothing styles took yoga pants and hoodies into the luxury market and set off a trend that continues to grow. The word ‘athleisure’ was even officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2016, just as flyknit sneakers by Nike were becoming popular. The most controversial athleisure outfit of the year was the burkini – a head to toe swimsuit designed for Muslim women that was as scandalous to some as the bare breasted monokini had been fifty years earlier. 

In a palette of black and white tailored shirts and ankle-length skinny pants, shapeless jackets, and soft, woolly coats, a non-gender-specific style gained popularity mid decade.

In 2016, fashion was becoming political. Trump, Brexit, Black Lives Matter, transgender bathrooms – these were the headlines of the year, and fashion was not immune to being a part of those headlines. Fashion politics continued into 2017, from pink pussy hats to President Trump’s inability to knot his tie to the right length.

The undercut hairstyle, fashionable in 2012, was dropped by all but the Alt right during 2016 who paired it with white polo shirts and chinos for a ‘faschic’ look

Rules of conduct came into question in 2017. Vogue declared in late November that “…the biggest rule is that there are no rules. You can wear a princess gown with sneakers! A bathrobe to an evening event! Even slippers to the office!” However, dress codes did still exist. This became apparent when two teenaged girls were not allowed to board a United Airlines plane for wearing leggings. A few months later, a brouhaha erupted over a ban on sleeveless frocks and open-toed shoes for female reporters at the U.S. Congress. More dress code stories hit the headlines ranging from whether restaurants could require their hostesses to wear high heels, to fashion dos and don’ts posted by American restaurants that were really thinly disguised racial profiles. 

Leggings, especially nude coloured, were THE worst fashion of the 2010s

The Hipster look began to wane as designers jumped on transgender chic for menswear. Many young designers avoided traditional fashion weeks and directly marketed to their fanbase via Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Some of the older, established labels, like Vivienne Westwood and Versace, profited from market interest in their vintage pieces by remaking favourites from past collections. At auctions and vintage boutiques, buyers were battling it out for museum-worthy couture. 

Other than Meghan Markle’s trend-setting preference for bateau necklines, politics made most of the fashion headlines in 2018. Fashion news always seemed to be about some sartorial gaff, from cultural appropriation to the “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” green Zara jacket Melania Trump wore to fly to Texas to visit children separated from their families at the U.S. border. Other politically-charged fashion news in 2018 and 2019 included: the closure of Ivanka Trump’s off-shore fashion business due to the widespread boycott of the Trump brand; Hollywood actresses creating a fashion blackout at the Golden Globe awards; Nike catching flak for hiring Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49er quarterback who started the ‘Take a Knee’ anti-racism protest; France’s gilets jaunes yellow vest protestors; Dolce and Gabbana’s promotional ads that offended the entire Chinese nation; London fashion week going fur free; a Gucci sweater resembling blackface; and Victoria’s Secret last fashion show due, in part, to pushback for their propagation of unrealistic body images.

Melania Trump on her way to visit children separated from their parents at the Texas border, 2018

Via cheap labour, massive investment, and luxury spending, the fashion industry underwent a ‘Chinafication’ over the past thirty years. However, as the decade came to a close, it became apparent that the fashion industry was no longer sustainable, either economically or environmentally. Textile production is the world’s second most polluting industry after oil and only remains profitable because of over-consumption. A growing trend to buy less, choose quality over quantity, wear what you already own, and recycle everything else is beginning to change the fashion industry and will have a larger impact in the 2020’s. 

Extinction Rebellion at London fashion week, 2019

Some companies like Levi Strauss and Prada are working towards zero carbon footprints in the near future, others like Eileen Fisher and Patagonia are buying back their own used clothes from customers for upcycling. Some designers create collections in a patchwork chic that uses up textile off-cuts otherwise destined for the garbage.

There has been a seismic shift in retailing in the 2010s as a third of all sales are now direct to consumer online purchases. Brick and mortar shops are becoming more like showrooms as streets and malls, previously crowded with retailers, empty out. 

Parisian couturiers and New York fashion editors are no longer the leading fashion influencers. Today’s fashions are influenced by computer-generated algorithms, duck-faced Instagram selfies, bloggers, Facebook ‘likes’, and YouTube instructional videos. Get ready for the 20’s because everything is changing… 

We lost a lot of fashion history in the 2010s: Vidal Sassoon, Nolan Miller, Gloria Vanderbilt, Terry de Havilland, Max Azria, Karl Lagereld, Isabel Toledo, Ottavio Missoni, Hubert Givenchy, Judith Leiber, Kate Spade, Alexander McQueen, Michael Vollbracht, Emmanuelle Khanh, Gina Fratini, Laura Biagiotti, Kenneth Jay Lane, Pierre Berge, Herve Leger, Azzedine Alaia, Andre Courreges, Sonia Rykiel, James Galanos, Bill Cunningham, Oscar de la Renta, Koos Van den Akker, Jean Louis Scherrer, Arnold Scaasi, Elio Fiorucci, Madame Carven, John Fairchild, Lilly Pulitzer, Emanuel Ungaro, and Glamour magazine.

DIORama – art or fashion?

Last November the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) launched an exhibition in their textile and costume gallery entitled BIG. Despite the fact that there is nothing oversized about the one room exhibition, there is one big museum purchase with a huge controversy acting as the centrepiece of the display.

In the spring of 2011 the ROM commissioned a $100,000 dollar dress, called ‘Passage #5’, from the House of Dior. When museums commission artifacts, like a couture gown, they are buying a replica of a design, and the act of commission transforms the museum from being a collector of cultural artifacts to a patron of commercial artworks. This Dior dress is very likely the only one of it’s kind ever made, other than the one created for the runway, so you have to ask yourself – is this fashion or wearable art? Like a telephone, I believe that fashion needs a transmitter (designer) as much as a receiver (wearer) to call itself fashion. If a dress is designed but nobody wears it, I don’t call it fashion.

When I was at the Bata Shoe Museum, the founder sometimes commissioned artisans to recreate ethnographic artifacts that were no longer being made by their culture. It’s difficult to know what to do with these reproductions in the museum collection because they are not authentic cultural artifacts but display replicas.

Adding to the controversy, this dress was from John Galliano’s last collection for Dior. You may recall that shortly after Galliano presented his spring 2011 collection he was caught on film, while strung out on alcohol and arrogance, making some very stupid comments about Hitler. Obviously he was goaded into saying something that was neatly edited from the taped evidence but regardless of the prod, his responding comments were career ending. Except, it seems, to the ROM, which followed through with their commission of his dress and an accompanying documentary about the 500 hours of labour to make it.

Alexandra Palmer, curator of the costume and textile department at the ROM, and internationally recognized scholar regarding the House of Dior, did not discuss the politics of the purchase in a recent lecture and interview, but explained that the disappearing couture industry and its associated quality of construction as the reason for buying the dress, “It’s a critical moment in the history of the house as well as for Galliano and for fashion.”

However for me the BIGGEST thing about the exhibition, is the lack of a secure environment for the 100,000 dollar dress. The gallery it is located in the ROM is in the quarter billion dollar ‘crystal’ extension where the roof is so leaky there are pails to catch drips of water…


Passage #5 – John Galliano for Christian Dior, spring 2011,

Canadian Fashion Connection – Patrick Cox

Cox was an early advocate for the revival of platform soles in the 1990s and was one of the first designers to create outrageous 'unwearable' styles like this pair made for Vivienne Westwood in 1993 that famously felled Naomi Campbell.

I don’t know how I missed this news story, but Patrick Cox sold his shoe business three years ago to ex-con businessman ‘Lord’ Edward Davenport (the title was purchased, not bestowed.)

Born in Edmonton, Patrick Cox briefly worked as a stylist in Toronto before moving to England to attend Cordwainer’s Technical College in 1983. A chance meeting in a line-up to an illegal club resulted in his first job designing shoes for Vivienne Westwood. By 1985 Cox was in business designing shoes for Westwood and John Galliano. In 1991 Cox opened his first shop in Chelsea, and in 1993 he launched his diffusion line ‘Wannabe’ starting with a revival of Hush Puppy loafers in ice cream coloured suedes. In 2003 Cox was hired as the creative director of Charles Jourdan, but he left after a couple of years to work on his own brand.

The details of his company’s sale have not been disclosed but it’s obviously a result of the economic downturn. Edward Davenport has said he wants to make the company like Jimmy Choo (which ironically shares a strikingly similar history – right down to the slithery take-over…) Animosity between the founding designer and current owner was obvious, and Cox now seems to no longer have any association with his former company. Cox opened a bakery in London in 2010, although he has said he will be working with the Italian footwear company Geox next year.

Added December 19 – Apparently I am more out of it than I realized — London’s Evening Standard had a bit on October 6 of this year about how Patrick Cox lost his shoe business and Edward Davenport, who has now been jailed for seven years for a 4 million pound fraud, said he had bought it out but hadn’t. Apparently he offered several clients financial backing if they paid for some costs upfront. Davenport also bankrupted Elizabeth Emmanuel (designer of Princess Diana’s wedding gown in 1981) with this scheme…:

“In 2008 Cox had lost control of his shoe empire, valued at £12.5 million, to his Hong Kong-based backers, King Power Group…Davenport claimed he had bought the Patrick Cox brand for £2.5 million…A furious Cox feared the brand would be taken downmarket… “Davenport never put a penny into it,” said Cox. “Davenport never owned it. He went around saying that he did but it never was his. It’s been to the High Court, and everything has been returned to King Power Group”.”

2000-2009 – So What Was Fashion?

(Originally blogged November 27, 2009)

J-Lo in a low low cut dress, 2000

I know it doesn’t feel like a decade has passed since Y2K but in a little more than a month we will be entering the 2010s and that means the first decade of 21st century fashion is wrapping up. Science fiction predicted we would all be wearing unisex jumpsuits in crease resistant synthetics, but in reality the first decade of the new millennium offered no space age vision. The entire decade was about looking back, not forward.

Sarah Jessica Parker in a vintage inspired cocktail dress

Vintage fashions from the 1950s to the 1980s were the inspiration for all new fashions from chain stores to haute couture. Department stores resembled giant vintage clothing warehouses filled with separates from different eras to mix and match for a hodge podge contemporary look (a way of styling delineated by Patricia Field in her costuming for Sex and the City, but difficult to pull off successfully). Vintage shops carried authentic Jackie Kennedy sheath dresses, mod coats, beaded cardigans, Disco T-shirts, and Flashdance leggings that could transform you into any vintage fashion icon from Holly Go-Lightly to Rhoda Morganstern. Borrowing from the past to create modern style has been common since Barbara Hulanicki revived the 1930s and 1940s for her Biba label, but when Ralph Lauren got too close to copying an Yves St. Laurent tuxedo dress he was fined by a French court in 1994 for copyright infringement. But that didn’t stop the trend. From Anna Sui to Nicholas Ghesquiere, raiding vintage wardrobes for style ideas was the dominant trend of the 2000s. Cameron Silver of Decades, a vintage clothing store in West Hollywood, admitted in 2002 that 60% of his sales went to designers “who are just hyper stylists these days.”

Crocs – the summer 2006 hit

Some defining fashions of the 2000s were continuations of trends that began in the 1990s or before. Tattooing and piercing, for example, grew in popularity with the punk and fetish cultures but generally remained unseen until the early 2000s. At first, small ankle tattoos appeared, and then lower back tats were exposed in bare midriff tops and low-rise jeans (thong underwear straps were also showcased by low-rise jeans.) By the end of the decade, neck calligraphy and entire sleeves of Japanese motifs were covering arms. However, piercing all but disappeared, with the exception of the occasional tribal style ear lobe plug worn by skateboarders and bicycle couriers.

The Thong…

Shaved heads, made popular by Hip Hop singers and Sinead O’Connor in the 1990s, turned the street tough/chemo patient look into a mainstream tress code in the 2000s. For women, the tousled ‘I just fell out of bed’ look of the 1990s persisted but lost momentum by the end of the decade in favour of more coifed locks. And with a nod to the Studio 54 era, Afros and corn rowing had small return engagements, as did coloured hair, but really only for performers like Lil’ Kim and Pink. Caramel highlights was about as daring as anyone got who didn’t perform on stage.

Crop top and low rise jeans, New York, Spring 2001

Thin was very ’in’ despite the fact that most of the population was getting fatter, probably because we all put on weight while quitting smoking. Meanwhile in fashionland, Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Lara Flynn Boyle, Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss resembled their wafer thin laptops when they turned sideways. The only discernable bumps on most fashion icons were those made by surgically implanted or padded breasts. Take away cigarettes, cocaine, and bulimia and you have to wonder how many rail thin celebrities would be able to maintain their 00 dress sizes.

Bratz dolls, fall 2002

Most work places saw casual dress codes expand from Fridays to every day. The most popular casual look for work and weekend at the beginning of the decade was low-rise jeans or trousers with full or flared legs. When worn in combination with a crop top, the toned tummy became the new erogenous zone but pudgy muffin tops were the reality. In the middle of the decade flares disappeared and tight tapered styles and leggings reappeared; waistlines also moved back up to the top of the hips. Crop tops were abandoned in favour of more modest empire-waist peasant tops, making an entire generation of women look like unwed mothers. The biggest non-fashion event of the 2000s was the return of the poncho. Ponchos were in fashion for about 3 minutes in the winter of 2004/2005, and were long gone by the time Martha Stewart emerged from prison or Ugly Betty wore her Guadalajara version to work. The poncho was part of the Bohemian or ‘Boho’ style of peasant tops and gypsy skirts that returned often throughout the decade. Also in for repeat performances were animal prints, denim, military (cargo pants, camouflage), and pimp and pole dancer styles (Pussycat Doll chic consisting of micro minis, Huggie Bear hats, and bling).

Baby Doll Dress, spring 2000

For dressier occasions the baby doll dress lasted most of the decade. Worn with dark stockings or no stockings at all, baby doll dresses never reached the nth degree cult status of the Japanese Goth-Lolita look. However, most other subculture fashions, from Goth to Gay, went mainstream in the 2000s.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was launched in 2003 as part of the landslide of reality TV makeover shows (What Not to Wear, Ten Years Younger, Extreme Makeover…) The format became routine: An overweight woman of a certain age who is exhausted from work and taking care of her kids is given a brutal talking to by a bunch of stylists who sharpen their wits on her high school hair-do and age inappropriate 90s wardrobe. She is given a dye job, her eyebrows are plucked, she puts on a new outfit or two, and her life is suddenly worth living again because she says she feels sexy in her new too-tight jeans floral print blouse, and stiletto shoes. The sponsors of these shows were often mainstream chain stores, which meant New York location shoots did not explore the wonderful shops of Tribeca or Chelsea, but rather the H&M on Broadway.

Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton, 2003

The Gap and Banana Republic, leading retailers in the 1990s, waned in popularity in the 2000’s, while Old Navy, a budget basics store from the same parent company, held its own alongside strong fashion retailers like H&M and Target. Founded in Sweden in 1947, H&M began opening franchises across Europe in the 1960s; their first American store opened in Manhattan in 2000. The origins of Target date back over a century but in the shift from five and dime retailer to Walmart competitor, Target hired designers such as Steven Sprouse in 2002 and Isaac Mizrahi in 2003 to create collections for budget-conscious customers. H&M followed suit, hiring designers Stella McCartney in 2005 and Roberto Cavalli in 2007.

French Connection, founded in 1972, accidentally discovered in 1997 that their UK branch was identified in a fax as FCUK. Leaping upon the vulgar dyslexic acronym for marketing purposes, the French Connection sold T-shirts with sayings like ‘FCUK fashion’ to style-deprived imbeciles. The company feigned surprise when they lost their bid to the rights of the acronym; First Consultants UK Ltd. proved precedence in court and in 2006 French Connection abandoned their FCUK campaign.

Juicy Couture track pants and Uggs

One of the decade’s leading marketing success stories began when Gel Nash-Taylor, the wife of Duran Duran’s John Taylor, and her partner Pamela Skaist-Levy branded a line of maternity pants in 1996 under the name Juicy Couture. Juicy Couture offered affordable, comfortable casual wear aimed at the yummy mummy’s market wedged between girl power and cougars. The label found limited success until 2003 when Liz Claiborne bought the fledgling company for 50 million dollars. By 2005, Juicy Couture and its knock-offs had women 18-45 in tracksuits with words like Juicy, Sweet, Sexy, and Meow written across the butt.

Chavs in Burberry plaid

Long-standing brands re-marketed themselves for a hipper look in the new millennium. The English classic Burberry reinvented itself in 2002 to appeal to a younger crowd, losing most of their older, established clientele in the process when Chavs (English term for teenage delinquents such as soccer hooligans) picked up on the trend for Burberry plaid. Similarly Marc Jacobs hired artist Takashi Murakami to update a bag for Louis Vuitton that would appeal to the Japanese Lolita aesthetic in 2003.

Celebrity brands exploded in the 2000s. In most cases the celebrities had marginal input into the design and only loaned their name for branding. The list included: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Gwen Stefani, Kelli Osbourne, Lenny Kravitz, Anna Nicole Smith, Mariah Carey, Donald Trump, Lil’ Kim, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Alba, Kanye West, Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Lopez, P Diddy, Miley Cyrus, Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff, Elizabeth Hurley… and many more.

Japanese Goth Lolita

On a high fashion note, the leading American designer torch passed from Tom Ford to Marc Jacobs in the 2000s. Across the pond it was the talented ‘l’enfant terrible’ Alexander McQueen who managed to find recognition and funding for his label from the Gucci Group, courtesy of Tom Ford in 2002. John Galliano remained a bright light in fashionland at Christian Dior, even though his couture consists of irrelevant fantasy gowns made solely for media exploitation. Galliano has Anna ‘Nuclear’ Wintour, chief editor of American Vogue, as his number one fan. Anna Wintour’s thinly veiled send up in the 2003 book and 2006 film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ proved that fashion was just business after all, and not a very nice one at that. While getting along with Wintour is necessary for good reportage in Vogue, Armani and Alaia are not quiet about their disdain for her. She may need to be wary of burnt bridges now as the current falling circulation doesn’t look good on her twenty-one year reign at Vogue.

Fashion reportage is changing and the fashion magazine is no longer the dominant style delineator. The 2000s saw the birth of television channels devoted to fashion. The Internet put the power of fashion coverage into many more hands; The Vintage Fashion Guild, The Sartorialist, Worn Fashion Journal, and numerous other professional and amateur websites and blogs now report on and influence the path of fashion.

Roberto Cavalli dressed as Karl Lagerfeld for Halloween 2007

In the 2000s we saw less of Karl Lagerfeld (42 kilos less). We also saw brilliant designers retire: Issey Miyake, Calvin Klein, Hanae Mori, Valentino, Christian Lacroix, and Tom Ford from Gucci. And some designers we lost forever: Thea Porter, Bonnie Cashin, Bill Blass, Roberta de Camerino, Pauline Trigere, Hardy Amies, Geoffrey Beene, Stephen Sprouse, Giovanna Fontana, Donald Brooks, Liz Claiborne, Mr. Blackwell, Oleg Cassini, Gianfranco Ferre, Yves St. Laurent, and fashion illustrator Rene Gruau.

Gladiator platform sandals, spring 2008

As for coming attractions in the 2010s, I suspect we will see more environmentally friendly fashions including sustainable materials coming into fashion – more hemp, less polyester. Mixed in with revivals, including a broader shoulder line from the 80s, fashion is already showing a trend for new ways of constructing and decorating that are contemporary, not retro. Vintage is here to stay, but not always in its original form. There is already a strong trend for ‘up cycling’ – remaking bad vintage into good wearables. Don’t forget this was the way things used to be until prosperity in the 1950s made North Americans consumers with voracious appetites for novelty. We have already seen shoes with built in Ipods and coats and dresses with cell phone pockets so perhaps more technology and fashion will combine in the coming decade. On the negative side expect to see significant cost increases in labour and shipping. Other than these few prognostications – time will only tell.

Ten things I will remember about fashion in the 2000s, and most of them aren’t good:

Miss Piggy takes a cue from Janet Jackson from a 2004 viral email image

1 – 2004’s ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’ – Tell the truth Janet it wasn’t an accident; it was just a bad idea.

2 – Flip-flops – They are too casual and dangerous to wear any place other than the beach or the back yard

3 – Uggs – They get stinky and dirty quickly, they make your legs look fat, and they’re ugly

4 – Eco terrorists – from P.E.T.A. members who send images of skinned animals to vintage websites that have a 1940s rabbit muff for sale, to vegans who like to remind everyone at the table why they are superior because they don’t wear leather shoes or use cosmetics. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

5 – Paris Hilton and all the other celebrities with sex tapes and no underwear

6 – Knock-offs – Fashion is all about knocking off someone else’s ideas – Victor Costa and Nettie Rosenstein weren’t designers, they were copyists. Fake purses, sunglasses and shoes became common in the 2000s but the real issue here is trademark infringement. Obviously a company logo is clearly copyrightable, but is quilted kid or contrast stitching? China (the United States biggest creditor) makes the most profits from the production and sale of knock-offs so until websites that offer $89.00 ‘Louboutin’ shoes are closed down, don’t tell me tales of terrorists making money from Louis ‘Fauxton’ bags because I am not listening.

7 – Non-clothing accessories – everything from a Starbucks coffee to a teacup Chihuahua – must you walk around with perceived status symbols in your hand?

8 – Oversized, over-designed handbags – What happened to all those elegant crocodile Kelly bags and evening clutches from the 90s – purses were wonderful then but now they are big and ugly, especially Michael Kors’ bags.

9 – Overpriced cheap products – Crocs are a good example. They are great shoes for the beach or back yard, but why are knock-offs available for a tenth of the price? Hey Crocs – your products are rubber sandals, not art, charge accordingly.

10 – Reality fashion programs. I keep promising myself to stop watching Project Runway and I will – next time. I don’t like the unfair and unrealistic expectations set upon the contestants. I am still angry over the 2006 ‘couture’ challenge in Paris – couture can NOT be made with glue in two days, to fit two different models

All Images were gleaned off the net – if any are copyrighted I will gladly credit or remove them at the owner’s request.

If you want to read someone else’s take, the Globe and Mail had an interesting article about fashion in 2009: Globe and Mail best and worst of fashion 2009


1. It’s always so interesting to look back and ask “did I really wear that?”~ Some were keepers, others, maybe no~ Comment by Sharon — November 27, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

2. Excellent–and depressing–summation. It has been a very difficult decade, ‘The Decade From Hell’ according to Time Magazine (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/25/itimei-magazine-cover-dub_n_371041.html) Comment by Maggie — November 27, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

3. Don’t say you mention crocs… Great coverage on what is a huge topic….. This decade was spent rehashing other decades fashion sort got lost and there was no real real strong fashion movement. What I saw was a rehashing of other movement. I drew the line when they started to redo grunge… Comment by chris anderson — November 27, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

4. This is a wonderful post. I particularly like the 10 things you’ll remember about fashion especially the Starbuck’s reference. Comment by Lisa — December 3, 2009 @ 9:27 am

5. loved reading this!! thanks Comment by BetsyM — December 7, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

6. Fabulous post. You are so great! How did you not miss a thing? You should teach fashion at Parsons, or sumfun. I totally soaked in your fashion history. You know, i lived it all, & you didn’t miss a thing!!! Comment by shell — July 4, 2010 @ 8:01 pm