Our second annual Best Of series kicked off yesterday with a celebration of the best-dressed celebrities in 2009. Today, for the second part of the series, we are featuring 2009’s biggest movers and shakers in the fashion world, from Lady Gaga to Michelle Obama to Tom Ford. All of our picks have played a role in making 2009 one of the most exciting years in fashion yet.
1. Lady Gaga: Music maven Lady Gaga spent 2009 giving the fashion world a little “shock and awe” treatment. She pioneered the year’s no-pants trend and wore many a see-through number. She even shocked Grace Coddington by turning up to a Vogue editorial shoot “in a white rubber coat, stark naked underneath. No buttons, nothing – and completely you know, shaved.” Oh Gaga.
2. Fashion’s Night Out: New York City and other fashion capitals went wild for Anna Wintour’s shopping extravaganza, Fashion’s Night Out, in September 2009. The Vogue editor teamed up with the CFDA to organize the event, designed to promote retail, restore consumer confidence and celebrate fashion. Wintour ventured to Queens for the event, Oscar de la Renta sang at his store and the Olsen twins served drinks at Bergdorf Goodman’s bar.
3. The September Issue: Although 2009 saw the release of several fashion-related films and documentaries, The September Issue was one of the most anticipated. The documentary followed the behind-the-scenes drama at Vogue magazine, helmed by Anna Wintour. Surprising many, the breakout star of the documentary was Grace Coddington, Vogue’s creative director who, since the release of the film, can’t ride the subway without being approached by fans.
4. Opening Ceremony: The economic crisis isn’t holding Opening Ceremony down. In 2009, the store opened a full-fledged department store in Tokyo and launched collaborations with Keds, Where The Wild Things Are, Betsey Johnson Archive and Pendleton. Although it’s 2010 now, they’ve also just announced the launch of a second New York store.
5. Fashion Bloggers: Take a deep breath because fashion bloggers were everywhere in 2009. Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast and Julia Frakes of Bunny Bisous both signed with Next Model Management. Rumi also designed a collection with RVCA, home to Erin Wasson’s label. Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie became the most talked about, due to her tender age. Apart from a video collaboration with Rodarte, Tavi also penned a column for Harper’s Bazaar and was invited to Japan by Comme des Garçons. Don’t forget Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes who designed with Urban Outfitters and Gryphon, attended the Crillon Ball in Paris wearing Chanel and signed a book deal.
6. Michelle Obama: America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, became a fashion icon in 2009, earning comparisons to Jackie O. She helped to skyrocket Jason Wu’s career when she chose one of his designs for her inaugural gown and appeared on the cover of Vogue in March 2009.
7. Tom Ford: Though he’s best known for his role as creative director of Gucci, a position he gave up in 2004, fashion designer Tom Ford made a new name for himself in 2009 with his first film, A Single Man. His directorial debut was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival.
8. Michael Jackson: Although the military jacket was already being seen on the catwalks in early 2009, Michael Jackson’s untimely death in June was enough to propel the military jacket to trend status. From sequined lapels to denim versions, the style was one of the most sought-after pieces of 2009.