Here are my top fashion trends of 2008, another in my series of lists. This was one of the easier lists to compile, as most of these photos were already serving as inspiration to me. It is interesting to see how quickly these trends were picked up, which trends will continue into 2009, which trends have morphed from 2007.
1. Gladiator Sandals: The ultimate fashion-warrior shoe! Having first been “seen” in 2007, these were still the shoe to be wearing through 2008. The shoe factories started pumping out the designs – we saw them in knee-high, we saw them ankle-high, we saw them in metallic colours. It’s not hard to understand. They offer toughness to an outfit, even if just wearing a simple cotton dress.
2. Headbands: Another trend that we first saw back in 2007, perhaps even as far back as 2006, it started out as a simple scarf tied around the hair on stars like Nicole Richie. But these morphed into a more sophisticated look in 2008, reminiscent of the flapper era. Velvet turbans, sequinned headbands – the headband became the must-have accessory of the year.
3. Feathers: Feather detail started appearing on the runways early on in the year. While my personal fashion memories of feathers include feather boas draped around my shoulders when I was young, on the runways it presented itself in a more ethereal fashion: high-waisted skirts with fishnets, tucked behind ears, on collars, underneath dark blazers.
4. Fringe Detail: Fringe detailing was everywhere – from Mary Kate Olsen’s fringe bag by Prada, to flapper-style dresses, to moccasins. A lot of the fringe detail was reminiscent of the hippie era and added a great sixties touch to any outfit.
5. Stud Detail: Suddenly studding, and DIY studding, has become all the rage, and an expensive rage at that. A pair of hand-studded boots at Free People sets you back more than $300 and Rumi of Fashion Toast is making circa $100 on every pair of studded Levis she sells! It started when Bess released their studded moccasins and it doesn’t look to be ending any time soon.
6. Torn Denim: It became clear after Balmain sent models down the catwalk in perfectly-torn denim that we wouldn’t be looking back. Suddenly everyone is shredding their jeans to near-oblivion and, if you have the talent to get a near-perfect slash, why not?
7. Grunge Revival: If it smells like teen spirit, it probably is. Bring out your Doc Martens and your lumberjack shirts. Grunge is back. It feels like it was just yesterday that grunge was here for the first time. It was a sign of the revival when Daisy Lowe became the first “face” of Doc Martens. Now, lumberjacks everywhere are making a killing on eBay with their old shirts.
8. High-Waisted: Not always the most flattering of looks, this trend is another that carried over from 2007. High-waisted shorts kicked off the trend and in 2008, it morphed into high-waisted skirts – everything from ethnic to floral to geometric prints to simple black, as long as it was high-waisted. Usually worn with a simple tank, this trend was great for girls with slim waists but wide hips.
9. Leather Leggings: Out of nowhere came leather-look leggings. Sass & Bide’s “Black Rats” leggings were sold out weeks in advance, Kate Moss has done a pair of Topshop and American Apparel is ruling the market. Flattering or not, everyone wants them.
10. Wayfarer Sunglasses: I’ve mentioned it once already here but brightly coloured wayfarers were a huge trend this year. Starting out with Heath Ledger sporting red wayfarers in January, we seemed to roll through all the colours, with Rachel Bilson in green, Ashley Olsen in orange and Chloe Sevigny in white. I think that line up of names alone proves what a hit they were.
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