A decade of fashion: What will be remembered from the 2010s

So these were the 2010s. An exciting decade that began, for the fashion
industry, with the tragic suicide of Alexander McQueen in February 2010 and
closed with Karl Lagerfeld’s death in 2019. Two giants of fashion, both had
a decisive influence on fashion in the years before their deaths, and
their absences have left large gaps. In this review, FashionUnited looks
back at the greatest moments, celebrities, fashion designers, developments
and trends of the decade.

The icons of the decade

In the noughties feminine and ditzy were projected as the ideal traits
of women – think Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera (before she became
X-Tina) or Britney Spears. The twenty-tens, however, ushered in the era of
powerhouse females who made no secret of their often feminist agenda: Lady
Gaga, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce.

Photo: Lady Gaga at the Met Gala | Photo:
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images North America

It’s no wonder, since this decade empowered a new wave of feminists,
committed to equal rights and treatment at the workplace. Females demanding
representation in management, with equal voices, salaries and pensions to
men there. Women then needed the perfect look for a new, digital and a less
hierarchical working world, which she found in Phoebe Philo at Céline,
Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham. In general, it can be said that the
looks of the 2010s are more sophisticated adult and detailed than those of
the noughties.

The biggest influence: influencers

The 2010s will be remembered in history as the decade of the
influencer. Professions that did not exist before – bloggers,
Youtubers and street style photographers – were born in this decade and
flipped the rules of business completely upside down. Apart from these
influencers, who outdid models and celebrities at times in the 2010s, there
were those with different influential means who had a direct impact on the
fashion of the decade.

Photo: Meghan Markle at her wedding with Prince Harry | Andrew Matthews /
Pool / AFP

A new generation of Royals influencing the decade: First came the
Kate Middleton effect, until Meghan Markle stole the spotlight and
boosted profits for their prefered fashion houses. What either of the two
wore was always sold out in online shops within minutes. According to the
“Year In Fashion 2019” report by fashion search platform Lyst, the Duchess
of Sussex was the most influential fashion icon of the year and her outfits
led to an average increase of 216 percent in the search for similar pieces.
In addition, Marie Kondo and Greta Thunberg may have also had great
influence on private wardrobes: One helped to sort one’s clothes, the other
to buy more sustainably.

Mega trends: sustainability, diversity and See Now Buy Now

Consumers demanded to buy clothes off the catwalks just as quickly as
the influencers and street stylers. A development that has led to the
creation of “See Now Buy Now” fashion shows, where clothes can be
purchased directly via online shopping. But on the contrary, a heightened
environmental awareness has taken the wind out of the sails of this instant
wish fulfillment to a certain extent. Companies are becoming increasingly
aware of their responsibility and doing more about eco-friendly
manufacturing, supply chains and materials. The growth spur of sustainable
fashion is a defining factor of the decade, and let’s not forget the
consumer demand for diversity and inclusivity in the fashion world.

Victoria’s Secret: a relic from the decade before, now replaced by
Rihanna’s Fenty lingerie line, failed to adapt to a new inclusive and
diverse era. Models are no longer only slim, young, white and able-bodied,
but a cross-section of society.

Photo: body inclusivity takes New York Fashion Week by
storm at Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show | Photo: Ben Gabbe / Getty Images

The 2010s: streetwear and athleisure

While on the catwalks, the motto seemed to be “anything goes,” flooding
the decade with a cacophony of the most diverse trends and looks, a clear
look emerged on the streets: Streetwear and athleisure looks formed the
peak of an ever strongly “casualised” wardrobe. Sneakers – first clean and
white, then chunky or Dad sneakers by the end of the decade – were faithful
companions over the ten years. Kanye’s label Yeezy contributed
significantly to athleisure and sneakers becoming increasingly popular.
Adidas, Nike and Balenciaga benefited as well and advanced the trend.
Supreme, Off-White and yoga brands such as Lululemon and Ugg Boots also
influenced the looks on the street.

Photo: Off/White AW19, via Catwalkpictures

In the first half of the decade, hipsters also had their big moment:
rolled up trousers, man buns, beards and checked shirts defined a look that
may go down in history as youth culture or a sociological phenomenon. In
this context, the normcore trend is also worth mentioning, with its alleged
renouncement of consumption in favour of basics, presenting a counter trend
towards an ever increasing personalisation and individualisation.

These fashion designers informed the decade

Hedi Slimane’s rock’n’roll look for Saint Laurent (renaming the fashion
house YSL) shaped the early years of the decade, a look consisting of black
leather trousers and studded jackets, symbolising the early 2010s and
picked up and completed by labels such as Isabel Marant.

Photo: Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent AW15 |

A key piece of the 2010s were bomber jackets and puffer jackets. Skinny
jeans experienced a meteoric ascent as well as a slow descent within the
decade. In general, corresponding to the 30 year fashion cycle, there was a
resurgence of the 90s, which informed trends in the past few years and
seems to continue as a trend.

Photo: Mary Katrantzou launches capsule collection with Moose Knuckles

Designer Jonathan Anderson deserves a special mention. He is currently
working on his label J.W.Anderson and began his triumphal procession in the
fashion industry as “Emerging Talent 2012,” then had a meteoric ascent as
the “Menswear Designer of the Year” in 2014 and was named Womenswear as
well as “Menswear Designer of the Year” in 2015 and received an award for
his work as creative head at Loewe at the Fashion Awards in 2017.

Photo: J.W.Anderson AW15 /SS16 / AW17 |

Gucci’s “new” creative head, Alessandro Michele, has also made a
significant contribution to the decade. His novel aesthetics catapulted
Gucci’s sales all the way to the top and himself into the limelight. In the
foreground of Michele’s aesthetic revolution are iconoclastic,
out-of-context references, which are then pieced together in a new way. A
kind of postmodern emptying of meaning of all references, as also perfected
by Vetements and Off-White, paired with logomania. These labels, which are
more DJs than composers, more stylists than designers in the true sense of
the word, have in retrospect made the largest contribution to the fashion
culture of the 2010s.

Photo: Gucci Cruise Collection 2019: Courtesy of Gucci by Dan Lecca & Kevin

Photo: Damien Meyer / AFP | Chanel Couture AW18 Catwalkpictures

This article was originally published on FashionUnited DE. Edited
and translated by Simone Preuss

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