The way we wore in 2012: Our fashion awards
Published 19/12/2012 | 06:00
Were you on-trend or off the mark this year? We hand out the gongs
The Look What Happened To My Thighs! Award: wedge trainers
It was back in the mists of 2010 that Isabel Marant launched the Bekket (right, top), a suede hi-top with a concealed wedge. But it was only this year that the wedge trainer became ubiquitous.
Marant may have reissued her Bekkets in new colourways every season, but their limited availability, coupled with their €482 price tag, was never going to be enough to achieve critical mass.
Enter, stage left, Ash, with its €221 homages (right, bottom), in a plethora of styles and colours, which flooded the market. Whether our fervour was driven by an urge to look sporty or an urge to look slimmer is a moot point.
As anyone who has marvelled wondrously in the mirror at their new, improved, longer, slimmer legs will attest, concealed wedge trainers aren't so much the new Uggs as the new Spanx.
The Most Overexposed Hairstyle: ombre
Once, dark roots were a sign of laziness, sluttiness and penury. Now they are cool. Ombre – hair lightened to mid-length, so roots are left showing – was the only way to wear your tresses this year, with neat highlights to the root marking you out as a total has-been or, worse, suburban.
Smarter salons might have been doing a roaring trade for years, but only in 2012 did it become ubiquitous, with everyone from Drew Barrymore to Caroline Flack (right) getting the dip-dyed look. Do it on the cheap with L'Oréal's new Preference treatment, which comes "with expert brush" and costs around €12.
The "I Know I Said I Never Would But . . ." Award: leather trousers
You started off dismissing them as overpriced nonsense for wannabe rock chicks and deluded MILFs. Then you saw one of the mums wearing them on the school run, with trainers. Then someone told you Zara did a pair for €300.
Your stance weakened. You thought mournfully of the €49 pleather jeans hanging in the wardrobe: how sweaty they were, how cheap they felt. L'Oréal ads floated through your mind.
Soon, you were logging on to My-wardrobe.com and buying €859-worth of prime Joseph leather trouser. Because you're worth it.
The "What? Really?" Award: anoraks
Coats were all very well, but this was the year the anorak became chic. Puffas were no longer confined to Aspen; parkas were no longer confined to festivals and hoods were de rigueur.
To save things from looking too trainspotter-ish, we paid careful attention to what we wore with said anoraks: jeans were not okay, but leather trousers were. Trainers didn't work, but Converse did.
The best-looking down jackets were worn belted at the waist for a less Michelin Man feel (Moncler, Uniqlo), while the best parkas were either souped-up with rivets and rhinestones (Zara) or reworked with fancy hood trimmings, zips and camouflage prints (Topshop).
The Special Longevity Award: nude shoes
We distinctly remember writing about nude shoes this time last year. Winter might have brought a slight hiatus, but in the summer you couldn't move for leather courts in prosthetic-limb hues.
It's all down to the Kate Effect, and if fashion is to move on in 2013, we must all pray that LK Bennett doesn't launch a pair of flat nude pumps.
What to move on to? Why, white shoes, of course: already much loved by the fashion pack, and far more chic than nudies.
The Ankle Boot Award
Finally! Womankind came round to the idea that looking chic didn't necessarily involve a 6in heel, excruciating pain, a lot of wobbling and, in some cases, actually falling over.
Cue the Acne Star boot, a Chelsea-style update of the famous Pistol, which spawned a plethora of less expensive rip-offs to the delight of sore feet everywhere.
Weirdly, they worked with everything, from jeans to thick tights and a floral tea dress. Pick a pair up at Bertie (€93), Kurt Geiger (€173.04) or Office (€68), or get the real deal at Matches (€500).
For Triumph In The Face Of Adversity, aka, Freezing Temperatures Award: bare legs
Remember the days when you could hide them away under black 80-deniers, unshaven and untouched by the hand – sorry, mitt – of fake tan? Those days are gone, my friend.
Thanks to the enduring popularity of ankle boots, it became acceptable and feasible to bare your legs long before May, not to mention well after October had ended. RIP, tights.
The Argument For A Onesie Award
We've long been championing onesies since we discovered that sleeping in the thermal one she wears for snowboarding is the very best in bed attire. But while we'd stop short of wearing ours down the shops because, frankly, they look VERY silly and make going to the loo quite an ordeal, celebrities have been donning them in public in their droves.
Model Cara Delevingne did her travelling in Kigu animal suits; Essex-based celebs Rylan and the cast of TOWIE wore theirs a little too tight and with silver moon boots. Boy bands Union J and One Direction – who for the sake of irresistible puns we will henceforth refer to as Onesie Direction – adopted them as their band uniform.
Only one celebrity dared to take himself seriously in what is effectively an adult babygro: Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick (left). With his sunglasses and moody good looks, he almost pulled it off.
The Most Mental Beauty Treatment Award
A tight, high-on-the-head ponytail didn't cut it in 2012. This was the year that celebs ditched the vitamin injections and the facial massage.
If you really wanted the smooth, wrinkle-free skin of Twilight vampire Bella Cullen – but without a single painful injection in the face – you had to get yourself a Vampire facelift: a powerful carbon dioxide laser, through which plasma from the patient's own blood is pushed into the face using an ultrasound probe, this was the last word in surgically assisted youth.
Anna Friel outed herself as a fan, though many high-profile users were a little more circumspect about confessing. At around €740 per session, it was a fairly inexpensive (in cosmetic surgery terms) way of knocking years off, plus the lack of artificial chemicals ensured natural results with fewer adverse reactions. Apparently.
The High-Maintenance Accessory Award
It bags have been on the decline for a while and this year we began to favour strap-free clutches in place of the capacious totes that have been sending us to the chiropractor for years. But it was pouches versus pooches when it came to the hottest accessory of the year.
More women than ever were registered as being the sole owner of a dog – 40pc of all dog-owners, compared with men at 20pc – with fashionable types tweeting endless pictures of their French bulldogs, Italian greyhounds and dachshunds, often wearing some Lund-style chunky knitwear or a tweed jacket.
Don't mention the C-word: if you own a cat, best keep it to yourself or risk appearing thoroughly last season.
The Unexpected Relationships Award
It was a bumper year for H&M collaborations, starting in March with Marni (why didn't we set the alarm? WHY?!). In October, Vogue Japan editor Anna Dello Russo launched a collection of quirky accessories that mirrored her eccentric persona.
She was a pretty leftfield choice for H&M, as was avant-garde label Maison Martin Margiela, whose collection launched in November, but both were well received despite coming from unlikely, non-mainstream collaborators.
Lana Del Rey's highly anticipated Blue Velvet advert for the brand was less successful, however, being widely considered in the twittersphere as extremely irritating, and not just because of The Lips.
The 'Holy Novelty Knitwear, Batman!' Award
If there's one thing we did with gusto, it was embrace novelty knitwear. We even wore jumpers in the summer, having remembered that wool is an excellent temperature-regulating material and should be worn all year round. Mind you, we would have been freezing without them in our optimistic summer attire, what with it forgetting to be summer in the UK this year.
Comic-book-style logos were popular with 3.1 Phillip Lim (Ka-pow!) and Markus Lupfer (Wow!), while House of Holland looked to the TV presenters of the 1980s, with garish geometric designs on oversized sweaters. Our favourite on the high street was JW Anderson's bat jumper for Topshop, which was also a favourite of Alexa Chung (she was photographed in it TWICE!).
The Most Eco-Friendly Dressing Award
If we learnt anything from Scandinavian sleuths this year, it was that Sarah Lund isn't the only heroine prone to wearing the same outfit for a whole series.
For 10 episodes Saga Norén, the Swedish detective in The Bridge, was only seen in black leather trousers, a long-sleeved beige top and biker boots, teamed with a black leather jacket and khaki military overcoat (it's so cold in Sweden you need two coats).
To be fair, she kept a roll-on deodorant and spare top in her office drawer (so that's sort-of washing) and so far in season three of The Killing Lund has sported a brand new chevron-striped jumper, as well as one of her old favourite navy-and-cream knits (so that's sort of getting changed).
High-Street Honey Award
How much do we love Zara? Let us count the ways. First, there was the navy coat with studded sleeve-detail, for a bargainous €149, which became the hottest way to cover up this winter; second, the crystal-embellished Mary Janes that were so reminiscent of the Valentino ones we lusted after on Alexa Chung (and about €900 cheaper).
And then let's not forget the white wedge soles that were an ode to Céline, the biker boots that could have come from Jimmy Choo or that Zara usually manages to whip up a designer-inspired item in less than a fortnight after it was spied on the catwalk. Little wonder that Inditex, Zara's owners, made a net profit of €944m in the first half of this year.
Zara, we salute you for truly dressing 18- to 80-year-olds alike, and curse you for totally bankrupting us.
The Most Popular Shoe Award
Topshop's studded 'Vectra' pyjama slipper has sold 200,000 pairs and counting. Part punk, part lounge lizard, it managed to tick off several trends in one, and all for the bargain sum of €43. Truly, the people's shoe.