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Fashion | Women

The biggest fashion moments of 2016

While much of the year has been one big surprise, the fashion world has continued to be its bold, colourful self. We look back at the highs and lows on and off the catwalk

Lindsay Judge
28 Dec 2016 | 01:51 pm

Kardashians rule the Met Gala, May 2

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The Met Gala in New York is considered to be the fashion event of the year. And this year it belonged to the Kardashian-Jenner clan. With Kim making it to Vogue’s cover and Kylie and Kendall’s meteoric rise as style icons, the three of them took their places on the red carpet this year in spectacular fashion. Kendall stole the show in a blue-and-white Versace gown as she walked the red carpet with her idol, Cindy Crawford, while Kim and Kylie (and Kanye) turned heads in striking metallic outfits all by Balmain. Hate them or like them, this is one clan that is here to stay.

Chanel Cruise show in Cuba, May 4

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Karl Lagerfeld did something with Chanel that no other international brand has ever done before when he presented the Cruise 2016/2017 show in Havana in May. After recent negotiations between the US and Cuba, the previously off-limits country for Americans suddenly became much more accessible. Planning the whole show from afar in Paris, Karl flew in with 700 guests including Gisele Bundchen, Vanessa Paradis and Tilda Swinton. The show was a colourful presentation of Cuban-style pieces with a Parisian twist.

Blue Ivy’s Dh40,000 dress at The VMAs, August 28

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While Beyoncé went to this year’s VMAs with most nominations, it was her four-year-old daughter Blue Ivy who stole the show in a $11,000 (Dh40,403) dress. Created by Mischka Aoki, it came complete with a tulle train, golden embroidered top and handmade flowers.

Beyoncé made headlines herself earlier in the year when she dropped her new single Lemonade. The song was accompanied by perhaps the most fashionable music video ever! Beyoncé had around 40 outfit changes in the short video, which included looks from Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Yeezy, Hood by Air and dozens of other designers, proving she really is the style princess of pop!

Blake Lively’s pregnancy wardrobe, June-September

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Actress Blake Lively, who was pregnant with her second baby earlier this year, took maternity style to a whole new level. While most of us will never look this flawless while carrying a baby, Blake’s style is seriously inspirational. During the promotional tour for her movie The Shallows, Blake wore dozens of gowns that perfectly fitted her neat bump. Some of our fave dresses were the sparkly blue Diane von Furstenberg dress she wore in New York, the Carolina Herrera tulle gown at the premiere of her movie, and this Cinderella-style figure-hugging Versace gown she wore at the Cannes International Film Festival. Preggie or not, this girl is a stunner.

See-now, buy-now takes over the runway

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There has always been around a six-month wait between ready-to-wear catwalk shows and the pieces arriving in stores, but the new wave of shows this year saw designers like Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren presenting ‘seasonless’ collections available to buy online instantly and in stores the following day. With the designer pieces being available before the high-street replicas this will see a shift in the fashion industry as a whole.

Hillary Clinton made the pantsuit cool again – all year

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While she didn’t win the race, Hillary Clinton did have one success in her running for the US leader’s job – making the pantsuit stylish again. Hillary’s one-colour outfits became her trademark style and even inspired others to follow suit. Beyoncé and Lady Gaga were both spotted wearing their own take on Hillary’s trademark style, who usually chose to wear pieces by American designers including Ralph Lauren. She even had a following on social media named Pantsuit Nation.

Designer Musical Chairs – all year long

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The fashion had a bit of a shake up this year with brand designers and creative directors moving to and from fashion labels faster than knock-offs can reach the high street. Here’s what you need to know about who is where – for now, at least.

Hedi Slimane, creative director at Saint Laurent, left the brand in March after four years and was replaced by Versus Versace designer Anthony Vaccarello.

After resigning from Christian Dior in October 2015 after three and a half years as the brand’s creative director, Raf Simons was replaced by Maria Grazia Chiuri – formerly of Valentino – in July. She made her debut with an acclaimed ‘feminist’ collection in September. Simons on the other hand will take on a role at Belgian designer Calvin Klein in 2017.

In October Peter Dundas resigned as creative director at Roberto Cavalli. It is still unclear where Dundas will move to and who’s going to replace him at Roberto’s.

Nicolas Ghesquiere, creative director at Louis Vuitton since 2013, is rumoured to be leaving the brand early next year and is said to be replaced by Irish designer Jonathan Anderson - but this is still unconfirmed. Peter Copping, who started as creative director at Oscar de la Renta, has been replaced by Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia – previously designers at Monse.

Gigi X Tommy Collaboration, September 11

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The biggest fashion collaboration of the year has to be the collection created by Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid. This moment is particularly close to our hearts, as Friday was there when the range was unveiled at a spectacular fashion show in New York in September. The star-studded show revealed the collection that the fashion duo had created as each nautical-inspired piece was paraded down the runway by a flock of models including Gigi herself. The pairing is a turning point for the Hilfiger brand who has vowed to start appealing to a younger more fashion-forward audience. This collection was also available to buy at a pop-up shop beside the catwalk and online straight after the show.

Fashion Designers took over the Olympics, August

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The Rio Olympics was the most-talked-about event of summer and it wasn’t just the sport that caught our attention. This Olympics was possibly the most stylish ever, with many of the team uniforms being created by home-grown designers of each country. Our fave was the US kit, designed by Ralph Lauren, the Swedish kit, by H&M, the Great Britain kit, by Stella McCartney, and the French team, who wore pieces by Lacoste. Here’s hoping we’ll see the UAE team uniform design by one of our fantastic home-grown designers in 2020.

Bollywood Rules the Hollywood Red Carpet, March Onwards

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Bollywood (and now Hollywood) actress Priyanka Chopra firmly cemented herself as the most stylish Indian actress this year at the Oscars where she wowed in a white Zuhair Murad gown on the red carpet. The flawless beauty looked incredible in the embellished gown and had the fashion world talking about her style. But she wasn’t the only Bollywood star pushing the style barriers this year. At The Cannes International Film Festival, Sonam Kapoor looked polished in a black lace vintage Ralph and Russo gown, while Aishwarya Rai turned heads in a pink gown by Lebanese-African designer Rami Kadi. We can’t wait to see what these ladies are wearing in 2017.

Fashion moments in the UAE

Fashion Forward gets bigger than ever

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The latest season of Fashion Forward in October had a record number of 31 designers taking part. Its new home at d3 means it can grow even bigger next year.

Dolce & Gabbana in Dubai to open new store

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Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana caused a media frenzy when they opened their new store in Mall of the Emirates in November. The bold duo interacted with fans and posed for hundreds of selfies before partying into the early hours of the morning with VIP guests.

Exclusive collections

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This year saw endless designers launching exclusive UAE pieces and collections. Some of the highlights for us were the Louis Vuitton Dubai Handbag, the Burberry Ramadan collection, Ralph Lauren’s capsule collection and the exclusive Middle East Chloe handbag. Of course, we can’t forget the line of hijabs and abayas created by Dolce & Gabbana.

Gigi Hadid visits Dubai for Tommy collection

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After launching her collection in New York, we were lucky enough to get a visit from supermodel Gigi Hadid when she brought her collection to the UAE. Gigi travelled round the UAE shores on a yacht before appearing at The Dubai Mall.

Online fashion

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The UAE’s fashion e-commerce sites have finally started to pick up momentum in 2016. In December came the announcement of luxury fashion site Ounass, and earlier in the year we heard about Noon.com, which will reportedly be a local website stocking similar products to Amazon, to launch in January. 2017 is set to be a very exciting year for the world of online shopping.

Best Dressed Women of the Year

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Gigi Hadid at The Met Gala wearing Tommy Hilfiger

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Victoria Beckham at The Cannes International Film Festival wearing Victoria Beckham

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Queen Rania of Jordan at The Met Gala wearing Valentino

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Kate Beckinsale at The Critics’ Choice Awards wearing Monique Lhuillier

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Deepika Padukone at the Filmfare Awards wearing Ralph and Russo Couture

Best Dressed Men of the Year

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David Beckham in a dapper suit at Unicef’s 70th anniversary

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Kanye West went all white at a Paris Fashion Week event in July

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Ranveer Singh’s flamboyant style at DIFF’s opening night was definitely an attention grabber

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Idris Elba decided to go all casual for the premiere of Star Trek Beyond in London

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Amitabh Bachchan’s a style icon and this bandhgala suit at Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai proves it

Lindsay Judge

Lindsay Judge

Fashion Editor