's essential guide to things that will be rocking our world in the next 12 months. Diaries out now!
From May, the work of two iconic Italian women will be celebrated and showcased at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum, with the exhibition Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.
Looking at the likeness between creatives Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, designers from different eras who looked to subvert notions of taste, beauty, and glamour, curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton will "originate fictive conversations between these iconic women to suggest new readings of their most innovative work", examining how Surrealism and other art movements influenced their designs.
About 80 iconic designs from the two designers will be showcased and juxtaposed alongside the video conversations, with garments ranging from the late 1920s to the early 1950s, and Prada's work from the late 1980s to now.
* Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, May 10-August 19.
FACES OF FASHION
Expect to see much more of these three faces staring out at you from the fashion pages in 2012. First up: much hyped singer Lana Del Rey recently signed to agency Next Model Management, although fashion loves her already - Mulberry invited her to perform at their spring/summer 2012 presentation, Christopher Kane played her song at his show at London Fashion Week last year, and she will reportedly play at Topshop's presentation next month (there has even been a fake Prada campaign featuring her face doing the blog rounds). All of this and she hasn't even released an album yet - her debut, called Born To Die, is released January 30. Actress Rooney Mara is another pretty young thing destined for a fashion campaign sometime this year, having charmed the fashion pack with her simple, dark-edged style on the press circuit for her film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Meanwhile, actress Carey Mulligan will have a massive red carpet year, building up to her role as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby released late in the year. We can't wait.
Foraging: or "scrumping" if you want to be less refined about it, continues to gain momentum with chefs and cooks scouring their local environs in search of wild plants and flowers to incorporate into their menus. For a visual feast of what we mean, check out the new home page of Meredith's.
Fire: It's all the rage. Getting primal and cooking using fire, knowing your wood and charcoal varieties and being skilled at the grill, is so hot right now that this year's Melbourne Food & Wine Festival in March has dedicated an entire six-hour masterclass to fire. It sold out in record time.
Set menus: Watch as more restaurants abolish their regular "you choose" a la carte menu in favour of tasting and degustation menus only. Meredith's moved in this direction last year, Nick Honeyman at Cru has followed and others like the Grove and French Cafe have been offering a hybrid for some time.
On tap: Cut out the packaging, it's what's in the bottle that counts. Al Brown started the trend by offering wine on tap, served in a humble tumbler, when he opened his popular eatery Depot last year. According to him it's all about making sure you have a good supplier of great wine who is prepared to supply the wine direct, from barrel to bar and it adds to the feeling of casual, non-pretentious eating out.
Muzzle-to-tail: It started with shanks, then came pork belly, then we fell in love with skirt steak and this year we can expect to see more economical meat cuts elevated to great heights. Pig's ears and beef tongue, hapuku belly and lamb neck - we're heading for nose-to-tail eating like never before.
New Zealand Fashion Week is back for 2012, with official dates announced for September 3-7. Local fashion buffs can get their fix earlier in the year too: the New Zealand Fashion Festival will be held from February 24 to March 4, with tickets to various events around town - including the not-to-be-missed "Viva Live" night - on sale now.
Politicians tend to shun fashion for fear of being considered frivolous, but Barack Obama has welcomed the help and support of the US fashion industry for his 2012 re-election campaign with a project called Runway to Win. Twenty-two designers have created merchandise to be sold online to raise funds for the Obama Victory Fund, from printed T-shirts to tote bags to silk scarves to leather accessories - all made in the USA of course. Designers involved include Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler and Vera Wang, and product is available to buy from February 7.
IN IT TOGETHER
Fashion's obsession with teamwork continues, with some exciting collaborations planned for the year ahead: Louis Vuitton will work with the polka dot-mad artist Yayoi Kusama, and Marni's Consuelo Castiglioni will release a capsule collection for men and women through H&M stores on March 8.
Expect lots of playful Marni trademarks: clashing prints, retro touches and sportswear elements, plus a unisex T-shirt to raise funds for the Red Cross in Japan.
The Karen Walker empire continues to expand: this year she will launch homewares, set to be available in August. Expect towels, linen and a few other surprises. The designer is also set to show her next collection in New York on February 13.
LABELS TO LOVE
The debut collection from Liam - an evolution of the Madame Hawke brand - begins to arrive in store in February. Look forward to stunning bloom prints and grown-up tailoring. A debut from local label Pardon my French is another to look forward to, while Katie Smith, formerly of accessories label Deadly Ponies, returns with her own handbag label Kate of Arcadia.
We'll also be keeping an eye on Camille Howie: the young designer has been around for a while, quietly building up a following, but we think her chic and mature winter 2012 collection is fantastic.
Neon lips: The trend to bright makeup colours will continue, but expect this to concentrate on the lips with a near nude-look complexion. Fuchsia and orange are high impact shades to give a whirl, along with perennially popular red. (If this isn't for you, the good news is that the other big makeup trend is for classically pretty).
Staying power: Long-wear makeup has cast off its reputation for a drying, unflattering look so expect foundations and lipstick with staying power and lasting luminosity.
Diverse looks: Expect more faces from emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to front beauty advertising campaigns in a break from the perpetually blonde haired, blue-eyed model. A star in the making is Lancome's new Arab frontwoman Hanaa ben Abdesslem.
Inside out: Resorting to appearance medicine will continue to grow in popularity, but the new trend in beauty treatments is combining exterior renovation with interior makeovers. Expect clinics to suggest you take dietary supplements with supposed skincare benefits and try so-called beauty food and drinks, like beauty dietary supplement Yellow Diamonds.
Be inspired by style on the small screen, with new shows including The New Girl - starring fashion sweetheart Zooey Deschanel - starting on Four in February (you can view the first episode online from January 27); Pan Am screening at TV One later in the year, as well as mini-series Titanic. Co-written by Downton Abbey's creator Julian Fellowes, you can expect drama, class struggles and sumptuous costumes. Then of course there's the return of Absolutely Fabulous, which will see Eddy and Patsy take on the noughties. Sample quote? Patsy on the London riots: "Nothing wrong with a bit of extreme shopping." That starts tomorrow night on TV One.
Last year may have been all about Kate Middleton but 2012 will be The Queen's year, with a Diamond Jubilee marking her 60-year reign being celebrated throughout June and a series of royal-themed exhibitions being held around London to celebrate, and drum up support for, the monarchy - including a showing of some of Her Majesty's personal jewels and Royal diamonds at Buckingham Palace, gowns worn by Princess Diana displayed at Kensington Palace, and a stunning collection of photographs of the British royal family by Cecil Beaton at the V&A. Ranging from portraits of Queen Elizabeth II as a young princess to Coronation Day in 1953, the exhibition showcases Her Majesty's royal evolution over the years.
THE LOOK: SPORTY
Get set for the fashionable sportswear influences to get even stronger as the world gears up for the Olympics in July-August. Already three British Olympic hopefuls, cycling champion Victoria Pendleton, swimmer Keri-Anne Payne and heptathlete Jessica Ennis, have booked beauty contracts with Pantene, Max Factor and Olay Essentials; while Stella McCartney, with Adidas, has overseen the design of the kit, plus a retail range, for Team Great Britain. Closer to home, athletic baseball caps were peppered throughout upcoming winter collections - see Karen Walker, Twenty-seven Names and Lonely Hearts.
The work of modern masters will entrance Auckland with the exhibition Degas to Dali opening at the Auckland Art Gallery on March 3. From the National Galleries of Scotland, the exclusive show will illustrate the story of modern art, with 79 pieces from influential artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Warhol, Lichtenstein and yes, Dali and Degas. We suspect there'll be many a local fashion designer inspired by this exhibition when it comes to next season's collections ...
FASHION ON SHOW
It will be a big year for celebrating fashion in the high-brow confines of a museum, with plenty of fashion exhibitions planned. Close to home, the NZ Fashion Museum will look at the craft behind fashion with a homespun-themed exhibition.
In Paris, a major exhibition will open in March looking at the work of Louis Vuitton and the brand's creative director Marc Jacobs, with special pieces from the Louis Vuitton archive on display, including one of the first trunks made in 1869 by Monsieur Louis Vuitton through to the current work of Jacobs. Also opening in March is a retrospective of Christian Louboutin's work at London's Design Museum, and in May, the V&A will present the stunning exhibition Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950.
FASHION SELLS OUT?
The line between high and low fashion will continue to be increasingly blurred this year, with highbrow labels Prada and Balenciaga going for the celebrity cliche: Twilight's Kristen Stewart will appear in an upcoming Balenciaga fragrance campaign, while actors Adrien Brody, Gary Oldman, Willem Dafoe and Jamie Bell walked the runway at Prada's menswear show on Sunday. The reason? "A cinematic character study subverting male archetypes and formal codes of dress," explained the show notes.