1: Deaths - Oscar De La Renta & Joan Rivers
The fashion world lost two beloved and influential icons from very different arenas of the industry this year. Iconic designer Oscar De La Renta passed away after battling cancer, leaving behind an enduring mark on style, glamour and class. 2014 also saw the passing of comedienne, fashion commentator and hilariously acerbic wit Joan Rivers following routine surgery. Her scathing reviews on E! Channel's Fashion Police and her candid personal honesty won't be forgotten anytime soon, nor will her legacy of paving the way for female comedians.
Oscar de la Renta takes a bow with models Karlie Kloss, left, and Daria Strokous, right, after his Spring 2015 collection shown at New York Fashion Week. Photo / AP
2: Glassons' sagas
Local womenswear retailer Glassons made headlines for all the wrong reasons this year. After struggling financially for the past few years due to the onset of ecommerce competitors and international labels, they were reluctantly thrust into the news with an unfortunate one-two punch of controversy of emaciated mannequins and an ill-conceived television ad. A social media frenzy began when their "bony" mannequins were pointed out, with everyone worth their salt picking a side and the whole situation snowballing into a bigger debate about eating disorders, beauty standards and accountability. A week later and more pearls were clutched around the country following the unveiling of their "rodeo" themed advertisement that rightfully drew the ire of both animal rights activists and people who dislike poorly conceived ads.
Photos / Twitter, YouTube
3: Trelise Cooper at NZFW
After very public faux pas by both Victoria's Secret and Chanel, one would think that local designer Trelise Cooper would possess more common sense (or at least a better Google search history) than to include Native American war bonnets in her latest show at NZFW. To add insult to injury, she maintained she was inspired by Ibiza and "festival chic".
Photo / Getty Images
4: Model Diversity
The runways and high-gloss pages of the fashion world are ever-slowly creeping towards increasing diversity of models. 2014 saw the growing visibility and success of models like Joan Smalls, Liya Kebede, Liu Wen and Fei Fei Sun - all enjoying an almost relieving normality with their amount of exposure on magazine covers, catwalks and ad campaigns. Andreja Pejic's (née Andrej) publically announced transition and subsequent professional name change was a brave move by the stunning model after rising to fame initially as an androgynous male model to now work exclusively as a transgender female - providing honesty, strength and a visible face to trans community.
Read more: Blog - When a man models as a woman
5: Rihanna's CFDA dress
If you're going to accept a Fashion Icon award like Rihanna did at the CFDA's then you might as well wear little more than a handful of crystals over your entire body. Obviously she's the only person that can truly pull this off, although people were shocked regardless. It was also Rihanna's way of making a statement about Instagram's approach to censorship and their archaic double standards of their policy to the female nipple (after closing her account in protest, she reinstated it just in time for Halloween).
Rihanna's Adam Selman Swarovski crystal dress. Photo / AP, AFP
6: Kate's key fashion moments
Royal fever hit the Antipodes this year, with William and Kate bringing the adorably stroppy heir to the throne with them on their visit to New Zealand and Australia. Although George was certainly a style star in his own right with an endless wardrobe of tastefully neutral knitwear and classic baby clothes, he was outshone by his mother and the likes of her impeccable red coat.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George as they disembarked from the RNZAF jet at Wellington Airport. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Gallery: What Kate wore
7: Back To The 90s
The fashion industry is always chanelling nostalgia through the most rose tinted of glasses. The most recent revival is a decade still fresh in most people's memories, with the aesthetics of the 90s being the key trend of 2014. Everything from minimalism to grunge has made its way down the runways and the high street - usually on people too young to have worn it all the first time (or some who never actually stopped). Calvin Klein successfully harnessed the trend by relaunching their iconic branded underwear with a "#mycalvins" social media campaign. The most noticeable and unexpected trend however is the resurgence of the humble Birkenstock sandal in all its functional glory. Ushered in by Phoebe Philo at Celine a few seasons ago, the thick straps and cork footbed made there way quickly to high street - appealing in their comfort, proportions and refreshing inelegance. Expect to see them on every second pair of feet under the age of thirty this Summer.
The dominance of "athleisure" continues as the apparel of choice, regardless of whether you're actually en route to the gym or not. It silently communicates the virtues of fitness, free time and wealth whilst pulling everything in tighter than it would be otherwise. Its popularity has made it unexpected competition for traditional fashion retailers, who find themselves no longer the go-to option for weekend clothing now that people wear high-performance lycra to get soy lattes. Whilst J.Crew insist it is a passing trend, the likes of Country Road and Net-A-Porter have taken the "if you can't beat them, join them" approach by integrating activewear into their ranges.
9: The Return Of Gemma
Australian supermodel and one of the most iconic faces in fashion from the past decade, Gemma Ward retreated abruptly from the industry several years ago to focus on her private life and pursue acting - whilst also being cruelly hounded by local media. Her quick, quiet disappearance and ongoing low profile only served to enhance her cult-like following amongst both fans and the industry - so her triumphant comeback this season opening the Spring Prada show was one of the biggest stories of Paris Fashion Week. This was closely followed by a refreshingly local campaign as the face of Country Road, alongside her baby daughter in what is surely the most successful branding moves they've ever done.
Gemma Ward at Prada spring/summer 2015 show. Photo / Monica Feudi/FeudiGuaineri
10: Protest In Style
If the fashion world embraced anything this year (other than Birkenstocks) it was protest. Voices were heard, regardless of whether their message or platform was sincere and admirable. Although it's hard to tell whether it was intended, Karl Largerfeld incited debate over the integrity of political protest when he sent models with placards down the runway at Chanel in a move many felt trivial and gimmicky. Interestingly, the most inspiring political moment came via Sydney Fashion Week with Australian model Ollie Henderson and her Start The Riot movement cannily hijacking the street style commentary with her army of models clad in t-shirts bearing strong, simple messages on everything from the environment to sexism and refugees. Needless to say, its resonance and execute outshone all of the fashion week shows this year.
Ollie Henderson (pictured in Start the Riot tee) with model friends, wearing T-shirts from her House of Riot project. Photo / Romain Duquesne