When it comes to fashion, there’s never a dull moment. For the “Year in Fashion 2019” report, Lyst, a global fashion search engine, compiled some of the industry’s most iconic moments of the year, including legendary fashion shows, drama on the runway and more. Take a walk down memory lane as Lyst takes us through the top 13 fashion moments that made 2019.
1. Viktor & Rolf’s Meme Fashion
Some over-the-top fashion can be meme-worthy. In other instances, memes themselves can be fashion. Such was the case at Viktor & Rolf’s couture show on Jan. 24, which featured a range of angelic, pastel-colored gowns with sassy messages like “F* it, I’m going to Paris,” and “Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come.” The collection’s popularity predictably played out on social media. Social mentions for the brand and “meme couture gowns” rose 249 percent in a matter of hours, Lyst said, proving that attitude makes for the best accessory.
2. The Legacy of Lagerfeld
The fashion world was in mourning on Feb. 19 when it was announced that Karl Lagerfeld, whose career highlights include serving as creative director for Chanel and Fendi, passed away at the age of 85. Friends, family and fans showed an outpouring of love, including an emotional Instagram tribute posted by model Cara Delevingne, who said Lagerfeld “changed my life.” Virginie Viard, director of Chanel’s Fashion Creation Studio and Lagerfeld’s longtime collaborator, stepped in as Chanel’s creative director.
3. A Case for K-Pop
Music is often a source of inspiration for the fashion world. And in the case of K-pop, the genre set the tone for both the music and fashion industry when girlband Blackpink performed on the main stage at Coachella on April 12—becoming the first K-pop girl group to perform at the iconic California festival. Not only did the group nearly break the internet with its “Kill This Love” music video, but it also made Time’s 100 Next list for its record-breaking accomplishments.
4. Camping at The Met Gala
The Met Gala’s theme for 2019 was “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” triggering celebrities to wear looks inspired by everything from light-up dresses to chandeliers. Held on May 1, the event’s standout looks included Lady Gaga’s Brandon Maxwell design, a transformative look that earned him a 112 percent influx in searches, Kim Kardashian’s “wet” skintight latex dress from Thierry Mugler, and Cardi B’s quilted and feathered Thom Browne gown adorned with a massive train.
5. The Launch of Fenty
On May 10, Rihanna made history by being the first woman to create an original maison—Fenty—within LVMH. Prior to Fenty, LVMH hadn’t launched a new brand since Christian Lacroix in 1987. The brand garnered 7 million social media impressions within its first month of operation. Its first drop included monochromatic looks consisting of denim, separates, shirt dresses and more.
6. Celine Dion Dominates Couture
Judging by social media’s response to Celine Dion’s series of high fashion looks, the singer won Haute Couture Fashion Week. In July, Dion took to the streets of Paris in everything from a bodysuit by Off-white, to a catsuit by Chanel, and the world was watching—over the course of four days, the singer’s mentions increased by 7,831 percent, Lyst reported.
7. Meghan Markle Co-Edits British Vogue
One of the most influential figures in the world right now, Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle tried her hand at magazine editing when British Vogue invited her to guest edit its iconic September issue. Named “Forces for Change,” the issue marks the first time the British magazine has been co-edited, and features 15 women changing the world in positive ways.
8. Companies and Brands Promise to Be Better
On Aug. 24, 32 companies and 150 brands signed the Fashion Pact, a commitment to making less of an impact in three areas: climate, biodiversity and oceans. The pact, which was initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron and Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault, was presented at the G7 meeting and garnered signatures from suppliers, retailers and groups within the fashion, luxury, sports and lifestyle industries.
9. Savage x Fenty Show Celebrates All
Rihanna made fashion history twice in one year. The Savage x Fenty fashion show combined two of the artist’s brands for an event that pushed the boundaries of other shows of its kind. The event, which caused a 43 percent surge in “Savage x Fenty” searches, was streamed exclusively on Amazon Prime Video and included diverse models and musical acts.
10. Jennifer Lopez Brings Back That Dress
You know a dress made a statement when 18 years later, everyone still mentions it. On Sept. 21, Jennifer Lopez took to the Versace runway during Milan Fashion Week in an updated version of that iconic dress—the green jungle-themed ensemble that made headlines when she first wore it in 2001. The photos, videos and memes stemming from its return brought in $9.4 million worth of online engagement.
11. Cardi B Seals Her Fate in Fashion
The month of September helped boost Cardi B’s position within the fashion community. During Paris Fashion Week, she wore a look from Richard Quinn that generated a 17 percent rise in searches for the designer. She also rubbed elbows with the fashion elite later that week and sat next to Anna Wintour at a Thom Browne show.
12. Gigi Hadid Escorts Intruder Off-Stage
When French YouTuber Marie S’Infiltre crashed the Chanel runway during Paris Fashion Week, supermodel Gigi Hadid quickly escorted her off—but not before the world witnessed it. The drama on the catwalk on Oct. 1 generated a 2,618 percent rise in social mentions for the storied brand.
13. Royals Influence Fashion Abroad
The royal family continued to influence fashion the week of Oct. 14-18, when Prince William and Kate Middleton toured Pakistan in outfits created by local designers. Searches for Middleton’s shalwar kameez, a combination dress traditionally worn by the country’s women, increased by 170 percent the following week. Similarly, brands Jenny Packham, Beulah London and Ghost saw a combined 139 percent surge in searches week on week.