Fashion Reverie’s Top 2020 Fashion Moments

As 2020 comes to an end, now is a time of reflection of all things past. The good, the bad, the celebratory, the abominable, the great opportunities and the bad choices in this year of disruption and great change.

This was a year of uncertainty and absurdity, yet we soldiered on and made it through despite the odds. So, let’s celebrate the closing weeks of 2020 by reflecting on some great fashion moments. Fashion Reverie’s esteemed coterie of editors have curated some of the best fashion moments of 2020. Some of their choices even surprised me and has left me verklempt!!

Still, though there is a loss of words for me, our editors’ best fashion moments of 2020 are brilliant choices. So, Enjoy!!

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Harry Styles’ Vogue 2020 cover

This may have been 2020’s word of the year. Singer, Actor, heart throb, and fashion-plate, Harry Styles, broke a boundary this year when he appeared on the December 2020 cover of American Vogue, styled by Camilla Nickerson, and shot by Tyler Mitchell. Styles didn’t stop at simply wearing a Gucci jacket and dress for the cover shot. Typically, celebrities who pose for these prestigious covers don’t have final say about the outfit they wear; that decision is left to the magazine’s stylists. In this case, we all know that Styles has close personal ties with Gucci and Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, so the choice of outfit seemed completely genuine. Posing for the cover and the in-depth interview with Hamish Bowles, gave Styles a platform to speak directly to fashion lovers about why he believes that he can wear a dress or traditional menswear according to his mood, and why that’s just fine.

The interview delves into Styles’ long love-affair with dressing himself, however it suits him, whether it’s in a Gucci dress, or in more traditional coat from Martin Margiela and JW Anderson. The cover and article hit home because they broached the topic of inclusivity/gender acceptance in an interesting and thoughtful way.

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Moschino’s Spring 2021 show

The show invited us into a fantasy COVID-19 safe world that was a throw-back to the Kennedy-Camelot golden age of the late fifties and early sixties, skillfully blurring the distinction between fantasy and reality. At first glance, the models and audience members appeared to be humans, and it wasn’t until we had “entered” the show, that we realized that the models and Anna and Hamish were themselves puppets. Scott proved that a virtual platform to present a fashion collection could be interesting and engaging, and as engrossing as a live runway show.

—Vivian Kelly

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Beyonce’s “Black Is King”

Music’s biggest fashion moment of 2020 must be Beyonce’s “Black Is King” musical film and visual album. Created as a visual accompaniment to the 2019 album “The Lion King: The Gift”, the film is a parallel of the classic “Lion King” animation but told using human form. The film tells of a young African prince who, exiled after the death of his father, grows into a man through a period of self-identity, and returns to reclaim his rightful place on the throne.

Aside from the actors, singers, and dancers, the most riveting performance is given by the wardrobe seen throughout the film. Styled by Zerina Akers, the hundreds of costumes represented the African diaspora in a way not seen before. Blending looks from young Black designers alongside garments literally taken from the runways of major fashion brands, Akers stated that the goal was to have a “global conversation.” She “wanted to reference different cultures, traditions and tribes, but to have the freedom to create fantasy for people to be able to escape into a new world.” Various segments of the wardrobe were inspired by different African cultures including the Kanaga masks of the Dogon, cattle hide prints of the Xhosa and Zulu, neck rings of the Ndebele, and the gele of Nigerians.

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Samira Nasr named editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar

In this, the new age of equity and diversity, we saw another glass ceiling broken. In June of this year, Samira Nasr was named the new editor-in-chief (EIC) of Harper’s Bazaar. What makes this significant is that she is the first black person to hold this position in the publication’s 153-year history. To drive home the theme of “Firsts,” for her first issue as EIC, she placed veteran model Liya Kebede on the cover—the first time the model has graced the cover.

“… I’m thrilled that my first issue as editor in chief is also Kebede’s first cover for American Harper’s Bazaar, photographed in Paris by Christopher Anderson. The accompanying cover story by my fellow Montrealer Durga Chew-Bose unpacks Kebede’s decades-long career in an industry that has historically not made space for women of color and is often guilty of aging women out.”

—Carl Ayers

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Lady Gaga at the 2020 MTV Awards

Lady Gaga took the latest “accessory” to the next level during the 2020 MTV Awards. She wore about five fantastic outfits but the multi-colored ensemble by Iris van Herpen and black boots by Pleasers was out of this world—literary looked like a Martian—did it for me. My number one favorite 2020 celebrity look!! 

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Rihanna’s multi Harper’s Bazaar September issue covers

Rihanna broke a Harper’s Bazaar record in 2020 by appearing on the covers on all 26 global Harper’s Bazaar September issue. One look from the editorial stands out. Why? It is ultimately a picture perfect of my everyday outfit during 2020 stay at home season. Super cozy, often without pants, but in my best shoes to simply take out trash! Rihanna is wearing an Artifact NY vintage tee shirt, Savage X Fenty bikini, Fenty sunglasse, Yvan Tufenkjian choker; Amwaj necklace (bottom), Gaspar Gloves gloves, and Amina Muaddi shoes.

—Tijana Ibrahimovic

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Natalie Portman in Dior at the 2020 Oscars

More and more stars are using fashion to make personal statements. Some are overt, some are subtle. It is a stumbling block to make a firm political statement while remaining chic and elegant. Natalie Portman knocked it out of the ballpark with her stunning custom black and gold gown and cape from Dior. The dress itself would have been enough for her to skyrocket to the top of every best-dressed list; however, Portman took it one step further. 

In the Academy of Motion Pictures Art and Sciences 92-year history only five women have ever been nominated for directing awards and only one has won. (Kathryn Bigelow’s 2010 win for “Zero Dark Thirty”.)  With many women directing some of the highest regarding films of 2019, it seemed a lock that several would be nominated. None were.  Portman had their names stitched in gold along her cape to honor their achievements.

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Lil Nas X in Versace at the 2020 Grammys

Red carpet fashion for men can be very blah; a seemingly identical parade of tasteful black suits. But some men are determined to make their own fashion statement. Lil Nas X drew gasps, in a head-to-toe hot pink cowboy suit designed by the late Gianni Versace himself from his 1992 collection.  It featured a buckled leather harness over a mesh top and a cropped leather jacket topped off with a match pink cowboy hat with the gold Medusa Versace logo. Lil Nas even added printed silk scarves on his wrists. Quite the statement! 

—Cameron Grey Rose

Clemens Telfar wins CFDA Award

Fashion designer Telfar Clemens of Telfar won the 2020 CFDA Award for American Accessories Designer of the Year. His Telfar shopping tote bag has helped put his brand on the map, and the award was a welcome seal of approval in a year that saw black designers receive tremendous recognition at the CFDA Awards.

The Telfar shopping tote has become so popular, the brand has had to launch a bag secure program to ensure customers would get their bags within six months of ordering. The Telfar brand continues to be about inclusivity and everyone from industry power players to the consumers are responding accordingly.

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Zendaya’s Giorgio Armani’s Emmy Dress and Win

Zendaya made history at this year’s 2020 virtual Emmy’s when she became the youngest person ever to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She is also one of the few women of color who have won this award. Of course, thanks to her stylist, Law Roach, she did it all fashionably.

Zendaya claimed her award in a custom Armani Privé polka-dot skirt and Bulgari jewelry with diamonds, opal, and mother of pearl. Not only did she make Emmy’s history, but she was on almost everyone’s best dressed list.

—Kristopher Fraser

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Andre Leon Talley’s The Chiffon Trenches

Everyone loves a good read, but it is rare when an autobiography not only entertains, but also gives valuable insight into a cloistered world. Andre Leon Talley’s “Chiffon Trenches” gives readers a perspective on the inner sanctum of the couture fashion world that only Andre Leon Talley can.

“The Chiffon Trenches” takes readers from Talley’s childhood in segregated Durham, North Carolina to his job at Interview magazine with Andy Warhol to his stint French Vogue, eventually landing at American Vogue as creative director.

The Chiffon Trenches explores Talley’s deep friendship with Karl Lagerfeld to other fashion and semi-romantic relationships and liaisons to went awry or served Talley’s ascent in the fashion industry. Talley handily tells all these truths and revelations with charm, great humor, and of course, and elegance.

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“Fashion Reverie Talks”

Despite the COVID-19 health pandemic, Fashion Reverie launched our ZOOM-based talk show “Fashion Reverie Talks.” This initiative has been something we have been considering for about three years. And since there is no better time than present, Editor-in-chief William S. Gooch and Managing Editor Carl Ayers dived in and launched “Fashion Reverie Talks” in August of 2020 with co-hosts Tijana Ibrahimovic and Cicily Daniels.

Though this fashion moment may not rank at the top of the list for many folks in the fashion industry, it is at the top of the list at Fashion Reverie. It is virtually a dream come true. And we are already up to episode 10.

—William S. Gooch

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