2009. A Year to Remember

2009. We had heavy hearts as a tsunami took the homes and lives of the people of Samoa. The recession engulfed long standing fashion houses and bulldozed many into downsizing. We learnt that ‘you must always blow on the pie’ and I’m sorry Kanye, but you are one of the biggest fools of all time. Facebook became the new hangout for people to meet, talk and connect with their target market, werewolves dominated in the swoon stakes and Twitter was there to tell the world all about it.

Bye bye 2009.

Ralph Lauren’s House of Mirrors

Ralph Lauren put his models through the house of mirrors, photo shopping the female body into unrealistic creatures with waist lines smaller than their heads. Lauren’s somewhat warped portrayal of beauty appeared in two advertising campaigns and caused controversy worldwide. Here is a taste of the first campaign featuring a very photo-shopped Filippa Hamilton.

Real Filippa & Photo-shopped Filippa

Size 0+ Isn’t Very Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld an anti-volupte clan member from way back, once again made a fat-hater comment exclaiming “..no one wants to see round models” Interestingly enough, Lagerfeld designed a plus-size dress for Beth Ditto, lead singer of The Gossip. Considering Lagerfelds well publicised feelings on plus-size women, we wonder if the commissioned piece for Ditto was made under duress?


Karl Lagerfeld & Beth Ditto

Image // YoungFatandFabulous

Big Girls Don’t Cry

Beth Ditto represented for the BG’s and got naked (for the second time), fleshy bits n’ all for the cover of LOVE magazine. The world both celebrated and cringed but Ditto made her point that she didn’t give a damn what anyone else thought and that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and sexuality.

View the LOVE magazine cover here

Curvy Compliment = Controversy

Aussie model Gemma Ward dropped the modeling scene amidst rumours that she tired of the constant scrutiny and reports that she was too fat or too thin.

Gemma Ward Before

Gemma Ward Before 'as a model'

Image // AskMen.com

Blogger, Bryan Boy posted some images of Ward and complimented her new curvaciousness and somehow his message was misconstrued and Bryan Boy then accused by the media of plus-size prejudice. We would suggest that the offending media get their facts straight before embarking on a witch hunt.

Gemma Ward Now

Image // BryanBoy.com

Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels

A mantra at weight-loss meetings and pro-ana fanatical groups, Kate Moss told the world that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’. Not the smartest sentence to fall from Moss’ lips and no doubt it will not be the last.

Death of a Model

Daul Kim a promising young model of only 20 years of age, was found dead in her Paris apartment, police suspected suicide. Kim left behind her blog I Like to Fork Myself, revealing a deep and complex person angered by the injustices of the modeling world in which she lived. Perhaps striving to be ‘skinny’ in an image obsessed industry finally took it’s toll?

Daul Kim

Daul Kim

Image // AsianModelsBlog

Kiss My Fat Ass

If you have  junk in that trunk, bow legs, big lips and hips to match, you are beautiful, no matter what they say.

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks - B.I.O Founder

Image // Showbiznewsblog

America’s Next Top Model superwoman, talk show host and ex-model Tyra Banks launched her new initiative Beauty Inside Out in none other than New Zealand! While filming in NZ for ANTM, Banks launched B.I.O and aims to educate and change peoples perceptions of what is considered to be ‘beautiful’.

We heart Tyra’s crusade and back her 110%. Go Tyra!

Social Media is the New Black

Breaking news, bitch fights and bad behaviour got served up in 140 character tweets courtesy of Twitter while Facebook kicked MySpace to the curb in the popularity stakes.

Little black tweet moments of note included tween chameleon Miley Cyrus embracing Twitter momentarily, until she lost a friendship in a public showdown, then her clothes for Vanity Fair.

Miley Cyrus for Vanity Fair

Image // The Guardian

Courtney Love fired a tirade of insults and paternity accusations via garbled tweet messages, aimed mostly at the Hollywood elite, and found herself facing defamation lawsuits.

Courtney Love

Courtney Loves to Stir Up Trouble

Image // Getty

It was the year of bite sized tweets and status updates, where less is more and the race for instant communication en masse was won.

Bloggers Crowned New Media Royalty

They came, they blogged and they conquered. Blogging, the new-ish online media, hit the big time in 2009, giving everyday people with an opinion, passion or gripe, a platform to be heard and for some a cult following and career.

Fashion Media Royale

Fashion Media Royale. Pick the Blogger..

Image // Dennis Valle

Blogging stylista’s upgraded from desktop runway shows via You Tube, to sitting in real-time, front row and alongside the fashion media royale, while images taken by street style photographers hung from designer mood boards and influenced collections by top fashion houses like Lanvin. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Blogs gave power and a voice to the people and is set to be the new media of the future.

Facehunter + Designer Direction

In November, international street style blogger/photographer Yvan Rodic dropped down to our part of the world to capture locals for his street style blog Facehunter. While Yvan was in Auckland, Designer Direction threw him a bit of a party which you can check out right here

Yvan Rodic AKA Facechunter

Yvan Rodic AKA Facechunter

Image // Calypso Paoli

Team Jacob 1, Team Edward 0

Love it or hate it, the Twilight monster raked in as many dollars as fans for 2009 as people went gaga for New Moon and teen werewolf Jacob Black.

New Moon Poster of Taylor Lautner

New Moon Poster of Taylor Lautner

Image // TheHollywoodGossip

If Martha Stewart Can…

Kanye and Tiger need little introduction as to their faux pas’ for 2009, and while there is talk of unforgivable actions and ruined careers, all may not be lost. Martha Stewart, kitchen queen/ex-con could offer some handy career comeback advice. After all, if Stewart can serve time and still serve up tasty snacks to a fiercely loyal and adoring American audience, she has advice worth listening too.

Kanye & Taylor Swift at the VMAs

Kanye West & Taylor Swift at the VMAs

Image // Getty

Recession Devours Designer Greats

There were dark times in ’09 as the nasty recession claimed some of the world’s top design houses. Christian Lacroix, Yohji Yamamoto, Escada and British fashion chain Kookai filed for bankruptcy, Luella Bartley stopped trading in November after investors backing the business pulled the plug and Versace even closed their operations in Japan.

Luella's Final Collection & It's Not Being Produced 😦

Images // Style.com

Back home iconic kiwi labels Line 7 and Canterbury went into receivership but were saved from closure after being brought out by independent investors.

Martin Margiela the Artist

Martin Margiela stepped down as creative designer for his self-titled fashion line and there is talk he may take up painting in lieu of fashion.


Image // Worshipworthy.com

Garment Manufacture Industry in Trouble

After years of service to the apparel industry, some of New Zealand’s largest garment production factories closed down signaling a bleak future for home-grown and sewn clothing.

Kiwi Designers Recognised Abroad

New Zealand designers made their mark on the international fashion circuit. Jaeha Alex Kim as a finalist at the Mango awards, Juliette Hogan a finalist at the Gen Art Styles and Sara Smeath of designer footwear label Lost Not Lonely won the top spot in the Debut section of Australia’s Fashion Exposed competition.

Lost Not Lonely - Dusty Bootish Winter 2009

Winning Footwear from Lost Not Lonely Collection

Image // Lost Not Lonely

New York, New York

Alexandra Owen heads off to the big apple in Feb’ to show for the first time at the New York Fashion Week. We hope she does smashingly well and look forward to following her future successes.

Alexandra Owen A/W 10 Collection at ANZFW

Image // DesignerDirection

Written by: Melody Wehipeihana


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