Marc Jacobs' Departure, Bangladesh Strikes, and Everything Miley: The Biggest Fashion News of 2013

As the year winds down, it's always helpful to take a few meditative moments and look back on how far we've come. We've evolved from a crop top-wearing, hair-chalk-streaked, cut-out-obsessed crew into a classier cold-weather group of full skirts, lobs, and matte-lipped ladies. We've seen designers come and go, we've watched celebrities land new advertising gigs, and we've watched a few very stylish mamas make headlines with their pre- and post-partum outfits. It's been a big year for fashion, but let's be honest — what year isn't?

Designer Departures

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2013 was marked by a number of significant exits in the fashion world. Marc Jacobs left Louis Vuitton after an all-black farewell show. Jil Sanders stepped away from her eponymous brand for the third time. Ann Demeulemeester left her house, too, leaving only a cryptic and lovely handwritten note as her goodbye.

Fashionable Collaborations

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The Isabel Marant x H&M collaboration sold out in what felt like seconds, but it wasn’t the only stylish collab we anticipated this year: we also loved 3.1 Phillip Lim x Target, M.I.A. x Versace, Man Repeller x Superga, L’Wren Scott and Banana Republic, and Damien Hirst x Alexander McQueen. Not so much: the idea of Adam Levine designing womenswear.

The Great Fashion Week Debate

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As New York Fashion Week grew bigger and bigger, dissenting voices were finally heard above all the flashbulbs, criticizing the event for becoming a “circus.” Next year, IMG Fashion, who runs NYFW, is going to cut down on the number of allowable media attendees — in other words, bloggers — by 20 percent.

Bangladesh Garment Workers Strike

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2013 witnessed the tense, ongoing debate between Bangladesh garment workers — who are paid the lowest wages for their factory work in the world and forced to work in incredibly unsafe conditions — and their employers. The workers have been demanding a pay raise of over 100 percent in order to make a living wage but so far, only a smaller raise has been proposed. It’s a step in the right direction, but some workers say it still isn’t enough for them to live on. Here’s hoping all the violence will lead to a brighter, stabler future for Bangladesh’s garment industry in 2014.

Stylish Mommas

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This year, our collective creepiness reared its obsessive head as we scrutinized every detail of Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian’s pregnancies. Sadly, our insistence on comparing the very different figures of the two famous ladies revealed our darker, judgier side.

Most Googled Fashion Brands

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The most Googled fashion brands of 2013 were Versace, Michael Kors, Diesel Black Gold, Gucci, and Kate Spade. We’re guessing Lady Gaga’s Donatella-happy single, “Versace,” had something to do with that first one.

Mother Monster and Queen Bey are Back

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When an album drops, a series of fashion statements isn’t far behind, especially when the albums are dropped by these glamorous and unafraid divas. Lady Gaga’s promotion of ARTPOP gave us a slew of extra-freaky outfits to choose from, while Beyoncé’s recent surprise-album-heard-round-the-world handed us more music video looks on a plate than we’d ever know what to do with.

The Year of J-Law

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2013 was the year we fell in love with Jennifer Lawrence, her Oscar-tripping dress, her frank interview answers, her hatred of fat talk, and her lovely, graceful style.

The Year of Miley

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We gasped, we cried, we applauded, we couldn’t look away. Love her or hate her, a grown-up Miley Cyrus captured our collective cultural attention this year as much for her fantastic hair and lipstick as for her sometimes-shocking, sometimes-spot on, always-so-Miley wardrobe.

The Year of Cara Delevigne

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Mizz Delevigne and those brows single-handedly brought humor back into the modeling industry. She may be considered a shorty in the world of supermodels, but she’s got enough personality to keep all the cameras, journalists, and Instagram followers on her.

Jay Z x Barneys

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Jay Z’s holiday collection for Barneys was off to a glittery, high-priced start before accusations of racial profiling were leveled against the retailer, leading to an outcry as people demanded that Jay Z pull his collection. It was too late in the game for that to happen (and there was too much money involved, perhaps?), but some good did come of the whole thing: Jay Z decided to donate 100 percent of the collection’s profits to his Shawn Carter Foundation, which helps low-income kids with their education.

Harry Styles, the Most Fashionable Brit

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Harry Styles of One Direction snagged the British Style Award, beating out Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne, and pleasing young fangirls everywhere.

Famous Faces, New Ad Campaigns

Celebrities continued to take over the realm of models by snagging high profile designer ad campaigns. Notable ones included Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton, Jennifer Lawrence for Dior, Beyoncé for H&M, Amanda Seyfried for Very Irresistible Givenchy, Courtney Love for St. Laurent, and Lady Gaga for Versace.

Runway Diversity

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It’s not news that the fashion industry favors tall, thin, white models for their runway shows, but the issue was brought front and center this year when the Diversity Coalition sent a letter to fashion councils around the world, asking them to include more racially diverse models in runway shows. The responses were lukewarm, but the fashion world has made a few strides in the right direction anyway, like when Givenchy teamed up with Erykah Badu, or Rick Owens’ hiring of a step team in lieu of runway models.