• Melissa Imari Alvarez

9 Best Wardrobe Moments of 2017

While 2017 has been a train wreck of a year in many regards, it hasn't been all bad. The year has been quite a progressive time in regards to recognizing the talented wardrobe teams behind much of our favorite entertainment. I've seen an increasing amount of articles celebrating a designer's work, interviews and entire magazine issues showcasing stylists who dress our favorite celebrities. Fashion has been a huge part of the political and social conversations of the year. More and more exhibits are opening in museums around the world that highlight fashions and their influence on our culture. I am personally fortunate enough to work and interact with people who share my love of clothing and this year gave us so much to gush over together! I've asked a few of my friends to help me discuss some of our favorite wardrobe moments of the year from across all types of entertainment. From ballet to blockbusters, television to musicals, we've all had our fair share of clothing crushes this year that we need to swoon over one last time as 2017 comes to a close.

Pussyhats and the rise of feminist apparel.

One of the best moments of the year happened within the first few weeks of January. Of course, I'm talking about the Women's March! All of my social media feeds were filled with pink cat-eared beanies and cheeky slogans printed on signs and shirts, alike. The masterminds behind the cat ears are The Pussyhat Project- a social movement that started as a way to make a visual statement on Trump's first day in office and has grown into a community that promotes women's and human rights through the arts, education, and respectful dialogue. The Women's March also kicked off a rise in feminist apparel that has been aided by celebrities and influencers who support the cause, including (but definitely not limited to) stylist Karla Welch and actor Justin Baldoni.

Anastasia Broadway, Anastasia’s red dress. Design by Linda Cho.

If having one of my favorite childhood movies turned into a Broadway musical wasn't enough to thrill me, seeing Anastasia's iconic outfits come to life certainly was! And while the red dress is a new look not from the animated feature, it is perfect! What's even better still is that, according to costume designer Linda Cho, this dress was added to the production in the 11th hour. "It was designed and execusted days before opening at breakneck speed. No less than 12 people labored furiously on it around the clock, often several at the same time, up until the last hour it went onstage." That certainly puts a new meaning to the term "fast fashion"!

The Handmaid’s Tale, the handmaidens. Design by Ane Crabtree.

“Designer Ane Crabtree is able to accomplish what many designers dream of: simple intricacy. The Handmaid costume looks simple at first, but has small details like an interesting button closure and a ridged cummerbund. I like that the wings/bonnets are based off of old historic designs; I’ve seen book art where they try to make it look futuristic, but I think designing something familiar that the audience recognizes makes the story that much more disturbing.”- Hannah Black, @hlblack. Costumer, designer, seamstress, nerd, and spandex enthusiast.

Renaissance, Paris Opera Ballet collaboration with Balmain. Design by Olivier Rousteing.

This may seem like an odd pairing at first, considering one usually envisions light and airy costumes for a ballet- and Olivier Rousteing’s designs for Balmain are anything but. Known for his heavy embellishments, Rousteing brought a beautiful edginess to the Paris Opera Ballet collaboration. I appreciated the mutual respect Rousteing and Sebastien Bertraud (choreographer) shared and was impressed to learn that both designer and dancers had to make some adjustments and sacrifices for the sake of Bertraud's vision. Naturally, the pearl and crystal studded costumes were heavier than a dancer's regular uniform, but Bertraud said of this obstacle, "I want to preserve Olivier's artistic intention, so I’m going to train all my dancers in order to make it possible." In my experience, it is always wardrobe that has to be fixed, no matter what the performer might be subjecting the garment to, so to read that was pretty awesome!

Wonder Woman, Hippolyta’s beach/throne room look. Design by Lindy Hemming.

“We’re all thrilled Diana has beautiful functioning armor without being too revealing, but can we talk about Hippolyta for a second? You don’t need anyone to say she’s queen to constantly recognize her: shades of gold and intricate detail serve up this beautiful majestic look, but it’s still fully functional battle armor!”- Hannah

Game of Thrones, Daenerys’s winter coat. Design by Michele Clapton.

When this fantastical piece of winter wear showed up on my television during the Season 7 episode, “Beyond the Wall”, I quite literally let out an exaggerated “YAAAAAAAASSSSSSS” and Kermit-flailed my arms in the air. We’ve seen some amazing costume pieces worn by Dany (and many other GoT characters for that matter) over the show’s 7 seasons but I don’t think any has left an impression quite as this one! The lines and texture are to die for and the fact that Clapton was able to turn fur into dragon scales is just mind blowing. I also really appreciated seeing the rest of the internet lose its collective mind over this stunning costume!

Original Supermodels walked Versace runway at Milan Fashion Week.

After today's it girls walked for Versace's S/S 2018 collection at Milan Fashion Week, the original supermodels- Carla Bruni, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer- graced the runway in a tribute to Gianni Versace on the 20th anniversary of his death. They looked like absolute goddesses, draped in Gianni's signature metallic mesh. The entire scene was just iconic! And can we talk about how NONE of these women have aged?!

Once Upon a Dream, Paolo Sebastian Haute Couture collection. Design by Paul Vasileff.

Beautiful gowns inspired by princess, made for real people. Millions of little girls (and grown adults...like myself) came one step closer to having their fairy tale dreams come true with Paolo Sebastian's Once Upon a Dream collection. Also, the runway was a literal forest and models walked to music from the Disney animated princess films and many of the designs incorporated lyrics from these songs. The inspiration is obvious in each piece, but not one of these gowns looks so blatantly like one of the princess' costumes. If there was one perfect thing about 2018, it was this collection!

The Shape of Water. Costume design by Luis Sequeira.

“The Shape of Water is such a beautiful film. It uses the color of the costumes and sets to enrich the world the characters live in. The director, Guillermo Del Toro, originally intended to shoot the movie in black and white, much like 1954 movie The Creature From the Black Lagoon, but I’m so glad he ultimately decided against it. I particularly loved the touches of red the main character Elisa wore throughout the movie, from a small butterfly pin, to red pumps, to her red coat at the end of the movie. This complimented her characters emotional growth, and was such a beautiful contrast against the blue green hues that permeated her surroundings.” -Celestina Hudson, @cmariecel. BA in Theatrical design, costume maker, baking enthusiast, artist and dreamer.

There were so many other moments, I'm sure, that we didn't even think of that are worth mentioning. Here's to all of the hardworking designers, stylists, costumers, wardrobe assistants, seamstresses, and all other types of clothiers that produced beautiful garments this year! And to many more in 2018!

What were some of your favorite wardrobe moments of 2017? Any that didn't make the list? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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