“It seems that 2016 will be remembered as a year when we lost so many talented people. However, their creativity is a precious gift that stays with us.” – Russell James, fashion and beauty photographer.
Dear friends, it’s time to have a chat. It has been a bit of time since I last published a blog post. Sometimes absence is necessary in order to gain momentum, a different point of view and purpose. Now, here we are at the close of 2016 and what a year it has been. Frankly, I don’t know anyone, that will look back at this year with much fondness. For months it has felt as though the world has been longing for this year to end. Just as we are approaching the end of the year we have been hit time and time again with death, loss and despair.
The amount of famous legends that we have lost in 2016 has been astounding, to say the least. Iconic figures of pop culture, entertainment, television, journalism, fashion, sports etc have passed away one after the other in a scary consistent sequence. It has been a year full of goodbyes and uncertainty. There have been horrific natural disasters and tragic, violent deaths that devastated so many countries and so many lives. Here in the U.S., we were put through one of the most difficult, contentious, bizarre, nasty and ugliest presidential campaigns in history. Unfortunately, the importance of a woman making history and being elected for the first time as a presidential nominee was over-shadowed by the daily over the top headlines of this election. Well, we all know how this election ended. We’ll leave it at that.
So the string of sad losses started in January with the passing of David Bowie, one of music’s biggest talents and fashion chameleons. Then April came and we lost another enigmatic pop legend, Prince. Just two months later in June, we said farewell to the ‘Greatest of All Time’ in sports, Muhammad Ali. An irreplaceable force that taught us to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”. June was also the month when we lost street style photographer and New York legend, Bill Cunningham. In August, a beloved childhood character passed away, Gene Wilder better known as Willy Wonka of ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ film. By this time, it’s safe to say that anytime we saw a ‘celebrity’ name trending on social media our hearts stopped for a split second and thought the worst. So the holiday season rolled around and we thought the string of bad news had subsided. No chance. On Thanksgiving, we lost one of the most famous TV Moms, Florence Henderson, aka Mrs. Brady of the classic TV show ‘The Brady Bunch’. Just weeks later we learned of the untimely death of Alan Thicke, famous for his role on the hit TV show ‘Growing Pains’. Right before Christmas the fashion world got hit again. Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue for over 28 years also took her final bow at the age of 66 as she had been battling an illness for some time. And while so many were celebrating Christmas day, the shocking news broke of yet another music legend. This time it was of pop music singer and songwriter, George Michael. Known for his chart-topping hits like “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”, “Careless Whisper” and the now almost eerie named tune, “Last Christmas” all while a part of the group Wham! Some of George’s biggest hits came during his solo career and who can forget the epic album “Faith” and songs like “Father Figure” and “I Want Your Sex”. At the time, his music was provocative and incredibly innovative and so were his videos. His soulful voice pulsated through his music. Who can remember watching them on heavy rotation on MTV? His talent not only touched music but also the fashion industry. In 1990 the song and video “Freedom” was released (George refused to be in the video), but instead invited five of the top supermodels of the 90s era to participate and the rest is history. Today, we have learned that the incredibly talented actress, writer and producer Carrie Fisher who famously portrayed the role of ‘Princess Leia’ from the Star Wars film has died at the age of 60.
In all honesty with so much tragedy throughout this year, it has been difficult to muster up the energy to write about fashion. Not to mention the fact that not all the news in fashion has been great either. Between the really bad trends and the continuous rotating door of head talent at some of the biggest design houses. The fashion industry has always been about forward movement and modernity and yes it is a business after all. Yet, the incessant obsession with celebrity, Instagram models and the vulgarity of reality stars capturing so many headlines and lucrative campaign contracts, seem increasingly redundant. I sincerely hope that 2017 generates new exciting design talent and that there is a shift from the ‘same old’…
Although it has been a challenging year we must stay optimistic because isn’t that after all what a new year is all about? The chance to start fresh, new beginnings and an open mind. Thank you to each and every one of my loyal long time readers, new followers, those that stumbled upon this blog, everyone! Thank you for your support and I look forward to sharing new and exciting creative projects. I wish you a healthy, happy, safe and prosperous 2017. May you find what you are looking for and bring to reality all of your heart’s desires.
With much Gratitude.
One Style at a Time