The barrage of blogs tallying the year in trends and fashion has begun, and of course, we are totally participating. We do it every year, after all.
And while we try to note the obvious, we also strive to call out the stuff you're not likely to see on the other blogs, stuff we note while nightlife traipsing and stuff that inevitably moves from street to mainstream the following year. Like, did anyone else note the "tranimal" trend last year, but us? Nope. We wrote about it and then Gaga brought it into the mainstream, or tried to, soon afterward.
So yeah, there's some obvious inclusions here, but as always, we strive to spotlight the more cutting edge staples seen in Los Angeles. There were looks to love and/or laugh at. Sometimes both at the same time. And that, friends, is fashion, especially in L.A. and most especially after dark: a little frivolous, a bit freaky, but always a ton of fun.
So here, the top 11 fashion trends of 2011 (seen mostly at social functions, clubs and Trader Joe's in Silver Lake and Hollywood). Which look did you do and which ones are totally done? Read on...
11. Calf Call
If skinny jeans and skin tight/bright leggings on girls -- and guys -- showed no sign of fading away, the ingenious invention known as "Pajama Jeans" may be the final grommet to nail their demise. After all, nothing says dorkville like weird stretchy pants you buy via an infomercial at 3 o'clock in the morning. Unless, of course, you're being ironic. Either way, the legging look's gotta be on its last legs, right? Gay boys are an exception here, of course.
10. Rainbow Bright
If you're old enough to have died your hair with the original "Manic Panic" you probably weren't rocking rainbow locks this year. These days, most happenin' heads have their own colorists, but for the bold few whose bathrooms look like a scene out of My Little Pony, the original brands -- Crazy Colour and Tish & Snooky's (no relation to the Jersey Shore shorty) -- were still the way to go. Used to be weird hair color was, well, weird, but with Gaga's blue hue and Katy Perry's pink pincurls (on the cover of In Style, no less), transforming tresses from yellow to purple to green seemed as common as a nail polish change.
9. Nerd Herds
Not sure who came up with the whole "I ♥ Nerds" campaign (guess: a nerd?) but the motto, credo, whatever, was ubiquitous on tons of tees and on cutesy licensed merch from Hello Kitty and Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Mini. Spectacles, plaid shorts, arygle sweaters, etc. got a lot dudes and dames some play this year. Smart!
8. Hip Lips
Groomed upper lip hair is old news in hipster circles of course, but in 2011 "The Mustache" took on a life of its own, literally. The 'stache became such an iconic/ironic symbol in onto itself, that a face wasn't even necessary anymore. It's like it grew legs and arms and decided live its own life: on accessories, t-shirts, coffee mugs, you name it. The mustache icon (usually with curled up sides) is to the 2000s what the happy face was to the 60s or what the unicorn (and rainbow) was to the 80s. It's a mystical emblem conjuring fantasy and joy, in this case as it pertains to rockstars and pornstars.
7. Dolled Up
That Aqua song about "Barbie Girls" may be annoying as hell, but it hit upon something that is more prevalent than ever: the desire for gals to be pretty in pink... and plastic. It's "fantastic" after all. Barbie Girls, aka girlie girls, aka girls with blonde hair and boob jobs, are also nothing new, but in 2011, the Matell marketing machine took aim at big girls' bling obsession with a rhinestone jewelry line. Nicki Minaj definitely helped this one along by rocking the baubles with many ensembles, and she unwittingly widened the scope of what a "Barbie Girl" could be, both physically and ethnically. Minaj and Katy Perry also made Barbie pink the palette to pick in 2011, which led many a glam gal to trade in her Russian Red lips and nails for the girlier but no less sexy hue.
The peeps who made these PJ-like items had marketing savvy, alright. We got these sweatpant-and-sweatshirt-in-one pieces -- original makers call 'em "One Piece," but a knock-off company scored the "Onesie" name -- in goodie bags at three of the hottest bashes of the year (see our list up soon), including two Perez Hilton affairs. We'll admit, they are quite cozy and we wear ours around the house a lot. But the gals who rocked em with heels on the dance floor were probably still sleepy when they got ready.
5. Seeing Red
Blame it on Twilight or True Blood or The Walking Dead or all the tween vamp TV shows on WB, but it was a bloody and biting year. Zombie and vampire-themed parties were not limited to Halloween soirees and we were seeing red all over town. Our prediction for how this will impact makeup looks next year: bye-bye smokey eye, hello red eye.
4. Cream of the Crop
Madonna may have taken a backseat fashion-wise to her daughter Lola (who helmed the Material Girl line for Macy's) but one of her most iconic looks was everywhere last year, not just at the department store. Crop tops had a very, very big moment. And we mean that literally. Many of the cropped tops we saw were made really wide, and the waify gals who favored them always seemed to be swimming, which ain't really that sexy. The foxy lady at Gay Pride (in the pic above) is an exception.
3. It Takes Tu-Tus
Not sure if it was Black Swan redux or something else entirely, but tu-tu's danced into the night, especially at public events and night clubs. Of course, not everyone should've been wearing these skimpy pieces of mesh, namely those whose age doesn't begin with two.
2. The Write Stuff
We appreciate a pretty cursive font as much as the next gal, but this year, the script tat officially reached the ubiquity of the tribal tat of 10 years ago, which means the writing's on the wall, err, skin: it's dated! Yes, we know, most people who opt for ink in words choose phrases, song lyrics or names that mean something to them. But just as one should never get a girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/hubby's on one's skin, the same goes for these, especially in prominent places like the chest or much-seen neck wreath design. People change. You change. That LMFAO song might, just might, not hold the same significance it once did. Likes and loves don't last forever, but tattoos do and lazer removal hurts more than any emotion a song lyric can evoke. Might as well get the numbers "2011" on your forehead at this point. Oh and if you still wanna do this, make sure you spell the words right!
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1. Collab Crazed
Most were out luck when it came to scoring the famous zig-zag covered Missoni for Target line this year. And though other designer collaborations may not have inspired the same kind of psycho frenzy (the Italian designers crashed the website, saw stores get wiped out in a day, and created a general feel of ill will thanks to order cancellations), the collab concept was taken to a whole other level last year. Versace's eyesore pieces for H&M, the Kardashians' shockingly bad for basic black print pieces for Sears, Petro Zillia's cute girly looks for Forever 21 and Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Mini. The problem with these cheap versions of designer looks is there was always a really good chance you'd run into your dress double wearing them out. Despite the Missoni madness, we never saw too many zig-zags out there in the streets or soirees. We're guessing the fashionista set are holding them for next year. Til then...