×

The closing decade was an ever-shifting parade of fashion

NEW YORK (AP) — Lady Gaga wore meat and Rihanna went naked, practically. Kate Middleton delivered royal wedding opulence and Billy Porter went viral in a tuxedo gown. There was the much-coveted Olivia Pope white coat, Lupita Nyong’o’s perfect powder blue Oscar gown and Karl Lagerfield’s embrace of athleisure.

The closing decade was ever-shifting in fashion. The most special moments among fashion editors had Rihanna and Beyonce top of mind as trendsetters, along with the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, and former first lady Michelle Obama.

Rachel Torgerson, senior fashion editor at Cosmopolitan, said it might seem easy to overlook the decade of 2010 to 2020 fashion-wise. Lady Gaga’s raw meat dress in 2010 at the MTV Video Music Awards was a much talked about exception.

“More definitive moments came before — the grunge-y ’90s, the Paris Hilton-drenched early aughts,” Torgerson said. “But the truth is there were some majorly iconic sartorial instances that changed us forever during this time.”

We’ll start with Rihanna.

“My jaw dropped to the floor when Rihanna sparkled onto the stage in an Adam Selman Swarovksi crystal ‘naked dress’ to receive her CFDA style icon award,” said Joyann King, executive editorial director of HarpersBazaar.com. “It was as beautiful as it was provocative and began a trend that continues to rule the red carpet and our social feeds.”

Laurel Pantin, fashion features director of InStyle, agreed: “I’ll never forget it. In my dreams, that’s what I look like and that’s what I’m wearing.”

The year was 2014. The following year, at the Met Gala, Beyonce donned Givenchy in another barely there look, a long sheer design that relied on coverage from strategically placed embroidery and a smattering of sparkles, said Andrea Lavinthal, style and beauty director for People.

“It was somehow even more naked than all the other naked dresses that night,” she said.

Duchess Kate wore the house of McQueen to marry Prince William in 2011, more than a year after Alexander McQueen’s death. The lace and ivory satin gown included a pinched-in bodice inspired by Victorian corsetry, a signature of McQueen, but it also evoked the wedding look of Grace Kelly. It was designed by his successor, Sarah Burton.

“Literally every bride wanted to look like her then, and many still do,” Torgerson said. “People are still requesting lookalikes.”

The same interest followed Duchess Meghan into matrimony. The American actress wed Prince Harry in 2018 dressed in a boat-necked, long-sleeve stunner by Claire Waight Keller of Givenchy.

“In this decade, not only one but two of the U.K.’s spotlight princesses got married, which left the world pondering about who these women would choose to design their momentous wedding dresses,” said Shilpa Prabhakar Nadella, fashion market director for Glamour. “Both have become style icons in their own right.”

As style icons go, few had as much impact as Obama, who caused dresses and other attire to sell out simply by putting them on and was a big booster of both fashion and diverse designers. Her choices often made headlines.

Lindsay Peoples Wagner, editor in chief of Teen Vogue, noted a particular Obama moment, this one by designer Tracy Reese, a rare African American woman among top designers. It was the pink sleeveless dress with specks of gold brocade that Obama wore for her speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.