Proenza Schouler established their luxe-surfer feel with board shorts and the perfect schoolboy shirt with detailed piping, buttoned all the way up, of course. Balenciaga went mad for florals and Preen made the best cubist dress.
Phoebe Philo made the BEST swimsuits at Chloe that year, with a perfectly layered silver maillot over pieced stripes over a little faux white tee and the best short sleeve banana print. I still need these two in my closet. Dries van Noten's collection had an air of being washed out and antique. Love the combination of the messy-bedhead with the jacket.
Junya Watanabe went crazy for polka dots which I'm sure Yayoi Kusama loved haha. Alber Elbaz's draped silk satin shift dress at Lanvin was flawless and hinted at what would make him the master of lady-like dressing in the years to come. This was one of my favorite Miu Miu collections, the colors were earthy and kind of 70's-in-an-upholstery- kinda way and then there were the little sweaters with intarsia ghosts on the front! My favorite thing about this collection were the shoes, which I'm still stalking on eBay to this day. They will be mine, oh yes, they will be mine.
Preen made the best updated sensual trenchcoat. Proenza Shouler showed they could do vixen too, with coats with a leg-o-mutton sleeves and leather gloves. The girly-tomboy mix continued at Chloe, this time with beautiful eyelet blouses worn with low-slung khaki pants (and a healthy dose of swagger).
2004 was also the year that Tom Ford retired and at Gucci he said his goodbye by sending out updated versions of his greatest hits, like tailored velvet jackets, lace galore and of course, white draped jersey dresses (popularized by Toni Braxton in the Unbreak My Heart video). Junya Watanabe went urban showing deconstructed puffy coats and denim.
Jil Sander returned to the runway with the perfect purple wool shift dress. Linda Evangelista wore the Hermes-madness dress (all-over logo never looked this good). At Rochas, Olivier Theyskens continued his studies of femininity with new way of looking at the underwear-as-outerwear thing. The rounded neckline and delicate fabrics really lend an air of class and slight aristocracy to what could be a quite vulgar dress (ha!).
A.F. Vandervorst paired military jackets with tutu-like skirts, Viktor & Rolf put on antlers on Nadja Auermann (the best, Jerry, the BEST!) and turned her into a woodland fairy (E P I C). We end the year with Tom Ford's final collection for Yves Saint Laurent, where he brought back Eastern influences and the perfect peaked-shoulder satin jacket.