The backlash against breasts and other 2016 fashion moments

Cleavage was out this year (in the right sense) and so, for a while, was Kate Moss’s boyfriend – and there was one very sad farewell

What should I wear to my boss’s Christmas party tomorrow night?

Shelley, by email

Zzzzzip! Record scratch! Sorry to interrupt, folks: normal service will be resumed next week, but this week we celebrate the festive season by going through the best and worst fashion moments of the year. Honestly, it’s what Jesus wanted us to do. He said so, right after he ticked off John the Baptist for his hopelessly passé robe. “Bias cut is soooo BC, John,” he said, as the two of them strolled along the river Jordan. Maybe. I might be less clear on my New Testament than my Vogue.

Let’s start with the downers. Well, it was a strange year. Breasts, for a start, we consigned to the bin. Vogue decreed that cleavage was “over”, and the adoring shots of Elizabeth Debicki’s frequently bra-strap-free back in The Night Manager seemed to confirm this. Rather sweetly, Vogue tried to pretend that theirs was a feminist declaration: “The tits will not be out for the lads. Nor anyone else, for that matter.” How marvellous! No longer will women suffer the tyranny of Eva Herzigova because a whole new body shape will be celebrated. Hurrah for the inclusivity of fashion! Go feminist fashion! Bog off, boobs!

Wait, what’s that noise? I think it might be a giant “EXCEPT” coming down the pipeline. EXCEPT perhaps it is because Vogue lives in an airless world populated only by the underfed and underweight but it seemed, rather sweetly, to have forgotten that not all women need Wonderbras to manage more than a C-cup. Breasts are not, in fact, just some novelty accessory we’ve been dabbling in, like Carrie necklaces or turbans. Going unsupported is not an option for some of us, at least not without giving ourselves two black eyes. So what to do for us, the unlucky few left with unfashionable breasts that can’t simply be slammed away in a drawer? One broadsheet had the answer: “How to dress when you hate your breasts,” read its headline. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is I believe what’s known as coming full circle.

We also hit peak athleisure, with the arrival of Chloé’s £1,000 tracksuit, a joke straight out of Nathan Barley. There was also peak squad, with various female celebrities clamouring on social media to show off their popularity, holidays and fat-free bodies, from Taylor Swift’s overly Instagrammed 4 July party to Cara Delevingne’s hyperbolically Instagrammed Maldives holiday. Confusingly, we also hit peak peak, so it is of utmost importance that someone come up with the 2017 word for something being over (“basic” is definitely over, as, incidentally, is over).

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