2006 Had Style

Skinny Jeans

Britney Spears

Justin Timberlake

The Devil Wears Prada

Rice's New 'do

December 31, 2006|By Tanika White | Tanika White,Sun Reporter

From the embarrassing to the sophisticated, here's how fashion shaped our world this year

There was a war and a pivotal election. Gas prices soared. Confidence in our president plummeted.

It's not surprising then, that, amid all that, not a whole lot happened in the world of fashion in 2006. No major fashion figure emerged -- or died. No completely new thing caught fashion insiders by surprise.

It was a year for eyelets and tunics, bubble skirts and leggings. Red lips made a comeback, and baring all (except when it came to a certain exhibitionist pop singer) made a long overdue exit. Glamour reigned on the red carpet (as usual). And, mostly, everyone looked pretty darn good.

tanika.white@baltsun.com

They started creeping in last year, actually, but skinny jeans and pants exploded onto the fashion scene in 2006, making the slender silhouette the signature item of the year. "I think Nicole Richie was the first to wear them out and about, but Sienna Miller is always setting the trends in a big way," says Melissa Payner, chief executive officer of Internet-fashion-hit Bluefly.com. "What's also great about the skinny jeans is if you know how to wear them, you don't have to be bone thin."

Gum smacking. False eyelashes falling. Micro mini-skirt tugging. Flip-flops. A million months pregnant and a see-through shirt? This candid televised conversation with NBC's Matt Lauer was supposed to prove to the world that, Britney Spears, the oft-barefoot pop star (left), was really just a regular girl and a good mom. All it really proved was why hair and makeup artists and celebrity stylists really are necessary in Hollywood. "The way Britney appeared in her interview with Matt Lauer made it obvious that she was going through a very difficult time in her life," says Susan Schulz, editor-in-chief of CosmoGIRL magazine. "To see her appear on national TV in a baby-doll top that her breasts seemed to keep poking out of, and to have her false eyelashes applied so sloppily that one of them could be falling off during the interview, was upsetting."

Justin Timberlake is handsome. And he's certainly grown up since his days as just another boy-band member. The megastar has had quite an image evolution (going all Sinatra on us with super-skinny ties and a brooding look), but the crooner isn't necessarily what we'd call sexy. Maybe Timberlake wasn't talking about his fashion-sense, but instead, his new album, FutureSex / LoveSounds, when he said he was "bringing sexy back." Not all fashion insiders agree with our assessment.

"I think he's bringing sophisticated back," says Stan Williams, fashion and grooming director for Maxim magazine. "I think he looks amazing. His fashion is right on right now. It's kind of like he's grown up, like he's decided he can't wear these baggy jeans anymore. [In hip-hop and pop culture], the real leaders are the ones who are dressing well, who are dressing tailored, who are looking handsome. Not the ones who are stuck in that messy mode."

If ever a movie showcased what really goes on in the high-gloss world of fashion, this summer blockbuster was it -- from the jaw-droppingly-gorgeous clothes (Prada, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Valentino, Christian Louboutin) to Meryl Streep's (pictured below) dead-on portrayal of a certain not-to-be-named fashion editor who tortures her proteges and looks fabulous while doing it.

In March, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice did away with her signature severe flip (above left), and got a new, softer hairstyle. In the beauty world, cheers rang out. "It worked," says Paul Cavaco, creative director at Allure magazine. "She looked prettier. And it did do something for her image. It made her less of a soldier. You always kind of wanted her to be more like us. Not so removed. Not so out-of-touch with what it is fashionable." Associated Press

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

Justin Timberlake is handsome. And he's certainly grown up since his days as just another boy-band member. The megastar has had quite an image evolution(going all Sinatra on us with super-skinny ties and a brooding look), but the crooner isn't necessarily what we'd call sexy. Maybe Timberlake wasn't talking about his fashion-sense, but instead, his new album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, when he said he was "bringing sexy back." Not all fashion insiders agree with our assessment.

"I think he's bringing sophisticated back," says Stan Williams, fashion and grooming director for Maxim magazine. "I think he looks amazing. His fashion is right on right now. It's kind of like he's grown up, like he's decided he can't wear these baggy jeans anymore. [In hip-hop and pop culture], the real leaders are the ones who are dressing well, who are dressing tailored, who are looking handsome. Not the ones who are stuck in that messy mode."

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA

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