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5 New Year’s Eve Outfit Ideas, Inspired by the Best Runway Moments of the Decade

Ruby Redstone

As apathetic as I tend to be about New Year’s Eve, I know the transition from 2019 to 2020 is an especially big one. After all, it’s the start of a new decade! And therefore a uniquely good excuse to go all out when dressing up for the night in question, right? In the spirit of being as festive as I can muster, wardrobe-wise at least, I’m also using it as an opportunity to celebrate my favorite looks from the 2010s. Below, I’ve selected five of what I consider to be defining runway moments of the decade, looks that proved essential to my style but were also catalysts for trends that spanned far beyond my personal purview, and recreated them for a night on the town or festive fashion show you could put on for your pets–whatever’s more your New Year’s Eve speed.


#1: Alexander Wang S/S 2010

Hardly a week goes by when I don’t think about the football-inspired show that launched Alexander Wang to fame. If you ask me, this collection just might be the single point of origin for the athleisure craze that came to define this decade. The sweatshirts, athletic socks, and ultra-pointy cat eye sunglasses still look as fresh as they did when Karlie Kloss first leapt across the bleachers in them in Teen Vogue. I’ll likely want to ring in the new year in sweatpants anyway, so I’ll make the most of this predilection with a Wang-style sports bra and a utilitarian coat for when I run out to the deli–I mean, the club.

#2: Louis Vuitton F/W 2011

Louis Vuitton F/W 2011
Vintage dress -- similar here, French Toast Uniforms shirt, Patricia Field harness -- another here, Dr. Martens shoes, CVS headband Vintage dress -- similar here, French Toast Uniforms shirt, Patricia Field harness -- another here, Dr. Martens shoes, CVS headband

Remember how much of a stir this show caused? The New York Times called Marc Jacobs’s late-night-at-a-hotel production both “racy and saucy.” I hardly think anyone would bat an eyelash at fetishwear on the runway these days–proof of just how much has changed over the course of the 2010s. Still, the contrast of primness and debauchery in this show remains one of my favorite of all time. I can’t even come close to capturing the beautiful print on the Louis Vuitton dress here, but I’ve approximated the look with a leather harness that I actually purchased for a New Year’s Eve outfit in 2016.

#3: Christopher Kane Resort 2011

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a runway moment, but I’d argue it was still one of the first viral collections of all time. I’m basing this assertion solely upon a memory that the day Facebook added a “Cover Photo” feature, I raced to my family’s desktop computer to upload a photo from this collection’s lookbook as mine. That and the fact that it seemed like every stylish celebrity was wearing the dresses on red carpets and street style blogs alike. While the galaxy print feels a little dated to 2011, I’m still obsessed with collecting other T-shirts that Kane designed around this time.

#4: Saint Laurent F/W 2016

Saint Laurent F/W 2016
Vintage coat -- another here, vintage dress -- another here, Calzedonia tights, Repetto shoes Vintage coat -- another here, vintage dress -- another here, Calzedonia tights, Repetto shoes

No matter where you stand on Hedi Slimane, there’s no denying that the designer’s grunge riche aesthetic has become definitive of 2010s style, and if there was ever a time to put on your faux-furriest coat and your shortest dress, heck, it’s New Year’s Eve. I found this miraculously convincing outerwear dupe at a vintage store, but really anything fluffy would work! Consider keeping the outfit on for all of 2020 and speaking with a French accent to curate an air of eccentric mystery.

#5: Gucci F/W 2019

Gucci F/W 2019
ASOS dress (worn as top), vintage kilt -- another here, Amazon tights, Amazon headband, Miu Miu shoes ASOS dress (worn as top), vintage kilt -- another here, Amazon tights, Amazon headband, Miu Miu shoes

I have to end this year right where I began it: with Gucci. The brand has undergone a dramatic transformation over the course of the past decade, reaching an apex of frenzied popularity in the past few years. Will the craze last into 2020? My maximalist heart says yes, but my mind, with its knowledge of trend cycles, says no…. Give it one last hedonistic hurrah by piling on all your favorite items in your closet at once. Parting is such sweet, pattern-on-patterned sorrow.

Looking back on these runways of yore makes me so deeply nostalgic. When the 2010s began, I was a moody teenager who would skulk off to the computer lab during lunch to livestream fashion shows, and now I am someone who is lucky enough to get to write about them for a living! (Though I suppose my penchant for recreating the looks from said shows with the clothing I have lying around in my room remains unchanged). The clothes feel so full of yearning and hope, each trend emblematic of some point in time that led me to where I am now–but my perspective is just one small corner of the zeitgeist. With the bit of hindsight we have now, what has 2010s style come to mean to you? What runway shows will play in your personal highlight reel of the decade? And, most importantly, what are you wearing New Year’s, New Year’s Eveeeeee?

Ruby Redstone

Ruby Redstone

Ruby Redstone is a writer, stylist, and art historian (no, seriously) from New York City.

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