In the 2000s luxury was lauded and reached a spectacular crescendo with the work of Alexander McQueen who brought a decadent yet melancholic excess to the catwalk and John Galliano at Dior whose magpie mix of historical and geographical references created the most opulent of fashion shows. Roland Mouret introduced a structured silhouette with the celebrated Galaxy dress of 2006, an instant best-seller, and the newly appointed Christophe Decarnin at Balmain revitalized the label with his ripped jeans and signature leather jackets with exaggerated shoulders. Hip hop, the decade’s best-selling music genre, was one of the most pervasive influences on fashion and inspired Sassoon’s Wild Style Collection of 2003. The spray-painting of American graffiti artist Futura 2000 was reimagined in fluorescent 'swooshes' of strong colour placed on cuts with clearly defined lines.
In this decade fashion celebrated diversity, individuality and customization, themes that were explored in the work of fashion anthropologist Ted Polhemus who coined the phrase, ‘the Supermarket of Style to describe modern fashion consumption. Polhemus saw style, like music, relying on the sampling or mixing of ‘diverse, eclectic, often contradictory elements into a unique, personal statement.’ This unique approach was used in the ? Collection where models were photographed in their own clothes in situ rather than being styled independently for the shoot.
The search for individuality coupled with many fashion designers nod to the past, particularly the 1980s, led to the acclaimed Sassoon Professional Stretch Collection of 2008 inspired by the jewel bright body con fashion of Herve Leger aka ‘The King of Cling’. As vintage clothes enjoyed a huge revival a sophisticated reinterpretation of the past could be seen in the Icon collection inspired by 1920s Hollywood featuring the body jewellery of J. Maskrey and International Creative Director Mark Hayes’ Coquette, a collection that mined the risqué underworld and moral decay of 1920s Weimar and the portraits of New Objectivity artist Christian Schad. Iconic 1920s haircuts such as the Bob and Eton Crop incorporated kiss curls drawn into rounded triangles, Clara Bow fringes, severe graduation, disconnected step panels and scalloped curves.