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The Year in Fashion: They Said It

The highly quotable are at it again.

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Rooney Mara in Nina Ricci and Fred Leighton

Rooney Mara in Nina Ricci and Fred Leighton

Photo By Tyler Boye

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The highly quotable are at it again.

“My entire career, it’s always been like, ‘Oh, [pre-fall is] just a selling collection.’ It has so many boxes to check and it becomes such a chore and I just hated that. There’s more and more [to do] for all of us. I look at it not only from my point of view but from [editors’] point of view, like, Why would you just want to go look at another showroom? What a drag.”
— Stella McCartney, Jan. 10

“I wanted to work at Women’s Wear Daily, as an illustrator, and went for an interview. John Fairchild told me that I had better take up design, because I wasn’t good enough to be an illustrator. I went to Parsons, but I didn’t graduate. You know that? I had to go to summer school, because I failed draping. I showed them. I failed typing in high school. That’s why I’m not very good on the computer.…
Anne [Klein] taught me the best lesson in the world — that a designer is a designer, even if she’s designing toothbrushes and hospital gowns.”
— Donna Karan at 92Y, Jan. 17

“If there was a Hollywood of clothes, this would be it. If you want to be a preppie, if you want to be a businessman on Wall Street, if you want to be a renegade in Utah. This is really about movies to me — and stories and details.”
— Ralph Lauren, on his fall men’s collection, Jan. 31

“People say everything has a limit, but limits do not exist with Madonna.”
— Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, who designed the singer’s Super Bowl couture costumes, Feb. 7

“I’ve matured, and that has definitely affected my aesthetic. We always joke that everyone’s always like, ‘Oh, it’s downtown New York!’ and ‘It’s models off duty!’ I was a stupid 21-year-old when I said that. I didn’t know how to talk to the press. I’d mention something like that, and they’d blow it up to big, crazy extremes. In a certain way, it helped us define a look to a certain audience.”
— Alexander Wang, Feb. 8

“I try to stay away from the media as much as I can....I try not to take it too personally, because I don’t think they do it just to me. But as a human being, it feels like that. You feel like you’re the only one being picked on. But the truth is, they pick on everybody. They really don’t discriminate.”
— Jennifer Lopez, on the media, Feb. 9

“I wear a lot of black. You know what, black’s easier. The more color you have in your wardrobe, the longer it takes you to get dressed.”
— Rooney Mara, Feb. 16

“If you want to know what happens in China, open up your Weibo account and see what people are talking about.”
— Sam Flemming, CIC media consultancy, Feb. 21

“What happened to Jason Wu only happens in the West. Can you imagine if the Chinese press talked more about a dress than the leader himself? The political clients I have all request that I make something very subdued and not eye-catching. The last thing they want is to outshine their husbands.”
 — Chinese couturiere Guo Pei, Feb. 22

“I still feel like a misfit at things like this, but a better-dressed misfit.”
— Michelle Williams at the Oscars, Feb. 26

“It has taken me a long time to accept that I am not as tall as I think I am.”
— Paula Abdul, Feb. 29

“The world is tiny now. In 1981, when I was starting out, our idea of global was Canada. We thought Holt Renfrew was a foreign account.”
— Michael Kors, March 6

“Well, I look at the old guard, because the old guard had a certain way of doing things, like a [Yves] Saint Laurent or a bit of [Christian] Dior. The way they did the collections way back was quite remarkable, so I look at them as inspiration. Or Giorgio Armani, or Ralph or Karl. As my hair gets whiter, I’m thinking, ‘Look, if I’m standing next to Karl, Giorgio or Ralph, I’ll be in the crowd.’ They’re much older, by the way, so I have a long way to go.”
— Tommy Hilfiger, on the influence of other designers at 92Y, March 12

“When we opened the store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, I thought that we had realized the American dream. In Japan’s Ginza, it’s the same thing — I think it’s a symbol of the Japanese dream.”
— Tadashi Yanai, Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing, on opening the chain’s largest store to date, March 16

“You have to read it. It’s like a reality show about my life.”
— Roberto Cavalli, about his blog, March 19

“As an industry, we’re at risk now of sliding into religious thinking, a too-fervent belief in the cult of the brand. And the risk is that in all the wise and necessary moves into new terrain, and all the enthusiasm for ‘brand’ and brand extensions, we neglect the thing at the center. Journalism, photography, design, creative thinking, editing and packaging, they’re what drive it all…and I don’t hear a lot about them these days. What I hear is, ‘That’s great for the brand.’ No, that is the brand!”
— GQ editor in chief Jim Nelson, on the changing role of editors, April 2

“I have to say, I would prefer to do the shuffle in sneakers. If you want to drop it like it’s hot, it’s good to wear flats, because then your booty gets really close to the floor, but then there are things you can do in heels that you can’t do in sneakers.”
— Madonna, on the best footwear for dancing on tour, April 16

“I think that my fans and customers really get to know me and my sense of humor through my tweets. I think people see the real me.”
— Victoria Beckham, on her Twitter activity, April 19

“You know, as you get older, you really want to go back to that idea of happy — happy, productive.”
— Betsey Johnson, after her company filed for bankruptcy protection, April 27

“I was 40 before I learned that ‘No’ was a complete sentence.”
— Kathy Ireland, May 7

“Fashion has a lot of Virgos….To really obsess about a millimeter on a shoe, it helps to be a Virgo.”
— Tom Ford at 92Y, May 10

“I know you [Americans are] protective of your icons, and I’m a Brit. I had to be brave and think, If this opportunity is coming and people have faith in you, seize it, try your damned hardest, given your training and your life experiences and your background. Take care of it, put it in your heart with a red ribbon around it, put it in your pocket, look after it, water it, tend it, nurture it like a garden. I’m not gifted. So I have to work harder than most at things.”
— Tracie Bennett, on her role as Judy Garland in “End of the Rainbow,” May 30

“I love Madonna. She is the only woman I have asked to marry me. She refused, of course.”
— Jean Paul Gaultier, after designing costumes for the singer’s MDNA worldwide tour, May 31

“It’s always peculiar when I speak of myself in the third person.”
— Giorgio Armani, May 31

“I’d like to dress the Queen. She can handle anything. Maybe in black with a little leather, a little rock ’n’ roll.”
— Donatella Versace, June 1

“It’s nice to dress up. When you go out for a nice dinner or to a play — all the things New York has to offer — it’s good to look nice doing it.”
— New York Mets third baseman David Wright, June 4

“She is like a kept woman. She has a strong personality. She has lunch and dinner with me on the table, with her own food. She doesn’t touch my food. She doesn’t want to eat on the floor. She sleeps under a pillow, and she even knows how to use an iPad. She has two personal maids, for both night and day. She is beyond spoiled.”
— Karl Lagerfeld, about his cat, Choupette, June 6

“Everyone knows about that night from the superficial standpoint of it. There were French designers and American designers and 650 millionaires in the room, but there was a before and there was an after to that story, so I think it’s very important that we start at the beginning.”
— Director Deborah Riley Draper, at the debut of her film, “Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution,” July 9

“It’s really stupid to be mad at someone who died, but somehow I have managed it.”
— Meryl Streep, about Nora Ephron, at Ephron’s memorial, July 10

“When you go in and you show your clothing, you think that they’re going to buy the whole collection. And when they don’t, you’re like, ‘What do you mean? It all goes together….But I think that’s kind of a life thing — ‘What, you don’t want all of me?’”
—Katie Holmes, on her new apparel venture, Holmes & Yang, Sept. 6

“Accessories are like vitamins to fashion — as such, you should use them liberally.”
— Anna Dello Russo, Sept. 10

 “I always thought you had to be dead to show at the Met, but apparently not.”
— Artist Christopher Makos, showing at the Met with the Andy Warhol retrospective, Sept. 11

“Like all I want to do is create things and wear funny clothes and go to parties and smoke my rich friends’ weed. That’s really all I want to do. I want to change the lives of my fans and the only way to do that is by being myself.”
— Lady Gaga, Sept. 14

“Women have different plumbing.”
— Barbra Streisand, on the research inequality for men’s heart disease vs. women’s heart disease, Sept. 21

“I’m here because I think we need to be more serene and less hysterical.”
— Prada’s Patrizio Bertelli, calming analysts about the state of the luxury market, Sept. 25

“Why does it look so related to what it was in the Nineties? That’s my question. Why is it so much white cotton shirting [buttoned] up to the neck? And why do I not see sex? And why do I not see fun in that world? And why do I not see movement in that world? And why do I not see the female body in that world? I think it’s interesting to bring part [of minimalism] into the world of Dior, but I also want to make it very sensual and sexual and very free. Liberated is probably the most important message.”
— Raf Simons, Oct. 1

“The most important thing is to know what you’re good at. In any creative field, if it already exists, nobody needs it.”
— Calvin Klein, Oct. 18

“You can always learn something at any craft. The good ones always stay ahead of the curve.”
— Former Major League Baseball star Randy Johnson, Nov. 1

“I’m sitting in a car on the Upper East Side, with my phone plugged into a cigarette lighter. Meanwhile, I’m getting e-mails from Paris and Los Angeles, where it’s business as usual.”
— Julianne Moore, interviewed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Nov. 2

“My intention is not to make clothes. My head would be too restricted if I only thought about making clothes.”
— Rei Kawakubo, Nov. 19

“I’ve always done a kind of skinny silhouette, because I am skinny; I don’t have to worry about covering up fat bits!”
— Mick Jagger, about his tour costumes, Nov. 26

“America is not the America our parents fought for and promised us. The issue in front of us as citizens, as businesses, as leaders, is to understand we cannot embrace the status quo.”
—Starbucks ceo Howard Schultz, Nov. 30

“When you are editor in chief of an extremely successful magazine, you don’t need an ambassadorship for four years. Ambassadors were great in the 18th century. Today, it’s going to the opening of a cafeteria.”
— Oscar de la Renta, on speculation that Anna Wintour might be named a U.S. Ambassador, Dec. 5