As University life prepares us for the big wide world, our personal style is honed and tweaked as we discover who we are as adults. Through the last decade and our teenage years, mistakes have been made and fashion icons created. This New Year, helping us to look back in nostalgia and ahead to the future of style is Grazia Magazine’s Junior Fashion Editor, Catherine Nieto. We’ve caught up with her for a chat about fashion’s most memorable moments.

Looking back at the noughties and up to today, what fashion trend do you think most sums up the era?

The noughties have been a very interesting and unusual era in that the saw the boom and then demise of the economy worldwide. For this reason, two trends stand out – the opulence and ‘bling’ that captivated the middle of the decade (allowing ‘it’ bags and WAG culture to consume fashion) and the uprising of Minimalism – the backlash against all things extravagant and ‘showy‘ which saw major fashion houses looking back into their archives at a quieter, more understated aesthetic.

And what has been the biggest faux pas?
Cowboy boots!

The increasing involvement of technology in beauty treatments is showing no sign of slowing. What beauty innovation have you been most impressed by and why?
2010’s biggest innovation in skincare has been the introduction of electromagnetic pulses, which have been harnessed in products to energise skin cells deep within.
Which new makeup product do you think is set to become a staple in 2011?

Red lipstick! Bright pink has been pipped by red for the first time in about ten seasons.

And what hairstyle should we all be embracing for the New Year?

2011 is all about the wet look as seen on the catwalks for S/S ‘11. ‘Shipwrecked’ hair – mermaid style locks is the new blow-dry.

Which rising talents in fashion design are set to be the faces of the future?

London Fashion Week, more so than New York, Milan and Paris is a hot-bed of up-and-coming designers destined to shape fashion in seasons to come. During the S/S ‘11 shows the industry was buzzing about Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and hot newcomer, Felicity Brown.

And who in your opinion most deserves the crown of style icon, both male and female in our generation?

Looking back over the last decade, Kate Moss’ immense influence is undeniable. The noughties saw celebrity fascination soar like never before but as 2010 drew to a close celebrities were no longer the only people in the running for style icon status. The popularity of street-style is putting the general public back on the noticed list, and as the world’s interest in the behind-the-scenes workings of the fashion industry deepens, fashion editors, stylists and insiders such as Ana De la Russo, Kate Lanpear and Carine Roitfeld are becoming the icons of this generation. This is also true with men, where the likes of Karl Lagerfeld are attributed the same attention as David Beckham.

High street/designer collaborations have become a huge phenomenon in recent years, which pairing has proven the most interesting?

In recent years high street/designer collaborations have become less about names and more about the concept of bringing luxury to the high street through a fashion house’s signature aesthetic and expertise. H&M have brought some incredible designers to the masses, my particular favourites being the Stella McCartney and Lanvin collaborations. Topshop’s collections with Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders were also brilliant as was Whistles’ pairing with Roksanda Ilincic and Gap’s partnership with Valentino.

Not forgetting THE most revolutionary way we now shop – the internet – which online store has most changed the face of fashion and why?

Two websites stand out for me, Net-a-porter.com- the most incredible fashion website alive at the moment, which allows you to buy runway looks and commercial collections from an international pedigree of designers and fashion houses – and ASOS.com which continues to out-smart the competition with innovative inventions such as ‘Market Place’.

Finally, if you had to choose the one ‘it’ accessory that most symbolises the 21st Century, which item steals the crown?

The ‘it’ accessory of the 21st century is undoubtedly the ‘it’ bag! You could argue for the Hermes ‘Kelly’ (its resurrection helped by Victoria Beckham having one in every colour), the Chloe ‘Paddington’, Mulberry ‘Alexa’, Fendi ‘Spy’, Balenciaga ‘Lariat’… every luxury fashion house produced one and each had its moment in the fashion spot light.

Jasmin Watts and Emma-Jane Steele

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