What’s Gone On In 2013?
The days leading up to New Years Eve are always my least favourite because everyone gets so reflective. Scroll through any social media site and you will undoubtedly see numerous philosophical musings as people reflect on how much their lives have changed and how strong they have become over the past 365 days.
This is not going to be one of those posts. I try to avoid self-reflection; I think I have found a compromise, though! I thought that I would write about all the things that have happened throughout 2013; well, not all the things, that would take a very long time and wouldn’t be particularly interesting. So, here are the news headlines, the images, the gossip, the good and the bad which have in some way or another interested me this year.
David Bowie released his first album in ten years, took over the V&A museum, and starred in Louis Vuitton’s most sumptuous campaign yet.
2013 was certainly a bumper year for my favourite, Mr Bowie! Back in April, I went to the exhibition, David Bowie Is… at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and I must say that it was definitely one of my personal highlights of the past year. Indeed, I wrote about the experience here, in my very first blog post!
But Bowie didn’t stop there (because, you know, a new album and a retrospective in one of the biggest museums in London wasn’t quite enough); he also joined Arizona Muse in Louis Vuitton’s latest campaign. Hey, I wrote about that one too, look.
Angelina Jolie had a mastectomy.
Jolie is often considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, renowned for her looks and feminine figure, and her decision to speak out about the preventative double mastectomy she chose to have after discovering she carried a gene which drastically increased her chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer raised awareness about the decision that many women face, as well as encouraging others to get tested for the gene. “I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity,” she said; go Angelina!
Jennifer Lawrence fell over at the Oscars.
And we loved her all the more for it.
Nelson Mandela sadly passed away after a long bout of ill health.
Although, at the grand old age of 95, Nelson Mandela’s health had been failing for some time, such a deeply profound loss still shook the world. President Zuma of South Africa said “our nation has lost its greatest son,” and President of the USA, Barack Obama said that Mandela had achieved more than could be expected of any man. “He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages,” President Obama went on to say.
Nelson Mandela’s fight against apartheid is well-known; sentenced to life imprisonment for “sabotage” in 1964, he remained in prison for the next twenty-seven years of his life, most of which he spent on Robben Island. He would smuggle out messages of guidance and support to the anti-apartheid movement throughout this time, and his situation sparked international campaigns to free him.
Finally freed from prison in 1990, Mandela was an important figure in negotiations to end apartheid, and to establish the first multi-cultural election in South Africa, to be held in 1994. Having won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first black president in that very election. Since stepping down after one term in 1999, he has focused on his role as an ambassador for South Africa, and on charitable enterprises, particularly the fight against both poverty and HIV/AIDS through The Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Known as Tata, or Father in South Africa, the grief felt by many at Nelson Mandela’s death is perhaps alleviated somewhat by thoughts of the legacy of kindness and peace that he has left behind. As Mr Mandela himself said, “death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.”
Kate and Will had a baby.
Bless. See my musings here.
Who run the world? Beyonce.
Oh Beyonce. She sang in the new president, she took over the Superbowl, she surveyed her kingdom from the world’s stage on tour, and then she had her fun with us when she casually dropped that surprise album a few weeks ago. Oh Bey, what a cheeky thing you are. Read more about her antics here (you better get caught up because this time next year she’ll probably be a dictator).
Kate Moss proved that approaching forty need not be a downward spiral.
The 60th Anniversary edition of Playboy was a Kate Shrine, the British Fashion Awards celebrated her influence, she adorned British Vogue for the 34th time; it’s definitely been a good year to be Kate Moss. I looked back on her (sometimes controversial) career here, but in many ways this is an unfinished post, because Kate’s career is far from over. With several intriguing projects lined up for her in 2014, I can’t wait to be looking back at what else she’s been up too this time next year.
Cara Delevingne is most searched model; but Edie Campbell wins Model of the Year.
The magical aura of success which surrounds Cara Delevingne was somewhat dispelled for me after my flatmate casually dropped the bombshell that he had been at school with her, and she was “not very interesting, and not that fit” (his words). However, whatever she’s been doing has clearly been working, so much so that not many people would appear to agree her ex-classmate. According to Google, the model was the most searched fashion figure this year, and it is hard to open a magazine without seeing her face; I suppose everyone changes after they leave school.
Despite her status as an internet phenomenon, however, it was Edie Campbell who won the Model of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards, stealing the crown from Miss Delevingne, who won it last year. Campbell dedicated her award to best friend and long-term supporter, Dolly; her horse. Here she is on the cover of British Vogue earlier this year;
Legislation was passed to allow same-sex marriages in England and Wales.
And in a lot of other places around the world too, which is pretty great, if extremely overdue. Now everyone is free to make the same bad life decisions! (I joke).
Marc Jacobs left Louis Vuitton.
After sixteen years, designer Marc Jacobs made the decision to leave his position at Vuitton in order to focus on his own label. His final show in October was a celebration of his greatest pieces, all entirely in black, mirroring the style of his very first show for the company, and even the set featured props from past shows. Such nostalgia undermines Jacobs’ claim that he decided on the morning of the show that this was to be his last for Vuitton, but the man more than deserves to romanticise his exit; he completely transformed Louis Vuitton into the global force it is today, introducing its first ready-to-wear line and launching the first of many collaborations with celebrated artists. Quite a lot for new guy Nicolas Ghesquière to live up too, then; I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve.
Heidi Klum got her granny on.
My favourite time of year is definitely Halloween, and this year I thought my costumes for various parties were impressive; however, they were nothing when compared with Heidi Kium’s granny, which I think we can all agree takes the worldwide prize for best costume.
Lou Reed died, and I was sad.
As is the case with most of my favourite artists and bands, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Lou Reed by my dad, who has so much music knowledge, I’m not sure how it fits in his head. I remember hearing and loving what I now know to be Walk on the Wild Side in the car when I was a kid, and by the time I’d hit my teens I was delving deeper and deeper into the world of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. In fact, this blog is named after a song written by Lou Reed; I was so sad to hear he had died but, to be fair, he didn’t do badly for a true rockstar with a heroin addiction.
Seamus Heaney died, and I was sad (again).
For many people, Heaney was their gateway into the wonderful world of poetry; I cannot say that this is true for me, but it cannot be denied that one of the greatest British poets of the past century. Most people have read or heard at least one of Heaney’s poems, perhaps without even knowing it.
Good, wholesome English poems with an extended metaphor such as Death of a Naturalist or Digging are often cited as favourites, but have a look at Mid-Term Break here (if you haven’t read it already); this poem, written in such simple language, does not need metaphors to make an impact because the subject matter is so powerful. The last four lines resonate, even more so when you think that this truly happened to Heaney. His last words to his wife, sent via text, were noli timere; don’t be afraid.
Now, I promised I wouldn’t get all deep and reflective on you, but I just had to end this post with some pearls of wisdom from the greatest philosopher of 2013; Kanye West. Here are some inspirational words from Kanye himself on where the fight for justice has led him; something to carry with you as we move forward into a new year.
“It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.”
Nice one, Kanye.