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With only a few days left in 2009, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, a year when every empty storefront held a pop-up shop and every sidewalk a sample sale line. Folks, it's the annual (three years running!) Racked Recap. This week and next, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the most excruciating lines to the ten best sales. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.
This year was a crazy one for designer collaborations. Christian Louboutin teamed up with Barbie, Anna Sui teamed up with Target and Comme des Garçons teamed up with everybody.
Join us as we reminisce over the best, the brightest, the most hyped: The Top Collabs of 2009.
7. Opening Ceremony x Where the Wild Things Are: For turning our childhoods into a capsule collection, realizing grown-ups want to act like kids sometimes, and most of all for selling out of a $610 adult onesie: Opening Ceremony x Where The Wild Things are, we salute you!
6. Stella McCartney for Gap Kids: Stella got grown-ups across the globe trying to shoehorn their shoulders into the mini marching-band jacket she made for her kids' line at The Gap. First lady of France Carla Bruni was even wore it on TV. With all the adults playing grabby-hands with the clothes, it's amazing that any children got to wear it at all. But they did, and they loved it. The line was so successful it will be having a repeat performance for spring.
5. Mise en Scene by Ruffian for Anthropologie: The clothes, hosiery and housewares Brian Wolk and Claude Morais put together for their Anthropologie collection brought the chic glamour and quality construction we expect from Ruffian at a price point just a smidge over the normal one for Anthro. Bonus points for building a Hitchcock star's dressing room in the store.
4. Christopher Kane for Topshop: The crocodile-face dress grabbed all the attention at first, but the sheer black mirror-embellished pieces were where it was really at. They appeared on Madonna and Lourdes, Leigh Lezark, Lady Gaga, and our Christmas list.
3. Rodarte for Target: Salivating fashion bloggers, leaked photos and ardent photo-defending lawyers made for some grade-A hype for the Rodarte for Target collaboration. When the line debuted for real, the chaos at the stores was muted in comparison with the insanity that went down for the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection, probably because Rodarte is a bit more of an insider taste, and Choos are a more mainstream brand. The skeleton print and the leopard sequins were surprisingly edgy, and the leopard-print dress was a definite win. If this is what the Mulleavy sisters can put together at a $50 price point, we'd kill to see what they could do in the $250 or $500 range.
2. Jimmy Choo for H&M: Jimmy Choo and H&M cornered the market on crazy collab hype this year, with billboards, taxi hats, and guarding their photos like national secrets. When the line finally came out, even jaded fashion editors went insane. When it comes to hype, lines, and insane shoppers, Jimmy Choo for H&M was unmatched this year, and if the clothes had been a little less "slutty office worker," it probably would have taken the gold.
1. +J/Uniqlo: The first Jil Sander and Uniqlo collaboration takes top honors for being, as one commenter described it, "well made, well priced. Most of all, very Jil Sander. Bravo." While most designer collaborations involve a lot of hype and a couple instantly recognizable designs, this one put out a line of quality garments that didn't scream "It-Collab of the month." By backing quality over hype, the hype went completely insane, and the SoHo shop had shoppers lined up long after opening day. The collaboration was so hugely successful that there will be a spring/summer collection rolling out shortly, and you know we'll be in line for that.