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Looking Back at 2012's Fashion Tastemakers

By Patrick Michael Hughes | December 18, 2012 9:29am

NEW YORK CITY — Street Chic's expanding lens has allowed us to encounter some of the most interesting and captivating personalities and venues in 2012 — with noteworthy names and rising stars in the fashion world catching our eye.

Tastemakers with unique statement looks belonged to the tailored style and bold frames by Tom Ford on Vogue’s Hamish Bowles’ and Vogue contributing editor Lynn Yeager’s always enjoyable approach to beauty and clothing — both seen at the Manhattan Vintage Show in the winter and spring.

We also observed how dandy swagger casts a wide net. We were taken by the bespoke style of TheManual.com editor-in-chief Cator Sparks at the Frick Garden Party, as well as the very Downtown-influenced fashion approach of Askmen.com fashion editor Sachin Bhola.

Michael Arenella, headliner of the Jazz Age Lawn Parties on Governors Island and the Winter Ball held in the Time Warner Center, is also well known for his custom-made suits with a vintage flair. We also favored of the distinctive contemporary style of British indie-rock musician Saul Ashby.

We also took notice of ascending fashion talent like Bibhu Mohapatra, whose Spring 2013 collection showcased some of the season’s best color sensibilities in sharp, knockout silhouettes.

As for award-winning designers, the always delightful Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs of Cushnie et Ochs were among this year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund “Americans in Paris” winners.

CFDA Fashion Incubator winner Christian Cota has also been someone we have kept an eye on. Traditional Mexican textiles inspired Cota’s Fall 2012 collection, and we were impressed with his luxurious use of color and embroidery exclusively showcased a Saks Fifth Ave in September.

Brandon Sun’s luxury debut at last winter's Fashion Week proved a triumph rich furs and spectacular knits currently being showcased by Neiman Marcus.

Helen Williams, owner of the Tracy Chambers Boutique in Bedford-Stuyvesant, draws inspiration not only from the classic 1975 film "Mahogany" starring Diana Ross but also offers a place for other women entrepreneurs in the neighborhood to caucus and find support.

Designer Michael Nelson's leather accessories mix sustainable materials via a fair-trade agreement with the sensibilities of West African and Italian crafstmen. His traditional beadwork paired with slick urban silhouettes is exclusively offered to a new generation of global travelers at Brown’s of London.

Finally, we took note of designer Jin Kay ‘s award-winning "Silence of Shadows" collection as one to watch, as Opening Ceremony in SoHo quickly picked up the entire collection.