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The most unlikely fashion icons of 2014

Silicon Valley chic

Sounds like an oxymoron, right? But in 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Tommy Krul (AKA Scarf Guy from Apple) unintentionally took the Cupertino look centre stage in fashion. With wash-and-go hair, denim and a penchant for plain grey T-shirts, together they created a holy trinity of boringness that somehow felt quite right in 2014. Less normcore, more post-gym-shower-headed-into-a-glass-office vibe, the look proved powerful. Imagine a mini radio microphone and a large blue screen behind most lo-fi fashion streetstyle pictures from 2014 and you can see the influence. Imogen Fox

Trading Places layering

Karl Lagerfeld and Cara Delevingne at the end of Chanel 2014/2015 Autumn/Winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show.
Photograph: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images

The specific look might be 31 years old, but in 2014 no one was more of an outerwear icon for women than Billy Ray Valentine in Trading Places. The layering of a long overcoat over a shouldn’t-look-right-but-it-does hoodie proved especially prescient. In spring, Karl Lagerfeld sent Cara Delevingne and Stella Tennant shopping in his Chanel supermarket in just that look. By winter, the rest of us were at it too, wearing extra-long overcoats over unbranded Uniqlo hoodies, posh tracksuit bottoms and Stan Smiths. And let’s not even talk about how good the Trading Places colour blocking is. IF

Nancy Carter

Maddy Hill as Nancy Carter in EastEnders.
Photograph: Ray Burmiston/BBC/Ray Burmiston

Even before she did a shoot for the autumn issue of the Gentlewoman – ever the yardstick for who’s ripe and hip – rudeboy-fanatic Nancy Carter (Maddy Hill) in EastEnders was piquing interest for her look. Said look has two components: first, a girly-mocking high ponytail pinned into a bow and, second, unisex basketballwear. As a big fan of Peak (a fairly niche basketball brand I found in LA) and Phoebe Lettice’s oversized sportswear for Illustrated People, basketball shorts and vests remain a much overlooked way into the ath-leisure trend. It’s also possibly the only way to upstage your on-screen dad if he’s Danny Dyer. Morwenna Ferrier


Photograph: James Higgins/James Higgins/Splash News/Cor

2014 saw some heavy style-repping from Tottenham-based grime artist MC Skepta. You might not be familiar with his musical oeuvre, but no matter, in 2014 many style roads led to Skepta. Working backwards, in a marked departure from music, he styled Wiley’s video On a Level (socks and sandals, Boys and Billionaires). Before that, there was his SS15 “collaboration” with up-and-coming designer Nazir Mazhar (who went on to design some pieces for Victoria’s Secret’s show). Then his affiliation with Supreme skatewear and, lastly, his role as unofficial ambassador for SportsDirect. Skepta might be legendary but he also knows where to get BOGOF sports socks. MF

Tina from Glue

Tina from Glue.
Photograph: Garry Mclennan

Glue, E4’s rural teen drama show, which aired back in September, was hardly a barrel of laughs. But among the – spoiler alert! – teen-on-teen murder, abuse and general darkness, Tina lightened things up with some excellent country chic. The wannabe jockey looked as great in mucking-out-the-stables wellies and plaid as she did in teen staples of hotpants and off-the-shoulder crop tops. A modern Sissy Spacek, we put it down to actor Charlotte Spencer’s strawberry blonde mane and those excellent freckles. More please. Lauren Cochrane


Photograph: Allstar/Disney/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

Angelina Jolie is no stranger to style icon lists but this isn’t about her – instead, it’s her character Maleficent who is a reference for 2014. A witch with a goth-tastic headpiece, a bold red lip and cheekbones to die for is always going to get fashion’s vote. It’s all very Gareth Pugh. Until Cate Blanchett does her excellently evil turn as Cinderella’s stepmother next year, Sleeping Beauty’s queen will reign supreme in the world of fashion fairytales. LC

Baria Alamuddin

Though it was easy to be distracted by Amal’s high-shine hair, there was only one style winner where the Alamuddin-Clooney alliance was concerned. It was, of course, Amal’s magnificent mother Baria Alamuddin. From deep purple evening dresses to silky grass green co-ords, she was a champion of pizzazz and colour in an otherwise grey world. She finished the look with major sunglasses, a grin for the cameras and a TV presenter blow-dry (as befits an award-winning journalist and former news anchor). The fashion world has found its dream mother-in-law. Hannah Marriott

Springwatch style

Martin Hughes-Games, Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan.
Photograph: BBC/Jo Charlesworth

For fans of middle-of-the-road dressing, 2014 was the year that Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games stole Top Gear’s mantle and became the least expected style heroes of the BBC2 schedule. Packham kicked things off in a series of directional looks by Comme des Garçons and Prada, while his co-stars wore parkas, macintoshes, padded gilets, rainproof trousers and cosy-proof layers – or did functional polar vortex chic, as the look is known in fashion circles. HM

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