What's the secret to sounding tapped into fashion? Well, as the scouts like to say, be prepared. The clothing industry can be complicated and confusing, as cluttered as our closet when it comes to tracking trends and designers. Which newcomers will be worth name-dropping this spring? Which museum exhibitions will be musts on stylish agendas? Which books should people be reading? Allow me to give you a chic cheat sheet, if you will, to keep in mind if you resolve to Look Smart in 2015.
1. Newsmaker of the year will probably be John Galliano, whose path to redemption has led to a most unlikely destination: Maison Martin Margiela. Whether o not all is forgiven as to his offensive rating, there's still the question of what this marriage will look like—and, more importantly, can the label still be cool?
2. Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, a veteran of Margiela, Céline, and the Row, will take the reins of women's ready-to-wear at Hermès in March, and I, for one, can't wait to see what she does with all that gorgeous cashmere and leather. Who doesn't love it when an understudy takes center stage?
3. At Nina Ricci and Louis Vuitton, Peter Copping was content to let the clothes shine. But as Oscar de la Renta's hand-picked successor (he was named creative director just a week before de la Renta's death in October), he will find a bigger spotlight. He's more than up to the task—and a gentleman to boot.
4. Copping's successor at Ricci is also a name to know: Guillaume Henry, a baby-faced heartthrob, formerly of the Parisian-youth-skewing label Carven. Expect to see more odes to nouvelle vague heroines Françoise Hardy and Jean Seberg, only now with a more sophisticated, and lighter, touch.
5. Journalist Dana Thomas's Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano ($30, amazon.com), out now, shines an uncompromising light on the fin de siècle fashion antics of designer egos and empire building.
6. For the first time since its sold-out, attendance-record-shattering run at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011, the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" exhibition arrives at London's Victoria and Albert Museum on March 14. There will be many additions to the original show, most excitingly a near-life-size re-creation of the Kate Moss hologram from the late designer's fall 2006 collection, which was seen only in miniature form in New York.
7. At New York's Museum of Modern Art, beginning March 7, comes a retrospective of Björk. yes, the Icelandic singer and actress will be studied for deeper meaning through her music, visuals, and even her post-avant-garde attire. (No word yet on whether her Marjan Pejoski swan dress of 2001 Oscars fame will make the cut.)
8. On the small screen, fashion will have a new First Lady to obsess about when House of Cards returns for its third season. If Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) dressed to kill when her husband was vice president, better watch out for what happens when she has the full power of the White House behind her.
9. Between Giorgio Armani's 40th business birthday and the vindication that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana must be feeling since their label was recently cleared of all charges of tax evasion, Italian fashion will be in the mood to party. What's more, Milan will play host to "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life," the Universal Exposition beginning in May. The U.S., go figure, will be represented by food trucks.
10. As far as fashion trends go, get ready for a big-time '70s revival, starting with bell-bottoms and flares. Tom Ford offered the boldest version for spring. His wide-leg trousers were so long, they covered even the platforms worn by models on his runway, while Kenzo's Humberto Leon and Carol Lim offered jeans wide enough for an elephant's legs. The most literal disco moment? Sonia Rykiel's artistic director, Julie de Libran, featured "Love to Love You Baby," by Donna Summer, as her début-show jam.
11. On a lighter note, the rag trade also stars in The Intern, an upcoming workplace comedy with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, in which she runs an online fashion business and he is her intern. No doubt hilarity ensues.
12. In New York, be sure to check out the Metropolitan Museum's exploration of Western admiration for (and appreciation of) Eastern culture in "China: Through the Looking Glass," opening May 7.
13. And if you happen to be in Paris, don't miss the first retrospective of the designs of Jeanne Lanvin, the great French couturière, at the Palais Galliera in March. The show is curated in close collaboration with Lanvin's current creative director, Alber Elbaz.
14. Tired of wearable technology that fits only around your wrist? Look out for the release of Ralph Lauren's Polo Tech Shirt, which monitor exertion and activity through "biosensing" silver fibers woven into the fabric. It might even know when I'm hungry.
15. Last but not least is an important trend: Celebrities now aspire to become more than just designers. Some megastar retail moguls, like Halle Berry (with her Scandale lingerie) and Beyoncé (she has a new joint venture with Topshop), are also part owners.