It’s official: 2017 has been the year of traffic-stopping design. Spanning all fields, from fashion to tech, food to beauty, we’ve seen ground-breaking innovations that seamlessly meld form and function. These are our favourites.
1/ The flawless design and power of the new Lexus range
Lexus are continuously refining their vehicles to transform the driving experience, and the IS, RX, NX and LC prove it. Take the updated NX, one of the brand’s best-selling models, which now boasts ultra-luxe features including a 10.3-inch display screen inside (yes please) and new sporty styling outside. “Improvements to the NX styling and dynamics will enhance its appeal by projecting a sportier character from what is already one of the sharpest luxury SUVs on the road,” says Lexus chief executive Peter McGregor.
It’s not just the NX we’re excited about – from a sartorial perspective, the new LC luxury coupe is dressed to impress in a brand new, dazzling paint shade inspired by the wings of the American Morpho butterfly. The result of 15 years of research and harnessing revolutionary technology, the impossibly deep, shimmering shade stands out from anything else on the road. Spotting one on the street will be incredibly rare – unless, of course, it’s waiting in your driveway.
2/ The irresistible glitter of Saint Laurent’s Niki 105 boots
To say Anthony Vaccarello had big shoes to fill when he took the helm of storied fashion house Saint Laurent is an understatement, but he proved he was up to the challenge when he sent these glimmering, crystal-studded leather boots down the runway for A/W ‘17. Rapidly amassing a huge waitlist despite their eye-watering price tag, the 80s-tastic design was fabulously bold, instantly iconic. How do we know? Rihanna was one of the first to wear them.
3/ The glamour and functionality of Fenty Beauty
Speaking of Rihanna: 2017 marked the year the singer audaciously entered the beauty sphere, presenting her hotly anticipated Fenty Beauty collection to the world. But don’t for a minute think this is just another celebrity putting her name on a range she had nothing to do with: Rihanna made it her mission to create formulas that work on all skin types and tones, from a staggering 40 shades of foundation to a universally flattering red lip paint. The collection is instantly recognisable thanks to its magnetic, honeycomb design, allowing the products to click together in your handbag. Genius.
4/ The moody interior design of Kisumé
You know you’ve found a gem when the interior of a restaurant makes you salivate as much as the food. The brainchild of Chin Chin restaurateur Chris Lucas, this next-gen Japanese on Flinders Lane, Melbourne, occupies three moodily lit floors, hemmed in by dramatic black walls punctuated by striking light installations. It goes without saying that the exacting standards of Kisumé’s interiors extend to the menu: modern, artful Japanese that’s attracting serious buzz from foodies across the country.
5/ The exquisite precision of Macgraw’s Flannel dress
Woven from a world-first fabric (luxurious merino lace) in Switzerland, Australian label Macgraw’s Flannel dress is one of the year’s most memorable fashion designs. Inspired by the elusive pink flannel flower, which only blooms after a bushfire, it’s already winning accolades: first Victoria Beckham gave it a nod at the prestigious Woolmark International Prize in Paris, then it was bestowed an award nomination at the biggest night in Australian fashion, the Prix de marie claire, sponsored by Lexus.