"Ugh" is a very popular word in fashion, and last year its popularity grew enormously. Except the spelling was "Ugg."
Ugg boots, shearling-lined sheepskin fashion statements from Australia, were appropriated by the masses after months of being seen on the feet of celebrities and stylemakers at every kind of event but formal red carpet (though they would have worked with Uma Thurman's Heidi outfit at the Academy Awards).
A slew of imitations spread the Uggliness around the world and even to teenage girls in Florida when it was 80 degrees.
Ugg's ubiquity kept the world distracted from other significant fashion developments in 2004, so here's a not always warm-and-fuzzy recap of ones that deserved more attention.
BEST MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO SHOPPING: Lucky remains the class of a growing field.
HARDEST TRUTH FOR ANYONE YOUNGER THAN 30 TO ACCEPT: A vintage T-shirt isn't a vintage T-shirt unless it's one you've owned for at least 20 years and is faded, ripped and stained because of life experiences described with the words "Champagne bottle shards," "the Rolls," "Interpol," "mojitos," "cocoa butter" and "Rolling Stones."
ACRONYM OF THE MOMENT: SoDeWha (socialite-designer-whatever).
TOP CLOTHING QUERY ON GOOGLE: bikini.
NEXT BIG "SEX AND THE CITY" TREND IF "SEX AND THE CITY" HADN'T ENDED: Anticellulite sneakers. They look like platform sneakers with a curved platform. The buzz is that a British test showed a 50 percent reduction in cellulite after one month of wear because of the areas of the body it works. You'll have to pay $234 to find out.
MEN'S STORE THAT DESERVES TO BE A CHAIN: Riley James in San Francisco. It serves beer. It has plasma-screen TVs that show sports. It has pinball machines, Donkey Kong and Atari, and a kegerator with rotating monthly sponsors, the fashionista Web site Daily Candy reports.
OUR HERO: Isaac Mizrahi for doing stylish, fun, affordable clothes for Target.
Sharon Fink can be reached at (727) 893-8525 or finksptimes.com.
BEST CELEB ON THE RED CARPET: Mischa Barton of The O.C. At 18, she had a consistent sense of style and self that exceed many seasoned red carpet-walkers.
MOST DECEIVING "I CAN BE A FASHION DESIGNER, TOO!" MOMENT: On Bravo's Project Runway, a reality-show contest for designers, one contestant created a dress out of corn husks when challenged to make an outfit out of anything he could find at a supermarket.
BEST-DRESSED MAN, ACCORDING TO "ESQUIRE": Andre 3000 of OutKast.
WORST CELEB ON THE RED CARPET: Uma Thurman at the Oscars. In channeling her inner Heidi, she did everything but carry a purse shaped like a milk stool.
BEST-DRESSED WOMAN, ACCORDING TO "VOGUE": Actor Sienna Miller, still better known as Jude Law's girlfriend.