The Top 10 Trends Of 2016
Photograph by Mr John Salangsang/AP/Press Association Images
From Pokémon Go to Mr José Mourinho, here’s everything you need to know about this year so far.
What a six months it’s been. Across tech, style, entertainment and everything in-between, enough brilliant, exciting and weird stuff has happened in 2016 to make us stop wringing our hands about the serious issues looming on the horizon (paying the mortgage, global terrorism, etc) and start enjoying the more whimsical side of life. From Pokémon Go to retro sneakers, bask in the glow of our mid-year review detailing the major trends and talking points so far, and remind yourself: this year has been not just terrifying, but really rather interesting.
Photograph by Mr Carl Court/Getty Images
A useful way to gauge the strength and potency of a true phenomenon: the time it takes random Facebook friends to passive-aggressively moan about it. Take Pokémon Go, Nintendo’s first foray into smartphone tech. No sooner had social media burst with joy at the prospect of walking around the real world catching Pokémon, than feeds everywhere filled up with people saying they had deleted the app because it “wasn’t worth the hype”. But 21 million people can’t be wrong, can they? Well, maybe. For all the fun of being forced out of the house to hunt down an elusive critter, the app will eat through your phone battery faster than you can pronounce “Kangaskhan”.
Mr Tom Hiddleston
The Rise of Zayn (né Mr Zayn Malik)
Photograph by Mr Miller Mobley
Nothing says “I’m NOT with the band” quite like ditching your surname and adopting a first-name-only approach. So it was with Mr Zayn “I’m quitting One Direction to live a normal life” Malik, who is now known just as Zayn, thank you very much. The release of his debut album Mind of Mine – a sort of woozy, Mr Frank Ocean-influenced pop record – might have rung a little one-note for critics, but Zayn has developed an arresting sense of style since ditching his 1D-staple of sand chinos and colour-block hoodies. He’s even done weird things to his hair – from a grey rinse to bubblegum pink tone – making him a phenomenon you can’t really ignore in 2016.
This food phenomenon is the reason you’re seeing more over-hyped Instagram posts about kale and apple salad in 2016 than ever before. “Smashed today’s lunch!!!” they exclaim, with the gusto of someone who just jumped out of a plane. The Whole30 book, which has sold more than half a million copies, encourages you to eat whatever brings you joy – except sugars, grains, legumes and dairy. It’s like Ms Marie Kondo for your colon.
Photograph by Mr Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Mr Pep Guardiola and Mr José Mourinho
Spain and Manchester once had relatively little in common. Well, no more, as Mr Pep Guardiola and Mr José Mourhino have brought their fierce rivalry from La Liga to the city literally nobody refers to as “The Big M”. It’s good timing for people whose fondness for split loyalties, betrayals and bitching is usually reserved for Game of Thrones.
Stars in animated animal films
Mr Idris Elba’s character Chief Bogo in Zootopia, 2016. Photograph © Disney. All rights reserved
Mr Idris Elba. He’s been busy this year, hasn’t he? In fact, in 2016 he’s had some of his biggest box-office hits to date, but you’d be forgiven for not recognising him, because, well, he’s been playing animals: a tiger (The Jungle Book), a buffalo (Zootopia) and a sea lion (Finding Dory). Animated creatures are dominating the box office at the moment, mainly because they’re roping proper talent in to voice them.
OK, so this year’s been rather turbulent for politics so far. In the UK, for example, the Brexit vote ripped apart parliament so brutally that we were convinced we were attending a wedding in Westeros. But activism and engagement among younger, previously apathetic folk have risen to encouraging new highs. Case in point: more than 180,000 people signed up to vote in the Labour party’s leadership elections in less than 48 hours – that’s almost more than the entire Tory party and the Lib Dems combined.
Photograph by Mr Richard Makin, courtesy of Blu Top
People will never not like ice cream. Or cookies. So sandwich one into the other, made with the kind of achingly hip ingredients that will have millennials salivating, and you’ve got the (un)official food trend of summer 2016. Mondrian London’s new summer menu features a ’wich made with thick slices of toasted red velvet sponge, served with a slick of chocolate ganache and red berries. And over at food truck Blu Top in south London, its customisable menu lets you mix and match your own gorgeous monstrosities from an eclectic selection of components, including rosemary-infused or white coffee with glazed doughnut “gravel” pieces ice creams, and brown butter chocolate-chip cookies.