On July 28th, 2008 at 8:06 AM*, the Huffington Post Style section was born. And like any new mom, I can't remember the specifics of that day, probably because a) I was in an exhausted haze by the time it rolled around and b) my body won't allow me to--biologically speaking, if I did, I would never launch another section again.
At the time, I didn't anticipate how interesting 2008 would get--not just politically, but because of all the new style icons the presidential election created. Michelle Obama's fashion was only beginning to take center stage, no one was documenting Carla Bruni's every outfit (yet)...and we hadn't even heard the name Sarah Palin. As those topics heated up, the Style section found its livelihood, and these are subjects we continue to obsessively document with every waking minute. And lest you think we consider ourselves high-brow, we've since added wardrobe malfunctions and photoshop fails to our repertoire.
A huge thanks is order to all the supremely talented people who have ever worked on HuffPost Style: (in chronological order) Verena von Pfetten, Danny Shea, Willow Lindley, Hilary Moss, Emily Singer, current associate editor Ellie Krupnick, Marielle Bingham, Michelle Manetti, current editor Jessica Misener, (the other) current associate editor Rebecca Adams, and current intern Erica Cheung (who's responsible for the slideshow you see below).
In honor of this special occasion, we debated either showing you photos of ourselves looking stylish at age 4 or looking back at the state of style four years ago, and how our favorite subjects embodied it. We chose the latter. What a difference four years makes.
*Confession: I totally made that time up. Like I said, I barely remember a thing.
Four Years Ago...Michelle Obama Covered Her Arms
It's hard to imagine a time when we weren't obsessed with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/michelle-obama-arms-vegas_n_1468974.html" target="_hplink">Michelle Obama's amazingly toned arms</a> and how she could do <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/ellen-michelle-obama-push-up-challenge_n_1248746.html" target="_hplink">more push-ups than Ellen DeGeneres</a>. Back in 2008, our future FLOTUS was on the campaign trail donning puffy, arm-covering outfits and a flip hairdo.
Four Years Ago...Katie Holmes Looked Like This
2008 was a big year for Katie Holmes (though arguably not as big as <em>this</em> year) as she starred in the comedy "Mad Money" (what, you didn't see it?) and made her Broadway debut in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons." In 2007, the actress was spotted many times with her good friend Victoria Beckham and in the beginning of the following year, Holmes drastically changed her hairstyle to a short, asymmetrical bob. Her style also became sexier, donning short dresses and high, high heels, wearing darker colors and sleeker clothing. Was she influenced by her posh British pal? Four years and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/05/katie-holmes-fashion-week-elle_n_1650987.html" target="_hplink">one fashion label later</a>, she's still known for her great style, even if her hair has grown considerably longer. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Carla Bruni Became The Most Fashionable French First Lady Ever
A new age of style icons was ushered in when <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/carla-bruni/" target="_hplink">Carla Bruni</a> became the first lady of France in February of 2008. Who can forget President Sarkozy's trip to Great Britain where Bruni stepped off the plane in Christian Dior and a Jackie Kennedy-channeling pillbox hat? Prince Philip certainly didn't seem disappointed by it. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Gwyneth Paltrow Unveiled Her New Look
Gwyneth Paltrow was <a href="http://bit.ly/MQGkHB" target="_hplink">not always</a> the fashion goddess she is today. But in 2008 she debuted a new and extremely toned body, courtesy of <a href="http://tracyandersonmethod.com/" target="_hplink">Tracy Anderson</a>, and a vertigo-inducing wardrobe to go with it. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Katy Perry Looked Like This
Before <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/katy-perry-movie-premiere-bra_n_1630015.html" target="_hplink">her bubble-icious 3D movie</a>, her multi-colored hair and her marriage to Russell Brand, there was the Katy Perry of "I Kissed A Girl" and "Hot And Cold." The singer's style has changed considerably over the past four years, but we remember a simpler time when she had dark hair, "minimal" makeup and didn't wear <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/12/katy-perry-bra-peppermint-banned_n_1668002.html" target="_hplink">spinning bras</a>. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...We Didn't Even Know Sarah Palin!
At least not on July 28th, 2008. [Insert joke about the McCain campaign not knowing her then either.] It would be one month and one day until we met her and the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/21/rnc-has-spent-over-150000_n_136736.html" target="_hplink">$150,000 clothing budget</a> that came with. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Miley Cyrus Looked Like This
We know it's hard to remember a time when Miley Cyrus was just "Hannah Montana" and not a 19-year old leather-clad singer/<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/06/miley-cyrus-engagement-ring-photos-pic_n_1575750.html" target="_hplink">fiancée of Liam Hemsworth</a>. But how quickly they grow up. Four years ago, Miley was just beginning her career as a solo artist and still performing at Disney events with her dad, Billy Ray. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Kim Kardashian Was On 'Dancing With The Stars'
Kim Kardashian's life has been public information for years, but something that we were surprised to recall was that the reality TV star had been a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars" in 2008. Kardashian finished in 11th place, had a lawsuit with her dancing partner who claimed she was on a "cookie diet" and, well, life moved on! Four years and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/31/kim-kardashian-to-file-fo_n_1067424.html" target="_hplink">one divorce</a> later, the star is dating the all-fashionable and endlessly entertaining <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/12/kim-kardashian-kanye-west_n_1667570.html" target="_hplink">Kanye West</a>. (Getty photo)
For Years Ago...YSL Passed Away
In June 2008, the French legend/designer Yves Saint Laurent passed away at age 71. He was the successor of fashion giant Christian Dior and created his illustrious <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/yves-saint-laurent-name-change-hedi-slimane_n_1614942.html" target="_hplink">YSL brand</a> with the opening his own couture house in 1962. We're, um, very glad he did. (And don't you love this photo of him with Claudia Schiffer?) (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Emma Watson Looked Like This
The "Harry Potter" actress was on the cusp in 2008: it was the year before she became the face of Burberry, the year before she became involved in People Tree and the year before college. As such, she looked almost every other 18-year-old...who walks red carpets in sparkly gowns. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Apple Launched The iPhone 3G
We shudder to imagine what our lives here at the Huffington Post would be like without <a href="http://web.stagram.com/n/huffpoststyle/" target="_hplink">Instagram</a> and our mobile <a href="https://twitter.com/HuffPostStyle" target="_hplink">Twitter accounts</a>. What a cold, disconnected, unfiltered world that would be. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Many Of The Power Players Had Non-Ironic Mustaches
2008 was a year of much political change, and with those changes came <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/03/the-year-of-the-mustache_n_147968.html" target="_hplink">men with mustaches</a>. You know, the non-hipster kind. Obama campaign Senior Advisor David Axelrod had a stellar 'stache and we appreciate soon-to-be Attorney General Eric Holder's facial hair. But, of course, we can't forget Representative Henry Waxman's his distinctive-looking style either! (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Emma Stone Looked Like This
In 2008, Emma Stone had only appeared in two films: "Superbad" and "The House Bunny" (which do you remember?). She was 19 and still sported her signature auburn hair. Four years later, she went blonde, became a mega-star, and has graced the covers of over <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/18/emma-stone-vogue_n_1605755.html" target="_hplink">10 fashion magazines</a>. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Vogue Italia Released Its "Black Issue"
In July 2008, Vogue Italia debuted "The Black Issue," a special edition featuring only black models shot by photographer Steven Meisel. EIC Franca Sozzani reportedly created the issue in response to claims of racism in the fashion industry. This magazine sparked a wave of controversy inside and outside the industry and brought attention to racial diversity (or the lack thereof) in the pages of other glossies. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Zooey Deschanel Looked Like This
In 2008, Zooey Deschanel was a budding mainstream actress, starring in movies like "Elf" and "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy." Her style at the time was reminiscent of a sweet prom girl or a deadpan country singer. Today, Deschanel is known for...well, much of the same. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Victoria Beckham Premiered Her Spring 2009 Collection
Victoria Beckham launched her dress collection in 2008, which first appeared in London's Selfridges and later in New York City. It went pretty well, and four years later she's still designing away. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Michelle Williams Looked Like This
In the aftermath of Heath Ledger's death in January 2008, Michelle Williams faced the media frenzy with grace and true style. She can still do no wrong in our eyes. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Angelina Jolie Was Expecting Twins
2008 was a big year for the couple known as Brangelina. Not only did Brad Pitt star in the Oscar-nominated film "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," but future fiancée Angelina Jolie announced that she was expecting twins: Knox and Vivienne, bringing the number of the couple's children to six. Jolie's maternity style consisted of long, maxi dresses in bright colors or black. Even while pregnant, the actress maintained her vixon-like style and looked gorgeous and radiant. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...We Were Awaiting the Beijing Summer Olympics
And here we are again! Gymnast Shawn Johnson was the star of the 2008 Olympics, bringing home the gold medal for balance bean and the silver medal for floor exercise. Four years later, Johnson has retired from gymnastics and will not be competing in the 2012 London Olympics. However, <a href="http://www.stylelist.com/2012/07/25/olympics-style-2012-gymnastics-leotards_n_1698411.html" target="_hplink">America's love affair with the leotard </a>continues! (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Britney Spears Looked Like This
2008 was a year of turmoil and success for Britney Spears. The young, troubled singer was committed to a psychiatric ward in January and lost visitation rights for her children. But several months later Spears guest starred on an episode of "How I Met Your Mother," and attended the MTV Music Awards where she won "Best Female Video," "Best Pop Video" and "Video Of The Year" for her song "Piece Of Me." Things were a little spotty thereafter, but four years later, the singer is making a huge (and seemingly stable) comeback as a judge on "The X-Factor." (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...The Spice Girls Were On Tour
'Return of The Spice Girls' was the group's first tour since the '90s and they did not hold back. We loved seeing Posh, Scary, Ginger, Sporty and Baby performing in outfits they probably would have worn back in their heyday, and although we're not going to endorse these outfits as everyday wear, we do applaud them because, well, we love the Spice Girls! We're pretty excited about the new <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/26/spice-girls-musical_n_1627182.html" target="_hplink">Spice Girls musical</a> opening in December of this year. (Getty photo)
Four Years Ago...Obama Barely Had Grey Hairs
Four years ago today, 46-year-old presidential candidate Barack Obama was working the campaign trail with a warm grin and a head of dark hair. (He also claimed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/04/obama-i-cant-grow-facial_n_148545.html" target="_hplink">he couldn't grow facial hair</a>.) Four years and many grey hairs later, Obama is up for re-election. (Getty photo)