“The early 2000s was such a fun and iconic era for fashion,” Paris Hilton declared on Twitter in May this year. “People didn’t have stylists and actually had personal style. Now everyone kinda looks the same!”
The fact that people absolutely did have stylists aside, in that moment, the business mogul, heiress, and OG Y2K reality star got right to the heart of fashion’s current mood. Perhaps because we’ve already sucked the 90s dry, or perhaps because fashion’s fervent pace necessitates we reference ever-closer cultural moments: we’ve done turtlenecks, blazers, and vintage Levi’s, and now we’re ready to push taste levels and have a bit of fun.
The 00s aesthetic, with its velour, diamantes, and ostentatious sensibilities was ready and waiting to fill the gap, as Y2K became the bad-taste-becomes-good story of the year. Driven by Gen Z’s nostalgia-tinged quest to find authenticity in a digitally filtered world, the revival isn’t just a cherry pick of the most tasteful elements of the decade to introduce to our wardrobes – we’ve dived right into the pieces that, just a few years ago, were haunting millennials from the pages of their parents’ photo albums.
Kicking the revival off with a collaboration with Vetements for SS17, Juicy Couture is enjoying a renewed sense of status. The sweats of choice for any celebrity worth their salt 15 years ago and so iconic that it now sits in the V&A archives, the Juicy Couture tracksuit’s potential to bring the brand back to relevance upon the Y2K wave hasn’t been overlooked by new creative director Jamie Mizrahi. Ahead of the AW18 show, she confirmed to her Instagram followers that “nostalgia has proven to be one of our brand’s greatest assets.” The collection had the expected sports luxe vibe; with velour occupying a central focus. As the spiritual partner of the Juicy Couture tracksuit, soon after, UGG came back strong in January with their collaboration with Y/Project – giving us collective flashbacks and inspiration in equal parts with its thigh-high incarnation of the boot that graced endless feet in paparazzi-captured Starbucks runs.
“Fashion’s embrace of early millennium style isn’t confined to an adjustment in silhouette or the incorporation of a few significant sartorial touch points; it’s reigniting a logo-centric disposition too”
In our journey into the 2000s landscape, we haven’t quite reached cuffed-at-the-knee cargo pants territory but we’re veering pretty quickly in that direction via the return of low slung trousers. Keeping waxers the world over in business, perilously low waistlines were the uniform of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera and any other 2000s-era star who cared to look like them. Ready to ignite hip-specific body insecurities, Chanel, Versace, and McQueen all sent their waistlines plummeting below the navel for SS19.
Fashion’s embrace of early millennium style isn’t confined to an adjustment in silhouette or the incorporation of a few significant sartorial touch points; it’s reigniting a logo-centric disposition too. Under the caption “Fendi Fan”, Kim Kardashian posted a photo of herself wearing a vintage shirt and tights emblazoned with the brand’s iconic Zucca monogram to her Instagram back in February. The look echoed husband Kanye’s display of brand dedication back in 2006 when he rocked up to a Fendi party with the double F shaved into the side of his head. Lyst reported that searches for monogrammed Fendi pieces are now up 70 per cent.
At Burberry, new creative director Riccardo Tisci invited himself to play with the British heritage label’s iconic codes, as he and Peter Saville devised a new monogram and plastered it throughout his debut collection, while Maria Grazia Chiuri undoubtedly helped spark the logomania reboot, routinely revisiting the Christian Dior monogram since her first ready-to-wear show (expect to see a 2004 Missy Elliott head to toe in the brand’s Rasta collection plastered all over your Instagram very soon). Nowhere does the CD logo feel more in tune with the Y2K directive than on the Saddle bag, though. Brought back for AW18, Carrie Bradshaw’s fave was subject to a major gifting campaign, meaning you’re now only ever moments away from one being in your eye line, online or off.
Elsewhere, Prada seemingly anticipated the nostalgic revival that is currently happening, and heralded it with the return of its nylon bags, alongside a supplement of complementing dresses, bandeau tops, bucket hats, and jackets, as part of a wholly welcome resurrection of its Linea Rossa line. Searches for Prada nylon peaked in December this year, the highest levels of interest since 2007.
The trend is flourishing away from the runway too, finding a home on Depop. Gen Z – too young to have experienced 2000s style in earnest the first time round – are flocking to the buy and sell app in their millions to scoop up the relics of the era. Low rise cargo trousers, cowl neck tops, and bustier dresses tagged with the all important #Y2K and #00s search terms are guaranteed quick sales, while long-relinquished brands such as KangaROOS, Jane Norman, and Morgan are subject to fierce bidding wars.
Not long turfed out of wardrobes, Y2K vintage is abundant, providing a catalyst for the trend’s rapid takeover. Graduates of 2000s style might well lament its return, but the gauntlet has been laid and, seemingly, there’s no choice but to embrace it. That’s hot.