Originally featured here on tmrw magazine.
How about we take a trip back in time – craig david is in the charts, juicy couture velour tracksuits are the height of fashion and busted are touring the country. sound familiar? that’s because it is. we are experiencing a noughties repeat, complete with bad beats and synthetic fabrics.
after a 90s resurge of chokers, crop tops and girl power, do we really need the noughties to come back? what did the decade actually bring to the table other than boots with the fur and widespread access to the internet?
we entered the millennium with britney and justin wearing matching denim ensembles, and posing in front of the paps like their outfits were the shit. which, to be fair, were the shit back then. do you think we would’ve responded with “couple goalz” if the phrase was around back then? putting the cringe-inducing blue denim combination aside, it makes you question why the last decade or so has seen repetition after repetition. are we incapable of originality? has it been exhausted? or are we just programmed that way? postmodernism and post-post-modernism and post-post-post-post-post-modernism are on the lips of academics, scholars, journalists and intellectuals alike.
mikhail epstein wrote about postmodernism’s place in the postmodern age, he said “the destiny of originality is to be turned into imitation and cliché, allowing the cliché itself to be perceived as a new sincerity.” epstein continues to write that everything echoes the past. everything bears an imprint of its former uses. does repeating previous fashion trends give people something to talk about? would we be as interested in someone’s dress, outfit or new hairstyle, if we couldn’t compare it to someone from the past? after all, if someone got ‘the rachel’ today without ‘the rachel’ being a thing previously, then surely they just got a haircut.
journalist, eric harvey, asks the prominent underlying question: “is pervasive nostalgia for recent history… normal? or is there something wrong with today’s fixation with the past?” our obsessiveness as a culture with history, trends and happenings from the last few decades is somewhat unfortunate. we are living in a constant cycle of watered down versions of trends that were once deemed original and interesting. we are stuck in a fashion loop de loop.
i was somewhat shocked to see topshop genuinely selling juicy couture velour tracksuit sets. you know the ones with the trademark embellished ‘juicy’ across the arse of the joggers (circa paris hilton 2002, at the airport). and then i saw ‘juicy couture for urban outfitters’. a real life 2017 fashion collaboration. no you’re not in that hazy daze when you’re just waking up and have to figure out if you’re still dreaming or not. this is genuine.
now do you want yours in maroon, black, or traditional hot pink? i know what you’re thinking – it’s a tough decision, one that i was pondering whilst revisiting pics of paris on google images. i suppose, if kylie jenner can bring back xtina in ‘dirty’, then maybe paris will polish off one of her juicy tracksuits from 15 years ago and do the whole “i wore juicy first”. “yes, it is a vintage juicy tracksuit, thanks for noticing”. who would’ve thought a juicy tracksuit would be something you’d need to keep in your closet to hand down to your kids one day.
but what if this noughties resurge doesn’t stop there? what if 2000 hair trends come back? what are we gonna do? everyone’s going to be crimping, spiralizing and twizzling their hair into a thousand mini buns and i’m not sure quite sure i’m ready for that again. and don’t think your exempt from the millennial hit, fellas. frosted tips seem to be sneaking their way back onto the ends of your hair and into the hearts of hairdressers.
to quote the infamous lizzie mcguire, “that’s not very oops i did it again, that’s just oops” and it’s exactly what i think about noughties fashion. i just pray low-rise jeans don’t make a comeback. no one needs that discomfort in their lives again.