Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP
Some recent fashion trends make sense. Take what is currently called the Y2K aesthetic wide leg jeans, aggressive pink and metallic fabrics – a throwback to the style sensibilities of late 90s and early 2000s.
Fashion evolves in twenty-year cycles, or at least according to conventional wisdom, when tastemakers become nostalgic for their childhood. For example, 1970s pop culture, resurrected in the 1950s in the form of television shows Happy Days and MASH POTATOES and the musical Fat. And twenty years later, the 1990s saw a return to 1970s-style singer-songwriters, such as Juliana Hatfield and PJ Harvey, and a landmark cover of the time of the song “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens in 1971.
But the nostalgic loop accelerated. “So much faster than twenty,” says Rebecca Jennings, a main correspondent for Voice that covers internet culture . Jennings points to TikTok nostalgic videos of makeup trends dating back to… 2016, when makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic was busy breaking the internet by contouring Kim Kardashian’s cheekbones and dramatically framing her eyebrows. Or look, said Jennings, for last year’s high profile fashion for wired headsetsa vintage accessory from before the advent of wireless headphones – around 2015.
“When kids on the internet talk about 2014core or tumblr fashion, they’re talking about what semi-alternative kids coveted at the time,” says Jennings. Stuff like Lana Del Rey, Arctic Monkeys and tiny Lolita-style tennis skirts, which can be found in abundance on the HBO hit Euphoria.
Courtesy of HBO
While watching the show, Alysha Cassis-Shaw wondered, “What year is it? 2000? 2005? The owner of the Oakland, Calif.-based vintage brand called neutral ground describe EuphoriaThe styling is bewitching yet disorienting: it borrows from the style of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears of the early ’90s, to the ubiquitous Peter Pan collars of 2009, to the high-waisted pants that were until, well, very recently – and perhaps do- already be a return.
Courtesy of HBO
“They’re contemporary kids using a hodgepodge of styles,” says Cassis-Shaw. You don’t have to have a lot of cash, she notes, to shop at resale outlets like ThredUp, stuffed with two decades of fast bike fashion in and out of style, all of which can be investigated on Instagram. And when you can so easily consume “vintage” clothing from H&M or Delia’s, the ingredients are in place for what writer Allison P. Davis memorably called a “change of mood” in a recent article for new York magazine. The normal rhythms of trends and style are blurred by the effervescence of social media.
“TikTok has a weird way of doing it all in style,” notes Rebecca Jennings. “You can go to any corner of the app and something will be considered cool.”
Right now, she adds, it’s easy to be nostalgic for the days before COVID. Some young people are even nostalgic for the early days of the pandemic, make TikToks like thisgazing tenderly tiger kingAnimal Crossing and making sourdough bread.
You know, long before a new set of worries about the future.