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The fashion vortex of the 2000s---Y2K

BY Aristopher Huang

20  March  2021


“Information is changing faster and faster, but fashion is drawing more and more inspiration from the past”

If you pay attention to the changes in wearing styles in recent years, it is not difficult to find: Monogram items with conspicuous brand logos are everywhere, exaggerated cycling glasses or bright sunglasses are in fashion, and bell bottoms, tights, belts Designs such as logos decorated with rhinestones have long dominated the fashion shows and popular lists of second-hand trading websites in these seasons.

Twenty years ago, as the millennials who were the first to be impacted by electronic technology, the new lifestyle brought about by computers and mobile phones made the 2000s full of various novel terms, like a dream. On the other hand, the popularity of the Internet has given rise to a new kind of utopianism: technology will be able to solve all problems --- but when hope comes, the fear of the unknown will also follow. Technology brings people Excitement mixed with anxiety.

This unique sense of contradiction in the era also laid the foundation for Y2K aesthetics. In the series of movies "The Matrix" released in 1993 and 2003, the confrontation between humans and machines and systems corresponds exactly to the audience's complex inner feelings about technology at that time. The "Matrix" inspired by the times has also changed the aesthetics of the times. Designer John Galliano was inspired by this to create Christian Dior's 1999 autumn and winter haute couture series, which is one of the most classic fashion moments of that era. The code waterfall (green rain) at the beginning of the movie has become a new trend in graphic design and continues to this day. The narrow-rim glasses worn by the protagonists in the film are undoubtedly the hot items of the year, and they are still important accessories representing Y2K's aesthetics.

Today, 20 years later, fashion is once again dominated by this style. Music, fashion, and bloggers are all trapped in this trend. What's interesting is that we have also seen the cycle of fashion in such trends. For example, Britney Spears, who led the fashion trend in 1999, is surprisingly similar in clothing to Blackpink, which is currently in the global fire. In 2019, the cooperation series between Dior and SORAYAMA is even more impressive. The fashion of 20 years ago once again occupied the aesthetics of today.


As the world’s circumstance is getting more and more chaotic, we seem to have entered the same cycle. Looking at the brands that have attracted much attention today, from the Dior Men led by Kim Jones to the unstoppable 1017 Alyx 9sm, from the top Japanese street brand Cav Empt to the unshakable Raf Simons, and of course Misbnv, Cottweiler, Palm Angels, etc. There are many designer brands that take street fashion as the entry point. From clothing design to brand packaging concepts, you can see the Y2K aesthetic and the clues left by the age of its existence, also it can be seen that, this influence is getting more and more deep.


Christian Dior FW2001

The signal from the Y2K era was transmitted through the fashion language of fashion and stylization, and it was received again twenty years later.


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The designer Chelsea Grays, and her second collections created sensation at the New York fashion week.

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