Opinion: Why is Y2K Fashion so in Right now?
Updated: May 26
Fashion has always been cyclical, with trends from the past constantly re-emerging in new and exciting ways.
However, in recent years, there has been a growing trend towards a 20-year fashion cycle, with styles from the 1990s and early 2000s making a comeback in the world of fashion.
This 20-year cycle is not a new thing. In fact, the same trend has been observed throughout history, with fashion trends from the 1920s re-emerging in the 1940s, and styles from the 1960s making a comeback in the 1980s.
Still, it has become more pronounced in recent years, due in part to the rise of social media and the internet. OOTDs and viral fashion bloggers such as Maddie White can influence the styles of their audiences, and define new trends.
Nostalgia can play a huge role in trend cycles. People who grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s are now in their late teens and twenties, and they are starting to look back at the styles of their youth with fondness.
While in the mid 2010s we might have looked back and cringed at chunky highlights and jelly shoes, feelings of nostalgia can creep in and influence us to go back to old styles that we associate with that period of our lives.
I went back to the split-dyed hair I had when I was 5-6 a few months ago! Although, it’s not blue and pink this time…
Another reason for the 20-year fashion cycle is the cyclical nature of fashion itself. Trends come and go, but they often return in new and updated forms.
The oversized blazers and shoulder pads of the 1980s have returned in the form of oversized blazers with a more modern, relaxed fit.
Now, with so many people upcycling and making their own clothes, it’s easy to turn something old into something new - especially with the rejection of fast fashion in this decade. We see more and more people putting their own spin on the clothes they wear.
This cycle is also driven by the fashion industry itself. Designers are always looking for new sources of inspiration, and revisiting the styles of the past is a way to create something new and fresh.
This has led to a trend of designers looking back to the 1990s for inspiration, with designers such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang creating collections that pay homage to the styles of the past - think, Met Gala honouring Karl Lagerfeld, but as a mass trend.
Of course, the fashion cycle is not without its critics. Some argue that the constant recycling of fashion trends is a sign of a lack of creativity in the industry.
Others argue that the focus on nostalgia is a way of avoiding the issues of the present, such as climate change and social inequality.
Personally, I don’t know if it’s that deep…
Regardless of the criticisms, the 20-year fashion cycle shows no signs of slowing down. As we move further into the 2020s, we can expect to see more and more styles from the 1990s and early 2000s making a comeback, as designers and consumers alike continue to look back at the past for inspiration.
However, it's important to remember that fashion is not just about looking back, but also about looking forward. As the world continues to change, so too will the world of fashion.
Ultimately, fashion is a reflection of the culture and society in which it exists. The 20-year fashion cycle is a reflection of our current culture, which values nostalgia, individuality, and creativity.
As we move forward into the future, it will be interesting to see how the world of fashion continues to evolve and change.
In the end, the fashion cycle is a reminder that fashion is not just about what we wear, but also about who we are and where we come from.
Whether we're wearing a crop top from the 1990s or a pair of platform shoes from the 1970s, we're expressing something about ourselves and our place in the world. And that's what makes fashion so exciting and so important.