“A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika,” preached Vogue’s famed editor Diana Vreeland. If vulgarity is indeed the spice of fashion, what the noughties offered was practically impossible to stomach. Yet after years of denial, its flamboyant tastelessness is back in vogue – just take a look at Faustine Steinmetz’s SS18 collection, awash with plunging necklines, flared trousers and replicas of Fendi’s infamous it-bags. Steinmetz is far from the only brand embracing the noughties in all its gaudy glory — many recent collections have embraced cheeky, weird, wonderful designs we didn’t even know we missed. In particular, six early noughties staples have recently seen a high-fashion resurgence — and thank god they have.
In a recent video by W Magazine, ultimate it-girl Paris Hilton waxed lyrical about her favourite styles from her heyday: barely-there skirts, crop tops (“to show off your belly button ring”) and, naturally, plushy tracksuits. According to the sartorial regulations of the time, wearers of the latter were do so exclusively with strappy wedges, killer heels or UGGs. The modern twist on the trend is less Juicy Couture, and more high-end streetwear.
If the nineties were the time of Martin Margiela’s Tabi boot and Miuccia Prada’s ugly sandals, the noughties were known for the pointy-toe boots that made any foot look three sizes larger than it actually was. To amplify the high-glamour, they usually came with vertiginous stiletto heels. Footwear dreamweavers Marques’Almeida have been pushing the noughties-inspired elfen silhouette for seasons, with everyone from Saint Laurent to Alexander Wang hopping aboard the pointed-toe train.
Flashes of Flesh
Crop tops, ripped jeans and cutouts ruled the early noughties. Even the celebrated minimalist Phoebe Philo (Chloé’s creative director at the time) was not immune to the trend. The accepted logic of the period dictated that the lower one’s jeans sat on one’s hips the better, so as to expose more skin. Flash forward to the present, and flashing flesh is less about showing off your belly button ring and more about dramatically deconstructed and slashed pieces, as seen at Faustine SS18.
Between 2000-2004, no outfit was trendy unless it had at least one logo. (Think Dolce & Gabbana’s opulent buckled belts). Sadly, for a long time after, these touches became painfully uncool – but not so anymore. Virgil Abloh, Dior and up-and-coming BOTTER have been splattering logos all over their designs, and even Yves Saint Laurent have brought back their previously banned interlocking YSL motif.
In the first decade of the 21st century, an ‘it’ bag was undoubtedly the must-have accessory; chiefly, Fendi’s Baguette and Louis Vuitton’s monogrammed totes. Today, the appeal of the ‘it’ bag hasn’t died out either. Faustine Steinmetz is famously obsessed with Fendi’s classic offering, which she repeatedly replicates in her collections.
The noughties wouldn’t be the noughties without a deep, deep V-neck in the mix (thanks, J-Lo). In the world of haute fashion, the midriff-baring cutout was popularised by Tom Ford, but Fendi, Chloé and Valentino embraced it, too. Fast forward to 2017, and deep cleavage has taken centre stage again, this time in designs by avant-gardists like Brandon Maxwell and Glenn Martens. The latter even opened Y/Project SS18 Femme with a revealing V-neck top. Bravo!