...Well, it kinda was this time last year. This is something I wrote then, which I suppose is kind've true now. HOWEVER - I've been feeling like fashion/trends/whatever is all a bit non-directional at the moment. There seems to be a large influx of a LOT of different influences all cajoling for top spot in the sartorial stakes. I, for one, have absolutely no idea what I want to be wearing, let alone some kind of thematic approach to my wardrobe at the minute. Maybe I'll have a Eureka moment soon, until then I am thoroughly confused.com.
WRITTEN MAY 2009.
As we approach the end of our first decade into the 21st century, there’s been a definite whiff of nostalgia for years not that long gone detectable in the fashion air. From 2005 onwards Britain has been on a steady tour de force with the nineties – starting with rave. Or should we call it Nu? Marrying, in a somewhat hit and miss fashion, the essence of the Hacienda glory days of dance hall brights and neon, with modern day transvestite style make-up peeled straight from the face of Hello Kitty loving web Celebs Jeffree Star and Jodie Harsh. It was a look that was embraced wholeheartedly by those on the club-scene and enabled the country to live out it’s last days of economic stability in a flash of colour, even though the Tweens still cling to the wristbands as if their lives depend on it – thanks in no small part to Claire’s Accessories – the party is most definitely now over.
As monetary conditions worsened in 2007, we as a nation turned to America, and classic early nineties Americana specifically, for some guidance – after all they survived a depression with a smile on their face so who better for a bit of fashion support? Unashamed reds, blues and bold stars emblazoned everything from Yves Saint Laurent necklaces, to Chanel suits, and double denim was a dirty alliteration no more. Such a big look required a big grin, but as the accounts kept dwindling our cheeks began to ache – and we looked elsewhere for something that would lend itself to our newfound state of static finances more suitably.
Enter, grunge. Doc Marten’s had been kicking around amongst the cool kids for a while before everyone else caught on, scuffing the side-streets of Dalston unobserved before Alice Dellal and Aggy decided to champion them to the masses. They signified the introduction of practical, long-lasting fashion. People didn’t have money to be splashing out on a new pair of decorative pumps every other week, and what good were they in the depressing British rain anyway? We were a country in the midst of a big fat mope. Initially, people lacked inspiration thus paired them with the obvious skinny jeans or aged Levi cut-offs and a check shirt, the androgyny signifying that romance and the definition of the sexes was now completely ludicrous, dates aren’t cheap.
But after a few months we got frisky, and before you knew it there was the occasional glimpse of pretty chiffon or lace cutting a fine dash on the high street. As is the way with a revolution, the trend spread like wildfire and grunge got a whole lot more interesting. Forget the Kurt look of before, now it’s all about Courtney – teaming the sturdy footwear with the most delicate slips of summer dresses somehow reinforces femininity rather than detracting from it – the juxtaposition of frailty with a sturdy, solid base is demonstrative of our nation as a whole in these troubled times. In the spirit of the Spice Girls and Oasis of years gone by, kick arse England is most definitely back. We might be down, but we’re definitely not out – and this teenage rebellion attitude is one of the best revivals from 1996 we could have hoped for, that is unless E-17 decide to forge a comeback. One can but dream.