I’m taking one for the team and saying be gone to diamanté. Waterfall hemline barbell-tops can, quite frankly, do one. And don’t get me started on bandeaus. It’s not that I’m against the Noughties revival per se, but we’ve surely reached peak butterfly motif by now. Phoebe Philo must be mourning the industry she once knew.
I appreciate that it’s different for the people who didn’t witness the snug fit of an impossibly low-cut Miss Sixty jean the first time around. For me, Jane Norman will never be the cool and ironic place Bella Hadid shops, because the nerds carried their GCSE folders in its bags at school. Tammy crocodile clips and Urban Decay eyeshadow will forever be relics of a misspent youth, when my parents’ response to my first major party look: a faux leather blazer and logo baby tee, was, “Wow”, and then… silence (unfair since my mum had just had her belly button pierced and my dad a Chinese symbol inked on his thigh). Understated was not an option on the British high street in the ’00s, so we all did what any blissfully unaware teen thought best, and stocked up in Morgan or Shellys to twirl our fingers and wiggle our hips to “Saturday Night”. We felt unstoppable. There was glitter everywhere.
The pictures of pop-obsessed youngsters copying the Spice Girls (buffalo boots, anyone?), and All Saints (cargo pants? Yep, had them too), are naturally incomparable to say, the haute Blumarine revival, care of Nicola Brognano. Or designer of the moment Glenn Martens’s cool-girl overhaul of Diesel. But for anyone who saw the full picture back in the maximalist days of Groovy Chick and Juicy Couture, there can be no unseeing the horrors of Von Dutch caps and rhinestones everywhere. there’s a reason why Lindsay Lohan left her velor behind; we should also have filed her coords under pop culture phenomena that she never needs repeating. (I mean, no one really wanted the Disney remakes, right?)
I admire the fresh-faced fashion fans with a hunger for Depop hauls of Ed Hardy or an Ebay obsession with truffling out Jean Paul Gaultier bodycon. For us, it was immediate no-holds-barred gratification. Rails in Kookai et al bulged with camo, tattoo prints and cheeky slogans that were wildly inappropriate for our age group. A handkerchief crop top (now £890 at Blumarine) was not a luxury item, it was an obsession, a hot ticket to feeling grown up. Polyester was rife and we didn’t even know what viscose was. What on earth happened to all those sparkly corkscrew hair clips? Think of the tamagotchis!
Much has been made of our nostalgic fashion habits over the last few years, but the tacky excess of the ’00s – a cacophony of Claire’s earrings and belly chains – is jarring to think of in a decade where the planet, rather than MTV, is becoming a priority. I’m no minimalist, but give me a clean line, a flounce-free cut to dream about! Everyone deserves to find escapism in clothes, but it’s time to grow up and cast off the baker boy caps. This is a moment for fresh talent and new ideas, not fashion that’s long past its best.