is it time for a noughties come back?

Fashion trends are coming back around even quicker now and it looks like we're seeing the first signs of a revival of the noughties. i-D investigates...

by Alice Pfeiffer
08 December 2014, 11:30am

A few days ago, America's Victoria's Secret show was teletransported to London to replicate its glitzy push-up fest before the eyes of mesmerised Brits. To most of us, the show is synonymous with Eiffel Tower-high legs, six-packs and shimmery tans. First aired on US television in 2001 - and partly responsible for Gisele Bundchen and Karolina Kurkova's worldwide fame - it is perhaps the best ambassador for the Noughties. And today? In the midst of minimalist fashion and the overall glum of recession, the event comes as over-the-top and carefree - perhaps the most outrageous thing one could think of.

But are we secretly yearning for a 2000-and-something revival? Look closer, it's already happening. A friend of mine recently mentioned being invited to a costume party where the theme was 2006 (plenty of Justice lookalikes, he reported, and no iPhones allowed). Noughties elegance is everywhere: Carine Roitfeld just released the fifth issue of her CR Fashion Book, where she offers a new and improved version of what she's always done (bringing sexed up Parisian glamour to Beyoncé). Sportswear is hitting new peaks of cool and bringing back lad chic à la Oasis and Blur. Magazines like DIS and Novembre endlessly play with the aesthetic styles of Web 1.0 and early social media. The stars of 00s are also back with a splash: Gemma Ward and Lara Stone appeared at Prada's latest runway show, and Erykah Badu - who recorded her iconic Mama's Gun in 2000 - is now a face for Givenchy. The phenomenon extends to music too: The Libertines just played three night at London's Alexandra Palace, Julian Casablancas recently appeared on stage with Devonte Hynes, and Goldfrapp is performing again.

Today, in an industry of rat race acceleration, where designers have to create up to 10 collections a year to keep buyers, fans and their Instagram account busy, vintage has never been created faster, and the recent past never looked so old so quickly. The early Noughties - when Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana and Rihanna was recording her first song in Barbados - feels like a lifetime away.

Fashion trends used to come around every 30 years (take Grease which mirrored the 80s nostalgia for the 50s) but today the first signs of a comeback are estimated to show after only 7 years. Unsurprisingly, the ubiquity of technology is probably the main reason for this. At a time where consumers don't simply receive but create and curate content, there is an Instagram-esque 'like'-aholic marathon to finding the quirkiest, funniest or most passé images, that can define your online personality: you are as modern as this image is dated. "Going from one consumerist emotional stage to the next - from hype to lost interest to disgust to faux pas and finally revival— can take place within a few months rather than years today" says New-York based fashion and luxury consultant Sophie Roche-Conti, "consumers are bombarded with information, which they turn on their heads by swallowing it, digesting it and rejecting it practically overnight. In consumers' minds Dior Homme seems lightyears away." Time online is perceived differently added Roche-Conti: 5 seconds of net glory equals to 6 months in pre-internet life. While a decade or so ago, trends lasted for at least 6 months, the hyperactive consumer needs to be entertained with two to three collections or capsules between each season.

And there might be more to miss about the Noughties. The new millennium turned a fresh page, and carried some of the hope, glitz and grandiosity of the late 90s into it. The recession and crash of 2008 that was to darken the years to come hadn't hit yet, and society could go one being as joyfully consumerist as it wanted. Mark Zuckerberg hadn't taken over the world yet: Facebook only launched inside universities in 2004, and 3G phones (Blackberries back then) were reserved for businessmen; self-mediatisation and social networks were still in the their dark ages. Today, it is social media that is bringing back the early Noughties - a revival that paradoxically mourns a life without it. But again, this millennium trend might only last for a week, if we're lucky.


Text Alice Pfieffer 
Photography Ellen Von Unwerth
Styling Rebecca Corbin-Murray
[From The Pleasure and Pain Issue, i-D No. 298, April 2009]

the libertines
victoria's secret
Alice Pfeiffer