In 2002, Russian music duo t.A.T.u. were riding high on the music charts with their angsty teen hit All the Things She Said. By the mid-2000s, The OC’s Marissa Cooper had us all sporting cropped collared jackets, ballet flats and preppy polo shirts. Meanwhile, Paris Hilton was the poster child for the Juicy Couture era, complete with kitsch jewellery and micro handbags.
Fast forward to 2020, and we have the recently launched Marc Jacobs co-ed line, Heaven, which is just dripping with teenage nostalgia (even the campaign photos are giving us 2000s interiors inspiration—think lava lamps, 4×4 metal beds and pop-star posters).
© Photography by Larissa Hofmann Courtesy of Heaven by Marc Jacobs
It’s no secret that millennials and Gen-Z are the originators of the new-wave nostalgic fashion movement. Among Depop enthusiasts (there’s more than 21 million of them), ‘Y2K dressing’ is a go-to search term, which encompasses everything from outfits inspired by Chloë Sevigny’s internship at Sassy magazine circa 1992 to her failsafe socks and loafer combinations that paved the way for early 2000s hipsterdom.
Throwback fashion has provided solace this year, hinting to more easygoing times and as we hit the last stretch of 2020, its influence is only intensifying. Social media’s obsession with all-things knitted shows no signs of waning and pleated miniskirts are booming on Instagram (as are delicate collared shirts reminiscent of high-school uniforms).
These are the five nostalgic fashion trends you need to know about now.
1. The mood: collegiate knitwear
The brands to know: Gimaguas, Lirika Matoshi, House of Sunny
Your muses: Bella Hadid, IG style stars Camille Charriere and Cierra Nia
Queen of the trendsetting look, it’s no surprise that Bella Hadid has recently hopped aboard the scholarly style train. Last month, she was spotted in Spanish brand Gimaguas’s 1970s-themed checkerboard knits teamed with casual trousers. As our love of loungewear shows no signs of waning, the collegiate knitwear revival (including those deep-V sleeveless sweatshirts that are all over your IG feed right now) is poised to knock the Juicy Couture hoodie off the ironic 2000s fashion pedestal. Our advice? Go full Hadid, with roomy trousers and classic Dr Martens and let your inner teen run amok.
2. The mood: mini kilts
The brands to know: Coperni, Chopova Lowena, Le Kilt
Your muse: Maisie Williams
Fans of the thigh-skimming skirt, rejoice. The mini kilt’s ties to youth remain unmatched and gen-Z is largely responsible for bringing the miniskirt back (it’s like it never left). Abbreviated hemlines invoke memories of long-forgotten parties and impromptu park picnics—in 2020, we’re taking cues from 1990s sitcom stars (namely Friends’ Rachel Green and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Ashley Banks). See Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams in her Coperni skirt, styled with AW20’s divisive welly boot.
3. The mood: socks and loafers
The brands to know: Eytys, Martine Rose, Vagabond, Loewe
There’s a good chance you’ve already added a shiny pair of loafers to your Christmas wishlist after Stockholm-based label Eytys gave us new reasons to covet the unisex classic. Spot the brand’s chunky-soled spin on the preppy favourite worn by model Chili Dia. The Copenhagen local pairs her ‘Angelo’ loafers with a buttery-smooth boxy jacket, patchwork vest and ankle-grazing satin trousers. For an extra shot of teen spirit, throw in a student-like patterned cardigan or statement joggers (Alexa Stark’s whimsical floral styles are on point). Your New Year’s day stroll has never looked so rebellious.
4. The mood: kitsch jewellery
The brands to know: Beepy Bella, Blobb
Your muses: Iris Law, Richie Shazam, Kiko Mizuhara, Mia Regan
OK, so we may not have taken a second glance at candy-coloured resin jewellery since we were nine years old, but we’ve quickly come to realise that 2020’s fashion curveballs are as unpredictable as our Twitter news feeds. To put it plainly, quirky jewellery is in and there is no shortage of brands dishing out tooth-achingly saccharine accessories. Whether it’s independent Mexican brand Blobb’s vivid bejewelled rings or Beepy Bella’s pearl-clad necklaces, stack ’em up and add them to your Christmas stockings.
5. The mood: Peter Pan collars
The brands to know: Ganni, Frankie Shop, & Other Stories
If you, like us, binged all of season 4 of The Crown in 48 hours (true story), you’ll be familiar with Princess Diana’s fondness for a prairie collar. Decades later and our necklines have never been bolder — but now, the gender-neutral item has taken on a life of its own. Gucci enthusiast and US Vogue cover star Harry Styles has an enviable talent for teaming an exaggerated collar with pearls and high-waisted trousers, while Scandi brand Ganni has cultivated a legion of #GanniGirls pairing their detachable poplin collars with a comfy button-up (see New York-style star Imani Randolph) in a way that almost makes us miss our high-school uniforms.