Bucking the trend: Noughties fashion (part 2)
Amanda Myers continues to explore the reasons behind Noughties Fashion
If there is one thing that did indisputably define the noughties it was the explosion of the celebrity culture, and it seems this extended to the world of fashion. Just about everyone who was famous for just about anything launched a clothing line or at least fronted one, with varying degrees of success and credibility. The Olsen twins made the leap from TV darlings to bona fide design duo look positively seamless while poor Lindsay Lohan made such a mess of her fashion collaboration that if you type ‘Lindsay Lohan Ungaro’ into Google it helpfully suggests that you might be searching for ‘disaster’.
But it’s no wonder that design houses thought that these young starlets would help to clock up not only the column inches, but also the sales. Gone are the days when the trends are dictated exclusively by designers and the bigwigs at Vogue and instead we’ve seen a steady increase in the influence of celebs. Let’s not forget that the now legendary online store asos.com began life as the rather more wordy ‘as seen on screen’ and was designed exclusively to bring the public the latest looks that they’d seen on TV the night before. Coleen wore juicy tracksuits, we wore juicy tracksuits. Sienna went Boho, we went Boho. Not a day goes by when I don’t see someone paying homage to Alexa Chung. A lot of people are just a lot more switched on to fashion. And instead of shying away from the challenge, most of us are willing to have a go at recreating designer looks ourselves.
And this brings me nicely on to the role of the high street. In the noughties they played their part in producing ranges that celebrities had ‘designed themselves’ but more significantly they also collaborated with legitimate designers. Topshop may have snagged Christopher Kane but other stores matched them pound-for-pound in the designer stakes with H&M luring Stella McCartney, Sonia Rykiel and Viktor & Rolf to name a few, and even jolly British high street giant Debenhams somehow pulling off collaborations with everyone from Betty Jackson to Matthew Williamson. All of these stores recognised that being fashionable has evolved from something we were supposed to aspire to being, into something that most people could achieve if they wanted-and bought the occasional magazine. ‘Fashion icons’ (should you choose to believe in them) are no longer always leggy supermodels or highly styled Hollywood starlets but people who make the best of what they can get for a reasonable price. Tavi Gevinson for example evolved from unknown, awkward American tween into a 14 year old, notoriously genius fashion blogger and is habitually pictured in the front row at all the best runway shows. Damn her.
So what to conclude from this little foray into the fashion of the decade gone by? More than ever we’re willing and able to wear what we’re told to wear by those at the top of the fashion food chain. Sure, fashion has been around so long it’s all coming around again but is that necessarily a bad thing? After all some of us didn’t actually get to don a floaty 40’s tea dress, skin-tight leggings or impossibly high platforms the first time around, and wearing 80’s tailoring without the inevitable dynasty perm looks…well…a lot better. So there you have it. It may well be that there are very few brand new trends left to come our way, but it’s ok because anything we get in the teenies (or whatever we end up calling this next assemblage of ten years), we can work in a whole new, celebrity-led, way.