Article written by BLUP50 talent Charlie Greening

If you haven’t worked out that trends are a never-ending cycle of action and reaction by now, then you haven’t been paying attention to your fashion history. We’ve seen this happen again and again with fashion, when the world goes through it, we come out with a brand new attitude.

Before we look at what trends have blossomed from the hard times we’ve endured over the last year, it’s important to understand how the human race has come out of dark times throughout history with a new take on fashion, using expression through style as a source of escapism.

Take the beginning of the 20th century for our first example, although 100 years ago now we can still see similarities in the young ‘flapper girls’ of the 1920s who stopped wearing corsets and dropped layers for more movement to dance and the Y2K party girl who was as undressed as she was messy. This impulse to change our style and attitude back then came as a direct result of the oppression during the First World War.

Skip forward half a century and the 1980s brought about maximalism, obviously. With one too many aerobics-themed thong-centric music videos. This excessive use of colour and flare was a response to the dark times Britain experienced during Thatcher’s elected term as prime minister.

The 1990s consumed youth culture with grunge. An aesthetic that looks like you rolled out of bed into a pile of clothing that were at least two sizes too big for you. In response to this, the economic up swing after the recession of the 90s precipitated a return of status-driven excess.

Which brings us into the 21st century. The naughties presented a simpler time where Paris Hilton was queen, and there was no such thing as too many accessories. Let’s not pull any punches: The naughties era of fashion was considered particularly bad taste at the time. It was all about expressing personality through fashion, with customised pieces being huge and on a lot of people’s style agenda. There was a certain slickness to that era, It was not quite the homogenised, photoshopped, superhuman look that there is today. Fashion was self-referential and about being a total fantasy.

In response to naughties maximalism, the rise of social media influencers and fashion bloggers delivered a new wave of minimalism. Feeds became monotone- with an ever-boring parade of minimalist influencers wearing the same thing.

So of course we’re back here again. Minimalism always leads to maximalism, formal leads to informal and monochrome leads to an explosion of colour!

20 years on and we’re all still ‘Crazy In Love’ with naughties maximalism. The pandemic gave minimalism a COVID-19 kick in the ass, paving way for maximalism which is fast becoming the cornerstone of the Gen Z aesthetic.

Bootcut low-rise flared jeans

Here we see Y2K goddess Britney Spears rocking some low rise bootcut jeans. This statement wardrobe piece is very popular with Gen Z girls as it shows off your hips while giving an optical illusion of curve shape and height.

VS printed low-rise Jaded London jeans

Here we have the queen of Y2K Paris Hilton and legendary singer songwriter Gwen Stefani rocking Von Dutch logo trucker caps with less than subtle outfit pairings.

VS the Von Dutch Trucker of today –

Mini shoulder bags; Mini shoulder bags; This legendary film Mean Girls (2004) shows Regina George rocking a statement mini bag with a mini skirt and miniature modesty.

VS the Dior Mini Saddle Bag of today –

Other great options are these colourful cardigans and shirts from Gucci, Free People, Save The Queen and many more.

The return of 00s maximalism appears to be steadily gaining steam beyond instagram ‘it’ girls. Gen Z suspects like Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid are hopping on the rainbow train embracing bright, lively colour and clashing patterns. From rhinestone bedazzled to slashed Ed Hardy tanks to slogan tees, wearing statement pieces and bright colours doesn’t seem risky anymore.

Is this new macro trend all a response to our repressed, lockdown-bound selves, desperate to approach 2022 full of optimism and hope?

As we come through these bleak tines, both economically and personally, it’s perhaps understandable how much appetite has grown for vibrancy and colour in clothing. We’re seeing a renewed zest for life, and a hunger for maximalism as we start to party and attend events again. So, it’s time to throw away your loungewear and join the post-pandemic maximalist party.

Article written by BLUP50 talent Charlie Greening (@chazzabel)

Want to write for Contact