Fashion and culture are always so closely related that anyone can go back over the years, even if never having lived through them, to get an idea of just what society was like by looking at photos or paintings of the day. For example, look at pictures taken during the 1960s and compare them to photos from just a decade earlier. You can see, without a doubt, just how different culture was just 10 years apart. For example, look at pictures of teens wearing those classic poodle skirts of the 1950s and then photos from Woodstock, just a decade later.
Girls were wearing halter tops and wide leg bell bottoms and they had their hair adorned with floral wreaths. It was such a striking difference in fashions, that you could tell how the two decades were literally generations apart culturally. Gone were the reserved years of the nuclear family and in were the days of love-ins and psychedelic romping through fields of grass. In fact, that was actually the norm. Fashions tended to change in relation to shifts in society. But something seemed to go a bit off kilter since the turn of the century, the turn of the millennium. What could that be?
A Need to Retrace Our Steps of the Past Two Decades
What we seem to be seeing in terms of fashion is that it appears as though our society is experiencing a need to undo much of the turmoil of the past two decades. The world has seen so much conflict that our fashion designers seem to be trying to start back at the beginning of the new millennium to give us a chance to do things ‘right’ this time. If we can keep up with the latest fashion trends, we can see that they really are trying to retrace our steps so that we can have a brand new start. Keeping up with the trends enables us to see how designers want us to bring hope back once again, the hope we had coming into a new thousand-year period with so much to look forward to.
Hence, we are seeing Y2K outfits today as perhaps a starting point to begin this new thousand-year period in a new light. If seen in that way, it’s rather like they are using fashion to shape society rather than the reverse. Fashion has always been a reflection of culture but perhaps they can use fashion to reshape a culture shown to be lacking in so many ways. Perhaps today’s designers are using Y2K clothing to bring us back far enough to ‘fix’ that which we’ve broken.
One Catastrophe After Another
So then, with that in mind, think about Y2K clothes that were trending in the days just prior to 9/11. They were loose and carefree. Those wide-leg bell bottoms of the 60s re-emerged with the hope of a life that would be free to romp in those fields once again. But then disaster struck as the towers came down. So many lives lost from so many cultures. For a time, it brought the world closer together as every nation worked to repair broken relationships.
And if you trace global events from that point forward, it seemed as though we were going backward instead of forward. From war torn countries in South Africa to continuing violence on the Gaza strip it seemed like there was strife on every continent. Fashions, in an effort to bring a bit of light back, began using lots of bling. And that really is where we are at today.
Maybe It’s Time to Bare Our Souls
If you think about just how trendy a Y2K dress is today, you can maybe see all that skin being revealed as an effort to bare our souls. Instead of remaining hidden from each other we can begin working together to make this world a place where we can cohabitate in peace rather than hatred. Can we really go back to retrace our steps?
Is there a way to see these loose and comfortable fashions as a way to relax much of the stress we’ve been subjected to with a recent global pandemic? Are our designers trying to tell us something? Are they using fashion to give us a new perspective on life as it should be? It would be interesting to see what today’s sociologists and psychologists think of being able to reshape society through fashion trends – and why not? Music and art have always played key roles in shaping cultures, so why not fashion?
Whether these retro styles are simply another normal cycle of bringing back popular blasts from the past or our leading designers doing their part to shape a brighter more comfortable future is yet to be discovered. Either way, Y2K clothes are back and with that said, there’s nothing quite like the comfort they offer.