The Noughties’ Aesthetic

Now that we’ve hit the last leg of 2009, and with that, the end of a decade, retrospection naturally kicks into high gear.

What’s been tugging at my fashion conscience?

Let’s call it The Noughties’ Aesthetic.

The ’60s had a look, the ’70s had a look, so did the ’80s and the ’90s…and now we are left to ponder how the ’00s will leave their mark on fashion history.

It’s been a fashion decade that epitomized postmodernism: endless references to years long past (Vintage started out as a trend but has since outlived its trend cycle to score solid cred. Plus, how many comeback decades have we been though already?) put together without pattern or coherence (“i love how she mixes vintage pieces with modern pieces”, “i love how she mixes designer labels with high street labels”, “effortless chic” – how many times have we read these lines on magazines, blogs, and on our friends’ lips?), often giving rise to irony verging on parody (celebrities dressed like hobos, hipster culture going mainstream when it was meant to be non-mainstream to begin with, and the old becoming new). Honestly? It feels like we just dredged up bits of our past, and just mashed it up with whatever was in the air, whatever suited the zeitgeist….as if it were meaningful (irony: it isn’t meaningful).

That was probably a lot for one paragraph (don’t bother digesting it, elaboration will follow soon enough), but it was to illustrate that after so much randomness and so many references to the past, my gripe is this: I don’t get how we have lived an entire decade without some novel approach to design, or a significant contribution to the neverending dialogue that is fashion.

Having spent my teenhood in the Noughties, I’d  hate to think I grew up in an insignificant period in fashion. (Perhaps we can pass it off as significant for being insignificant. Who knows?). Either way, it worries me that this might only be remembered as a decade of noise, just trying to gain closure from the 20th century by rehashing some 20th century highlights – a sort of warped approach to bringing the 21st century to a state of tabula rasa, before we finally have a new generation of cuts, dimensions, technologies and subcultures, bursting on the scene for the new century.

So I’ve decided to investigate The Noughties’ Aesthetic in a series of posts following this introductory post. I decided on a series since I think we are allowed more than one interpretation, and I don’t want to leave posts of epic lengths in my blogging trail – too cumbersome when blogs lack tactility. Better yet if spacing out ideas creates more room for dialogue, no?

This entry was published on December 6, 2009 at 8:06 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “The Noughties’ Aesthetic

  1. rueben on said:

    very well written dee. i love it.

  2. Garçon on said:

    hahaha…since when was fashion ever ‘meaningful’? you talking about the daft-looking keffiyehs draped effortlessly over the shoulder of some chic hipster? gimme a break! if self-gratifying displays of ‘style’, ‘taste’ or yet another meaningless reference to ‘irony’ can ever be a terrain for ‘ideas’ and ‘dialogue’, you wouldn’t need the intrusive concrete ugliness of the reality all this fantasy is trying so desperately to escape from, would you? except fantasy, however pretentious, is still an illusion, and reality, the actual world that we inhabit. try whitewashing or greenwashing that, eh?

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