Pawel Szvmanski

The motion is "this house believes that Y2K influence in fashion is here to stay". Y2K nostalgia has dominated the fashion scene on TikTok, in high fashion and on high streets for the past two years. The Varsity fashion team has split up into ayes and noes to debate whether we love or hate it, and whether it has a long shelf life.

To begin with the ayes...

Amy Reid (Fashion Columnist)

When neutral tones and sleek, mature, form-fitting design dominated the mid-2010s, my heart yearned for a little of the gaudy fashion that reigned supreme in the early 2000s. Before the age of every celebrity look being the brain-fart of a team of professionally boring stylists, red carpet looks consistently walked the line between trashy and glamorous, and it was genuinely fun. Y2K fashion pioneered a spirit of unapologetic tackiness whilst producing some of the most breath-taking runway moments in recent history (you know the J-Lo Versace dress I’m referring to).

“My heart yearned for a little of the gaudy fashion that reigned supreme in the early 2000s”

When was the last time you could remember something a celebrity wore in 2014? That’s right, you can’t. After the snooze-fest that was the 2010s high-waisted, block-colour, ‘American Apparel’ era, I couldn’t be happier to see people swinging around a comically tiny handbag, dressed like they’re about to step onto the set of The Simple Life.

Kasia Truscott (Staff Writer)

The Ugg boot is back with a fleece-lined vengeance, and honestly? I’m here for it. They’re cosy, they’re comfy, they’re practical - in a way, I’m surprised they ever went out of style in the first place. Sure, maybe we’ll skip the phase where celebrities wore them all over the red carpet (Ashley Tisdale, I’m looking at you), but the Ugg boot remains, in my opinion, one of the most versatile trends to strut back out from the early-2000s graveyard with style.

The Mini Ugg boot is every ‘it’ girl’s choice of indoor-outdoor shoe right now, donned by the likes of Kaia Gerber and Gigi Hadid. Dressed down with a pair of leggings and an oversized vintage sweatshirt for a day of running errands, or dressed up with some baggy jeans and an oversized blazer for a more tailored look, it’s a versatile boot that brings the perfect blend of comfort and Y2K nostalgia.

Anna Chan (Fashion Editor)

Let’s talk about the brand carrying the current Y2K renaissance: Blumarine. Under the helm of Nicola Broganano and stylist Lotta Volkova, it’s become “dirty, bitchier, sexier” (in Broganano’s own words). The fur-collared knit cardigans, silky floral prints, matching sets, famous butterfly tops, sequins, sheer fabrics, low-waisted trousers and frills are after my own heart.

The combinations of colours are bold and exquisite: there’s a bright blue outfit with red hot boots, light blue fur trim on a red and lilac cardi, baby pink with rosy pink, a yellow set with blue fur, a lime green fur shawl over a red minidress. I love how the clothes sit on the body - it’s so laid-back, flirty, unabashed and glamorous. We all need a bit of that attitude in the 2020s.

Then the noes...

Eva Morris (Fashion Editor)

Every couple of months I see the same article: ‘Y2K is making a comeback!’. Cue style guides on how to wear your velour sweats, low rise trousers and perfectly smudged eyeliner. I do agree, the noughties had some great style, with hyper-feminine over-the-top ‘everybody look at me’ kind of looks. Right up my street. But Y2K has been around for a while. It’s nothing new. What we’re seeing now isn’t really the same Y2K revival we saw in 2018 with Burberry monograms and Juicy Couture. Instead we have gorpcore, everything crocheted and subversive basics. It’s highly influenced, sure, but let the same dull Y2K comparisons go. The 2020’s era is just beginning, it needs space to breathe and heaven forbid don’t start claiming Y2K is back again.

“It’s no wonder society needed a minimalism era to fully recover”

Emaan Ullah (Editor-in-Chief)

Characterised by low-rise jeans, rhinestones, and bubblegum pink, there's no denying that Y2K has made a return. There’s also no arguing with the playful and experimental nature of the trend: it pushes the boundaries of unfashionable fashion, and, for just a moment, makes us forget that we’re adults as we browse for baguette bags, baby tees, and butterfly clips.

However, it’s precisely this desire for nostalgia that will be its downfall. As we embrace the layers and the ludicrous, Y2K enters into a deadly conflict with timelessness – and unfortunately, this is not a battle that Y2K can win.

Sarah Abbas (Fashion Columnist)


Mountain View

Depop: It’s a love-hate relationship

I’ll admit, the reimagined styles of the Y2K era may periodically take my fancy. However, let’s not romanticise an age where the go to look was ‘burnt-out-disney-star-goes-to-collect-a-kids-choice-award’. With jeans under dresses, unnecessary belts and the urge to print ‘JUICY’ on everything, some things are better left in the past. The accessory vomit that dominated the 2000s is simply too much to handle alone; add clashing colours and excessive denim and it’s no wonder society needed a minimalism era to fully recover. So, while the 2006 babies scavenge through Depop in their endeavours to find a baby tee, can the rest of us move on to the next decade?