Apparently Tik Tok has been obsessed with the fashion trend y2k. If you haven’t heard the word yet, where have you been? Now for all the praise that this trend has been getting with Tik Tok-ers, the phenomenon that has been sweeping social media is not in fact Y2K, but Mcbling. The Mcbling era occurred right after Y2k died and it does incorporate some of elements of y2k. So why is everyone mixing up the two? Its hard to tell how the lack of correct information keeps spreading and why, but many articles this year have regurgitated the same misinformation that social media is, so we will let you connect the dots and see who is being lazy here. Instead of placing the blame on anyone or spending a whole 1000 words trying to fix the problem, lets just dive into these two eras and clearly delineate what each trend it and how it got started.
Before Y2k was Brittany Spears in Baby Hit Me One More Time, and glittery bodies on the dance floor it started out as a technical term for a computer bug. It was an overhyped situation that you can google on your own or look at here. It’s actually pretty important so take a quick glance. The term eventually encompassed fashion, art, architecture, design, aside from its computer/technology origins. This era fueled this futuristic idea of the new millennium and what it could look like. Throughout history we know that culture surrounds itself around new and innovative ideas. Its always the creatives who latch onto the future and lead the way for pop culture to take hold. It makes sense that a lot of art and media was centered around the technological advancements of 90s. It was easier than ever to create these dreamscapes of the future. The economic boom of the 90s and an overall sense of economic relief coupled with advanced CAD systems and better 3d modeling, photoshop, after effect and video editing software made more widely available allowed designers and artists to envision in 3D. They were now able to play with effects like translucency, gradients, overlays and make circular 3d renders which was a lot harder to do previously. It was much easier to make a diverse range of art at a faster pace. This rise in tech is embodied in y2k culture. According to y2k Pioneer and founder of archive and catalogue Tumblr pg “The y2k Aesthetic” Evan Collin’s the movement really gained traction from roughly 1993 to 1998, with the design aesthetic reaching its peak in 2003 (the rise of Mcbling ya’ll). But what specific fashion elements defined this trend? Let’s take a look.
Utility wear: Every Raver remembers hitting the club in a pair of lightweight oversized cargo jeans and a crop top. On the runways and in editorial magazines the rave/club scene was were some of these bold styles were scene.
This is a huge comeback trend in the latter half of the 2010s into now especially in Kpop where idol fashion is heavily influenced by the chains and straps of this era.
Shiny Synthetic Material:
Translucent rubbery material is essential to the y2k movement and not only in fashion. Girl groups like Blaque and Missy Elliot can be seen wearing these translucent coats and these man
- Sunglasses: Every decade has its sunglasses moment, and the 90s had so much diversity that y2k look fit in perfectly. Oakley was the brand that popularized the smaller, alien-esque sunglasses, some with polarized and gradient lens giving them a space vibe. Denis Rodman was the king of wearing these sunglasses. Whether intentional or not this eyewear really mirrored big alien eyes and the lenses were lined with metallic silver and gold frame giving off that futuristic spacey vibe. Many sunglasses were gradient with no metal frame and huge making it look like you had a computer screen right in front of your eyes, as if you were browsing the web or had some sort of AI leading your way. This style really influenced McBling sunglasses which we will address later.
- Bubble bags: Teresa sported one of these as a kid! Bubble bags literally looked like bigger versions of shrink wrap bubble paper. But the style is not only limited to the bubble shape. Anything with a gradient, translucent or has a hint of futurism but kind of cringe, its y2k.
- Platform Shoes: Spacey, oversized platform shoes saw their first shining moment in y2k. Who can’t get enough of the astronaut platforms. Take a look at some of the images
- Tech Shoes: Teresa’s favorite pair of Nikes are the futuristic looking ones that mirror the 90s vibes. There are some seriously horrible tech shoes, that look very foreign and other worldly but there are also some great pairs too.
Printed graphic tops:
Leather: The Matrix was really the pinnacle of sci-fi and the Y2k era. It came out at the peak of the trend, right near the Y2k scare and it opened the world to what technology in there URL could do. Up until this point a lot of sci-fi movies conveyed this idea of a dystopian future that looked like an alternative culture but The Matrix led viewers into a world not unlike ours now with this underbelly alternative universe that was different because of the technology. Leather, black and those long trench coat style jackets marked yet another evolution and inclusive of the y2k era. is lasting and has been worn throughout many decades but the shiny sleek look of the material fit the futuristic concept that y2k embodied.
To the fashion execute that thought it was ok to make a million tiny space buns on your head with braids coming out of them, I have words to share with you. Some people believe the clothes were taking y2k over the top or maybe it was the polarizing shoes, but really It was the hair. Like Left Eye from TLC?! No Scrubs?!
The resurgence of y2k is really not that off-brand if you ask us. In the music scene, much like the 90s is where it really started to take off again. Notably Charli XCX has really found a space to incorporate some of these lost tenants of Y2k into her aesthetic and like the 90s the music mirrors the fashion. In the 90s the pop landscape was dominated by techno and electronic music like trance and dance. It was very edgy and futuristic. In the 2010s till now, the technological advancements in music have created a space for these more cutting edge and futuristic sounds that Charli plays with. Her single 1999 really says it all. If you look at Kpop the fashion landscape, especially with the rookie group AESPA, many of these y2k era is making a resurgence. If you’re interested in learning more about Y2k and its presence in art than take a look at this page. Up next, the rhinestones and pink sparkles of Hollywood Trashcore that is currently trending all over the nation.