Indie Sleaze, the return of a dissolute and glamorous trend

The 2020s are made for big comebacks. After the y2k, fashion faithfully follows the line of time and brings a dissolute and seductive style back into the trend, born around 2007. The Indie Sleaze – a term coined by TikToker and trend analyst Mandy Lee – was a strongly cultural and aesthetic movement influenced by musical subcultures, which characterized the end of the first decade of the new millennium and slowly faded away around 2015. The greatest exponents of this scruffy and glamorous trend were Kate Moss, ex-boyfriend Pete Doherty, the model and trendsetter Alexa Chung, singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira and the Olsen twins. Indie Sleaze today returns to revenge after the years of the pandemic, hand in hand with a strong desire for sociality, party life and sensuality.

Halfway between glossy magazines and uncomfortable gossip, the Indie Sleaze has depicted the contrasting aesthetics of a rebellious and nonconformist generation, rummaging through Kurt Cobain’s scruffy wardrobe and immortalized in TV series such as “Skins” and in the controversial shots of photographer Terry Richardson. Today, more than 15 years after its inception, the trend returns to fascinate nostalgics and new fashion enthusiasts with unkempt hairstyles, skinny jeans and plaid shirts. And while the Olsen twins have never really abandoned the trend, the Hadid sisters stand out as the new spokespersons for version 2.0 of the trend. Between decorated maxi bags, ballerina flats, colorful scarves and leather jackets, Bella Hadid confirms herself as the champion of archive fashion and wears garments that bring to mind the underground style of 2010. But Gigi Hadid also brings her version of the trend to the stage, between ripped jeans, Converse All Stars and fitted tops in chaotic colors. Olivia Rodrigo mixes indie style with y2k vibes with skimpy suits, checked miniskirts and vertiginous platforms, while Sienna Miller adds boho-chic belts to her semi-transparent dresses, alternating with checked pullovers and flared leather skirts.

In fashion, many designers have brought a contemporary ode to indie sleaze to the catwalk. Marc Jacobs has revived the vibrant charge of the trend in his “Heaven” line, launched in 2020, while Hedi Slimane has re-embraced his roots for the winter 2023 collection, in a glam-rock show to the tune of “Hello Operator” by the White Stripes. Indie Sleaze’s legacy is fascinating but full of controversies, from the hyper-sexualization of the body to the triumph of thinness, as well as an ode to the loose and libertine life as the key to eternal youth. In 2023, in a more socially sensitive and inclusive panorama, what remains of Indie Sleaze is an aesthetic and nostalgic design, capable of captivating the new generations and contaminating new fashion with creative cues from the past.

Tags: fashion , Gigi Hadid , Trend , Kate Moss , indie sleaze

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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