Dear TikTok, It is impossible to make indie sleaze work

Dear TikTok, It is impossible to make indie sleaze work

26.04.2022 Off By manager_1

woman playing guitar while singing

Contrary to popular belief, this trend is not going anywhere. This is why.

Think back to the early 2000s. You’re likely to be wearing a tank top that hangs casually from your body, with your eyeliner smudged and your hair backcombed.

Although it might seem difficult to picture 2022 as a time of slouchy clothes and barely-there make-up, and hair twisted into all manners of bobs and giddy curls, the internet shows that the fashion trends of the early 2000s are back.

Mandy Lee, a fashion commentator and content creator, uploaded a TikTok video entitled Indie Sleaze Revival at the end of 2021. Lee says that there is “a lot of evidence” that Indie Sleaze/the Tumblr aesthetic will return and she needs to discuss it. The clip has been liked nearly 300,000. “Indie sleaze exploded in the early 2000s. This is based on the trend cycle of 20 years.”

We were told by Jess Cheng (creative lead at The Digital Fairy), that “after the early 00s era, came the indie-sleaze in the mid-to-late 2000s, which was a natural progression of the fashion cycle.” “As we saw with the 2000s aesthetic, what feels fresh for Gen-Z is an important nostalgia trip for millennials. I believe elements of ‘indie style’ will be accepted across generations. Vintage jackets, smudgy eyes, and a digital camera are all possible.”

Particularly in the UK, there were some key figures whose shoulders the original indie sleaze revolution was carried. They include Henry Holland, Agyness Deyn, Henry Holland’s best friend, and Alexa Chung, a TV presenter and fashion designer. Along with their group, they have a number of well-coiffed, long-smoking friends.

These characters epitomized the British indie-sleaze revolution of the early 00s. There are no doubt nods to early 00s fashions in the current collections. This is most evident in Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent’s grunge aesthetic and the ubiquitous vertiginous platform heels that look like the Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots. But indie sleaze has not returned.

Here’s why. Agyness Deyn, who had not taken a job since 2012 announced that she would be leaving modeling and the fashion industry in 2014. Later, she ruled out a return. Henry Holland’s 2006-founded eponymous label went into administration in March 2020. Alexa Chung’s 5-year-old label, which was named after him, suffered a similar fate earlier in the year. The designer stated that it had been difficult for small independent businesses in the past few years and that his own label was no exception. Meanwhile, Pete Doherty, another Pin-up, is opening a Margate hotel.

The times have changed for the British indie sleaze era’s faces. They have moved on from the sleaze of their 20s that was a spotlight-grabbing lifestyle to a more peaceful, quiet existence. These are not the same people who were trying to be indie sleaze. Styles that characterized the indie sleaze period – all thin bodies, cropped leather jackets and hair backcombed to the last inch of their lives – are not what fashion today exemplifies. Indie sleaze was characterized by body positivity, which has become a common term in fashion. These were the years when TikTok was a reference to analogue clock movements and multi-billion-dollar shapewear lines were not possible. Indie sleaze, and its flash-in the-pan trends, are nothing more than a remnant of what was in mid-late 2000s.

An Instagram account dedicated to @indiesleaze have more than 40,000 followers. Global shopping platform Lyst may have seen a spike in searches for platform boots inspired by indie sleaze, but this trend is a myth.

It is easy to see how fashion has adopted curvier models. They were not the mainstay of the indie sleaze era. Oversized silhouettes, which are hard to find evidence of in the 00s, “cheugy” skinny jeans. Indie sleaze’s true hallmarks have been relegated to the past. Meanwhile, the leaders of the movement have grown out of their skin-tight jeans and tumbling platforms. The 70s-inspired penny-lane coats, sunglasses and crochet dresses are today’s hottest trends. None of these were created during the age of indie sleaze. While trends might be able to work for 20 years, indie sleaze is a temporary phenomenon that should not be ignored.