Last week, I ran down some of the notable trends of the 00s and as the year’s end is fast approaching, so is the much beloved/hated decade, that which we shall not speak it’s name (because we never agreed on one for it). Here are three more items that are so characteristically early 21st century:

Geek chic

Following the Eternal September, AOL and other Internet Service Providers took away the complex image of HTML code and began a new mainstream acceptance of the internet. No longer was it a private forum reserved for the nerdy and virginal. Everyone was getting in on the act which meant, as with many other cultural phenomena, the aspects of that specific world were embraced by many. The aesthetic of the archetypal geek became de rigueur beginning roughly in the mid 90s and spilling over onto this decade. Finding ourselves in new social theaters (such as Facebook) and better production values furthered the popularity of this image.

In the 90s it was regarded as a rather niche look, in the 00s it became main stream popular. My guess is that the quirky trend was influenced by the new-found individualism of the early part of the decade- stronger then it had ever been since perhaps the 60s. It’s also a throwback to those high school films of the 80s as the nerd in those movies looked more like a regular 50s/60s teenager than lowly virgin.

Side bangs

The staple parting of the pretentious seas, side swept bangs became the hairstyle of the 00s. Much unlike the 80s were big hair was king, flat styles ferociously survived and spilled over from the nineties, albeit in variations of the type. This hairstyle was exploited by both sexes and became synonymous with hipsters and that culture. Eventually big hair returned as well as an appreciation for up-dos and casual, less severe looks to ultra formal events.

Fashion: On and Off the Rack

A host of important designers lent their names and therefore brands to many discount outlets like H&M, Kohl’s, Target and many others in an attempt to bind the previously stuffier world of high fashion to the everyman (and woman). No longer was a second mortgage required in order to live out the ‘Sex and The City’ dream of owning a handbag by your favorite designer. As with many other things, such as the new piracy on the interent, the 00s were about accessibility for everyone. It became something of a shout out to regular consumers who, instead of recreating these looks with cheaper items, decided to chuck the whole style thing all together and introduce an attempt to scandalize the very notion of high fashion. These collaborations revitalized the fashion industry and gave it the sense of wonder it once had, not the contempt that existed in the earlier years of the 00s.

Short and sweet, much like these past ten years. See you in the 90s: Part Deux!

Happy Christmas, Homos. Help me out here, Santa:

Don’t be a stranger, but do be stranger.

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