6 FEB - 2022
The rumors are true… indie sleaze is coming back and it’s better than ever.
With artists like The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, and Paramore recently dropping new music, we truly are about to relive one of my favourite moments in time - The tumblr era of 2014 that was indie sleaze or grunge. Music and fashion have always been linked so it's no surprise that the fashion term 'indie sleaze' actually originates from the musical genre of the same name.
But what actually is indie sleaze? Well, it’s a fashion aesthetic that’s a mix of 90’s punk rock and hipster. Some even say indie sleaze was our generation's optimistic response to the 2008 recession. Hipster fashion started slowly evolving into indie sleaze in 2008 and by the time 2011 rolled around, it was in full swing, only to hit its peak before transitioning into full on grunge by 2014.
This time around, we’ll be seeing ripped tights, messy hair, smudged eyeliner, and everyone will be wearing darker colours, as well as mixing fabrics, like sheeny purple pleather with fur. Everything will be a lot more camp this time. All very much reminiscent but not quite the same (thank god) as last time we saw the indie sleaze takeover in 2013. This time, there’ll be far less galaxy print leggings, aesthetic oil spill photos, ripped skinny jeans over fishnet tights, tattoo chokers, and chipped nail polish.
Everything will be a lot more camp this time. All very much reminiscent but not quite the same (thank god) as last time we saw the indie sleaze takeover.
Following the clean girl aesthetic, the return of indie sleaze was to be expected. Something messier, easier, and a bit more grimy. Plus this is what the fashion pendulum usually does - swings from one end of the spectrum to the other. We could see indie sleaze starting to creep back into society with darker fashion aesthetics like whimsigoth and catholicore appearing all over the place.
World events like the post-covid recession that’s looming also have an affect on what’s trending in the fashion world. Remember what happened last time there was a recession (in 2008)? That’s right, indie sleaze broke out onto the scene. These days, people are starting to embrace effortlessness, because we just don’t have the time we did during lockdowns to complete our 10 step skincare routines anymore. We want to be spending more time at the event and less time in the mirror getting ready.
Our lust for nostalgia makes us yearn for a time in our lives that was more comfortable, and trouble-free, like 2013, when our days were spent meticulously choosing which ready-made instagram filter to use, or changing our tumblr theme. Although the disheveled desire of indie sleaze still has a few seasons to go before it hits mainstream fashion again, I’ll be welcoming it with open arms when it does finally return. Let’s hope those old instagram filters stay in 2013 though.