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The Revival of the Y2K Aesthetic

The future is looking back. Are you?

Illustration by Isha Arora


From around 1995 through 2004, the Y2K style (also known as Kaybug) was prominent in popular culture. It is defined by a distinct aesthetic period, incorporating fashion, hardware design, music, and furniture that gleam with tech optimism. Today, you can see it in fashion. It may be found in video games. It may be found in design. It will be heard in music. It's become entwined with the Crypto Art movement. It's grunge, anime, pop, and a lot of technology.

Talking about graphics and art, Both 2D and 3D art are used in the Y2K aesthetics. Thick lines, stark minimalism, and a lot of iconographies are common in 2D art. 3D art has a more "blobby" appearance, more gradients, and a gleaming appearance. Chrome, ice blue, ocean, brilliant oranges, glossy white, and black are all common hues utilized in Y2K art (for line works).

Although Y2K is a relatively new notion, many brands that were prominent at the time are still there, and one might readily anticipate that these brands will play a significant part in Y2K. You'd basically look like the late-'90s/early-'00s raver or a member of a boy band from the era. So what does a desired Y2K girl look like and where did Gen-Z's obsession for sassy 2000s attire originate from? The Y2K fashion refers to the late 1990s and early 2000s clothing and accessories. Think Mean Girls' Destiny's Child, Paris Hilton, and Regina George.

Low-rise jeans, slogan blouses, tiny skirts, and Juicy Couture tracksuits were all the hype five years ago. Butterfly clips, colourful square eyeglasses, chunky clay rings, and beaded necklaces are just a few examples of the accessories available.



There's also the matter of current beauty trends to think about. Colored eyeshadow, space buns, and pigtails are all part of the Y2K look.The Y2K girl is one of the many fashion trends that have emerged from TikTok. She is a constant in a world when other trends come and go. Every time you open your Instagram, a new girl is wearing her space buns and executing an Urban Outfitters haul. And there's no evidence that she's gone. On TikTok, there are several Y2K hashtags, with the Y2K fashion one receiving over 100 million views so far. Well, I am ready to see what it takes. Give me technology that is transparent, visible, one that is unique, colorful and extravagant. Let’s successfully bring back the future.

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