Let’s play a game: the ghosts of fashions past. Between the ages of 13 to 17 years old this picture is somewhat blurred. The rotation of style choices as bad as the boys I had crushes on (a rite of passage) have long been stowed away in the ‘Best Not Bring That Up Again’ memory pile. The mid-00s was famously a sartorially awkward time, when velour tracksuits, ill-fitting tube tops and low-rise jeans were de rigueur. Though, teenage styledom is always going to be a bit awkward: a chess game of trying to fit in, race to the adulthood aisle and also find your unique groove.
Fast forward a decade and now Londoners are celebrating the teen-drobe in a myriad of ways for autumn / winter 2020. Marques’Almeida’s latest collection, for instance, was an ode to feminine youth, taking inspiration from hit US melodrama Euphoria. A series that became renowned for its characters' fashion credentials as much as its riveting portrayal of the Gen-Z experience on screen.
Translated on the runway? Curated chaos made up of party dresses paired with chunky stomping boots, graffiti prints, Big Bird-style marigold coats, and acid-washed denim. A bold, nuanced and colourful reflection of today’s youth in revolt rightfully taking up more space.
MARQUES ALMEIDA AW20
“This collection, and the work of M’A, is a product of Marta and Paulo’s obsession to understand what it means to be young in whatever present world we find ourselves in,” according to show notes. “An instinctive mix of references that appropriates the past in such a way that direct links and references are there but lost, and the final result becomes a direct representation of now.” Adding: “It evokes the freedom this generation, and young generations before them, have always craved.”
There were more literal teen references, too. Ashley Williams’ show packed a powerful nostalgic punch; a playful homage to looks that any self-respecting 00s teen will have likely experimented with. Think purposely tacky tees, diamanté detailing and the almighty of retro accessories…a Samsung flip-phone. Elsewhere, for anyone who cancelled their weekend plans to binge on Netflix’s docu-series Cheer, you’ll be particularly fond of Mimi Wade’s Americana-infused model army (yes, those really are pom pom handbags).
ASHLEY WILLIAMS AW20
Designers are taking notes from Generation-Ennui re-writing the style rulebook. (The one-size-fits-all, ‘sweet sixteen’ uniform of girlhood is reductive; unrepresentative of the full spectrum of teen dressing today, where trends are a mere afterthought). Note to self? Be more inbetweener.
IMAGES | SHUTTERSTOCK