Then Amy Died


Pomegranate02: Camden, 2006 (CC)

From the Guardian:

I saw a man in skinny jeans and winklepickers the other day, and found myself transported back to a time when I cared about men’s shoes. “I used to go wild for men dressed like that,” I told my bemused husband, who is older than me, and so didn’t buy into the early 00s indie scene and has never worn a pair of drainpipes in his life. Later that day I discovered that indie – or rather, the early-millennium indie aesthetic – is back, as popularised by the nostalgic Instagram account @indiesleaze and the TikTok trend.

This is being old, I guess. “Are you ready for the return of indie sleaze?” Vogue asks, and the answer is no, I am not, because it was what, five minutes ago? I suppose it comes for all of us eventually, that feeling, which my mother fondly remembers as being encapsulated by the day I appropriated her boots from the 90s, declaring them “vintage”. Friends ponder whether the internet has accelerated trend cycles and, while there is probably something in that, it’s also time for ageing millennials to accept that, like every generation, we will be forced to see our youth subcultures appropriated and sold back to teenagers. “They’re selling Nirvana T-shirts in H&M now,” I remarked a few years back, offering an unwittingly late-capitalist bastardisation of Withnail and I (“They’re selling hippy wigs in Woolworths, man”).

I was an indie girl, as the boys called us then, though I was never as much of a scenester as some of my friends. Yes, I drank at the Hawley Arms and the Good Mixer in Camden, went to Trash, saw the Strokes at a tiny secret gig. I wore the skinny jeans and the ballet pumps and the leather jacket, though I was always too Welsh to fully jettison the fake tan and eyelashes. On balance I preferred the way we dressed for the less pretentious nights out at indie clubs in Liverpool and Manchester: Converse-puncturing stilettos, prom dresses, big beehives scaffolded by rollers, but all with that slightly down-at-heel, sordid edge – smudged eyeliner, bra straps showing, big wet pouts – complemented by how our clothes smelled the next day of stale cigarette smoke, sweaty dancefloors, Chance by Chanel, and snakebite (God, snakebite!).

Samuel Regan-Asante: The Black Cap, 2020 (Unsplash)

“Gen Z are bringing back ‘indie sleaze’, and I suddenly feel ancient”, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, The Guardian

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