The decade: The 2000s. Its icons: Christina, Britney, Lindsay and Paris who were turning up the heat not only on the airwaves but also on TV. Equally temperature-raising were their outfit choices: micro mini skirts, cropped tops, bumster jeans and baby tees. Yes, the Y2K was undoubtedly an era when skin and shock factor ruled.
The skimpy chic of 20 years ago has been co-opted today by a new generation of youths who are making no apologies for their propensity to show off skin. While the cyclical nature of trends means that fashion choices of the noughties are now primed for a comeback, the return of boobs, bum and legs goes beyond sleaze to focus on embracing the body and a sense of owning oneself.
One brand which is successfully driving home this P.O.V. is Miu Miu. Its Basic Instincts collection for Spring/Summer 2022 is officially described as “a reaction to and reflection of reality, an economy, a freshness found in iterations of eternal, universal garments.” What these “eternal, universal garments” entail is formal attire for the workplace and the office – symbols of the establishment and conservative refinement.
Miu Miu takes the micro approach to tailored skirts, shortening the lengths to 20cm.
While Miu Miu does not directly reference the 2000s as the inspiration for its collection, the short hemlines seen on micro mini skirts and the cropped silhouette of sophisticated items such as waspy cashmere sweaters and poplin shirts certainly fit the aesthetic of Y2K style.
The abbreviated silhouettes also hint at the subversive nature of the designs in the collection. There is something liberating about slipping on a preppy sweater that has been shrunken to become a cropped top or flashing a little hint of underwear and skin when you get into a pair of low-rise chinos.
(On left) Cashmere sweater, poplin shirt, jersey bra and briefs, cotton skirt, leather belt and loafers, silk socks, and Miu Wander matelasse regenerated nylon hobo bag. (On right) denim bralette top and jeans, metal hair barrettes, matelasse nappa leather shoulder bag with crystals, and New Balance X Miu Miu denim sneakers
The piece of garment in the collection that truly embodies the unadulterated spirit of Y2K has to be the pleated micro mini skirt. The cheeky design – it measures only 20cm in length – comes in cotton khaki, wool with Prince of Wales checks and smooth nappa leather. It appeals to all body types too, spanning eight sizes that start from a Size 32 going all the way up to a Size 50.
As for the frayed edges? Miuccia Prada has intentionally left them raw to expose “elements of construction” and to imply the spontaneity of taking a pair of scissors to chop off an erstwhile prim and proper skirt in order to reveal the body.
(On left) Embroidered organza top, denim jeans, calf leather shoulder bag, and New Balance X Miu Miu denim sneakers. (On right) Wool blouson, matching pants, metal earrings, matelasse nappa leather shoulder bag with crystals, and leather loafers
Sexiness as a form of rebellion and empowerment? To quote a line from Dirrty (2002): “Oh, I’m overdue / Give me some room / I’m coming through”. Ahead, our edit of some pieces from the Basic Instincts collection for your consideration.