If you were born sometime between 1990 and 1998, you probably remember what it was like to grow up as a teenybopper or wee child in simpler times of the early 2000s. It was the era of Lizzie Mcguire, Bratz Dolls, Neopets, crimped hair, Nokia cell phones, temporary tattoos, Gameboys, and more. And while I’ll try to refrain from getting all “Only true 90s kids will remember this!!!!” –– I could go on and on in a reminiscent trance.
What came with a new century was an added world of life-altering technology and innovative fashion that acted a precursor to the be-all-end-all days of smart phones and social media addictions. The 2000s were all about the future, and as a result gave us a plethora of wild style fads and aesthetics. Think platform flip flops and sneakers, sportswear as formalwear, frosty makeup, Baby Phat and an overabundance of denim mini skirts (what a time to be alive). And whether you consider these past fads regrettable or iconic, the dream of the “double zeros” is alive and well for some who were just barely too young to fully embrace whimsical life as budding millenial.
Believe me, I know how utterly ridiculous and potentially pretentious this subculture sounds. Bringing back trends that were relevant only 10 years ago? Preposterous. But this mixing of an era recently passed with influences from anime and goth culture amongst other sartorial facets –– called Cyber Grunge –– made it hard to look away when I stumbled upon it through Instagram. After scrolling through hundreds of pictures from the accounts of aspiring Cyber Grunge fashionistas, my initial weirded out attitude towards the trend soon turned into deep appreciation and nostalgia.
Recurring themes in the look quickly brought back memories of what was 2cool4school in my elementary days, ala tattoo chokers, knee high socks and clear backpacks. But alongside the “sweet as a peach” juvenile vibes of Cyber Grunge, lie elements of Myspace-esque emo angst and a sense of outspoken rebellion –– unique to those growing up in this century.
And although its impact only reaches as far as Instagram and Tumblr, cyber grunge is no doubt the next street style fad to inspire runway collections (Jeremy Scott anyone?) and editorials alike –– in the same way nightclub and Hip-Hop culture managed to climb up the high fashion ladder.
So whether you consider the still-murky world of Cyber Grunge to be a weak attempt at recycled innovation or another major trend to gain momentum through the power of the interwebs, its prevalence within a growing community of eminent online-based sartorialists is undeniable.
To get the “Raven Symone meets Sailor Moon” hardcore princess getup, follow the visual examples below! And want more style inspo from the babes whose outfits I featured towards the end? Follow @charliexbarker, @internetgirl and @asherbritton on Instagram, respectively!