Is "Indie Sleaze" Making a Comeback?

Betsy Cleaver explores what the return of the indie sleaze era means for us...

Betsy Cleaver
11th March 2022
Credit: Twitter
First it was 90s nostalgia and then the Y2K trends filling our screens and our wardrobes. Now, in a post-pandemic world it’s the early 2000s “Indie Sleaze” movement that’s tipped to be making a comeback. With an aesthetic that’s based on sticky-floor indie bands and “heroine chic'' models coming back into the mainstream, what does this revival mean for our playlists, fashion choices and culture? 

Originating in the early 2000s, the 20 year trend cycle model means that it's about time for “Indie Sleaze” to be gaining popularity once more. The era characterised by skinny jeans, leather jackets, dusty band tees and trilby hats, mixes 90s grunge (think: the iconic photo of Kate Moss hanging out of a widow smoking a cigarette) with some of the questionable style choices of the 2000s (please, no more feather headbands). 

For girls, you wanted to be Alexa Chung or Effie Stonem, and for boys it was Alex Turner or Pete Doherty. Provocative American Apparel adverts, amature style flash photography of crowded clubs and polaroid cameras dominated the Instagram Feeds.

So, what about the music? To be considered fully on board with the “indie sleaze” trend, your playlists should be full of bands like The Libertines, The Strokes (“Is This It”, a staple for any indie music fan), Razorlight and LCD Soundsystem. Chaotic guitar bands with sing along anthems sums it up!  And, with The Kooks going on tour and Bloc Party set to release an album later on in the year, the “Indie Sleaze” music genre is truly making a comeback.

In a post pandemic world, people are craving the return to gigs and wild nights out, perhaps feeding into the reason that this trend is starting to become mainstream again. Hate it or rate it, the indie music genre will always be popular, but the fashion style and aesthetic becoming popular once more is going to be an interesting one to look out for! 

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