Skirts that ride too high, jeans that rise too low, and bling, color, and accessories from head to toe. Fashion is cyclical. And the return of the once referred to as “tacky” trends from the early 2000s is the perfect example of that.
Y2K Fashion (as we now call the culture influenced by icons like Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah, Bratz dolls, and Paris Hilton) and its mix of futuristic, retro, and pop culture influences are being reborn into today’s looks books. With metallic fabrics, couture classics, and chunky shoes, this movement has it all, and it’s easy to see why it sprouted as a favorite of Gen Z and their ever-changing style this year. But, beyond its unique aesthetic, Y2K is about fun and experimentation, and nostalgia, everything at once.
- Baby One More Time: The 2000s, But Today
“Because it was the transition of a century, I think that the 2000s is clearly a change between the ‘old and the ‘modern’. It was a decade of plot twists in many aspects”, says Luiza Gil, founder of the Brazilian apparel brand A.ROLÊ. A 90s baby and, therefore, a 00s kid, Luiza transformed the influences of her childhood and channeled her afternoon memories of watching music videos into a contemporary ensemble, as a part of the brand’s 2020 collection, Bel Air. “It was a gift to myself, supposed to be a nostalgic visit to a place in my life — my childhood and adolescence — which was so special”, she reminisces.
“Looking at my teenage pictures, with low rise pants, platforms, Tamagotchis, it was really fun. Revisiting all the music hits and videos, paying attention to every detail in that aesthetic fascinated me”, Luiza explains, on the creative process behind the throwback collection. Bel Air, indeed, brings out the Y2K essence, with pieces paying homage to Britney Spears’ classic jeans look and gloves inspired by Sam from Totally Spies!, among other pop culture references.
The best part of it all, though, to her, was the adaptation: “to combine elements from two decades ago, with fabrics and present-day shapes, and realize that, from this mix, was born a beautiful and authentic collection”.
- A.ROLÊ & 2018
A.ROLÊ saw its beginning in June of 2018, São Paulo. Luiza Gil, after moving from Rio Grande do Sul, started working in editorial productions, alongside renowned names such as Marcell Maia, Renata Correa, and Vogue’s then Fashion Editor Yasmine Sterea. However, as a part of this fashion ecosystem, she found that archives and thrift shops were limited in options for more outlandish pieces.
With this came a realization: if there was something that the market lacked, that something was supposed to be made by someone. And Luiza decided she was up for the part. With her attentive look on the fashion market, A.ROLÊ was established, having as staple turtlenecks and patterned gloves — items she herself loved.
This is something that the brand prides itself on — is unique. “We want to pass the message that you can be even more powerful than you can imagine. We know and see the self-esteem of our clients rise when they wear our pieces because they are unusual. Our clothes are the proposal of the new”, states the creative director.
With national fabrics and handmade, per-demand items, they seek to bring out new experiences, new proposals, new shapes to every consumer. Artists like Pabllo Vittar, Anitta, and Iza are some of the clients who have dived into the creative universe of A.ROLÊ.
- Strong, Independent, Vanguardist
“The creative process is, actually, numerous ones. But the main thing, that in fact leads to the idealization of the pieces, is observation”, Luiza says. Inspired by big designers like Mugler, Courreges, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Balenciaga, A.ROLÊ is defined as “strong, independent and vanguardist”.
This, however, still leaves space for personal and sensible touches, as the brand is also inspired by the stylist’s grandmother: “the bright patterns, for example, is an aesthetic choice I have that was brought by my grandma, a woman that was always ahead of her time and loved to mix. It’s intricate to the brand’s soul, as it is to my own”.
“The best thing about our fashion is that we have a very defined DNA, and people never know what to expect from us”, the creative direction concludes. Their latest collection, Brasil Delírio, is only a taste of all the tones and shades that A.ROLÊ can encompass — from sweet, nostalgic 2000s to fun experimentalism.
This article was edited by Thays Avila
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