The age of the millennial is upon us and our influence today is evident everywhere you look, especially in the world of fashion.
In 2017, it’s fairly controversial but not totally unreasonable to say that millennials are ruling the world. As the young adults of today, we’ve earned ourselves a reputation for our culture, which includes our overly open-minded approach to other people and different cultures and, most notably, our reliance on technology, having grown up alongside the evolution of mobile phones and the internet. If we’re not baffling the generations before us with our social media habits (and apparent love for avocado toast), we’re using it to transform the way we think, act, and live, and fashion is no different.
In recent years, millennials have developed a more fluid attitude to gender. As more and more young people are free to explore the gender spectrum, unisex clothing is replacing specifically male or female clothes and the fashion industry has cottoned onto this quickly. So many brands (from fashion giants such as Vivienne Westwood to retailers such as John Lewis) have started introducing gender-neutral clothing, which, despite a lot of flak from critics, has been praised by the majority for their more inclusive approach to fashion. Another example would be Jaden Smith, who is known for his fluid style, has modelled genderless designs for Louis Vuitton, and even launched his own line of gender-fluid clothing.
It would be sacrilege to talk about millennial trends without mentioning the eponymous millennial pink. What hot pink was to the 2000s, millennial pink is to the 2010s. It’s hard to ignore the presence of the baby pink hue in almost every trend of recent years, with supermodels championing the colour in various outfits. Kendall Jenner infamously painted her walls millennial pink, and Charli XCX used the hue extensively in her ‘Boys’ video. It’s clear that millennial pink is here to stay.
The models ruling the catwalk themselves scream millennial. We have the obvious big names at the moment, such as Kendall and Gigi, who initially made their names through reality TV before moving to the runway. Despite their controversial rise to fame, these young models definitely cannot be slated for their grip on social media. Boasting record-breaking follower counts, and commanding hundreds of thousands of dollars for a sponsored post at any given time, these models have turned what is just an ordinary hobby for most into a business. The rise of the Instagram model is now.
However, there are even more extraordinary models who are fighting to open up the industry to more ‘types’ of women. Ashley Graham and Barbie Ferreira are examples of striking plus-size models who are blasting the ‘skinny is better’ ideals and rightfully celebrating curvier women. So-called flaws and imperfections, such as stretch marks and scars are celebrated as natural and beautiful. Just ask Winnie Harlow, who is living with vitiligo and nonetheless thriving. In an age where people are more open towards LBGT+ people, models are free to express their sexualities without exposing themselves to as many prejudices in the industry as there would’ve been in the past. Trans models such as Andreja Pejic and Hari Nef are also big names, revolutionising the way we think about the stereotypical supermodel. Diversity is ever-blossoming in our world today and millennials are more welcoming to this than ever before. Fashion has never looked better.
Words: Sasha Mossman
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