The 2020s have been nothing short of disruptive, and the current—often unstable—state of society has consistently translated itself through the realm of street fashion. Across all generations, there is an undeniable consistent display of reminiscence. Whether it is due to the inability of a trend to develop, or the simple desire to draw inspiration from elsewhere, street fashion looks to be stuck in a decadal phase.
Los Angeles is a place that requires no explanation as to its significant role in trend development. However, the general public are trapped in a stylistic haze. This is not a negative event, but rather one deserving of fascination; the tendency for fashion to act as an outlet is not a new concept. When all else fails, people choose to look back in time at the garments their parents or their grandparents wore.
Punk Rock Chic
Shuffling through closets and thrift store racks is in alignment with the zoomers, but its recent prominence has spread to other generations too. Tien, 27, and Emma-Cecilia, 31, often find themselves browsing through bookshelves at Silver Lake’s Stories, a self-proclaimed quaint bookstore that doubles as a café. They sit in the furthest corner from the front door, beneath dim lights with lattes in hand. Tien, dressed in all black and donning a long coat and knee-high boots looks towards the 90s for her wardrobe. Across from her, Emma-Cecilia sits legs crossed, cradled beneath a broad-shouldered blazer; to no surprise she prefers the punk rock-funk mix that only the 80s could provide.
Early Aughts Hybrid
Closer to the shop’s front, Nekisha, 21, proclaims she gravitates towards the early-2000s, but “not necessarily Y2K”, and tellingly so. From a cropped black top hidden beneath a bright green knit cardigan, to the bootcut leather pants it falls on, her outfit is far from the leisurewear commonly attributed to the decade that closed the curtain on the 20th Century.
’60s Punk Alt Basics
Not far down the street, just outside of Cosmic Vinyl—another Silver Lake-based business that sells vinyl records and coffee—Dillon, 29, paces down the sidewalk. He goes for a punk-alt look that parallels with the bright purple palettes of the ’60s.
A 20-minute drive—or one-hour trip on the metro—lands the Angelino in the Melrose District; a familiar landmark to the aspiring model off duty. In a glance towards the past, Tayvion, 21, and Tam, 18, look back to the 80s and 2000s for their daily attire. Tayvion wears a beaded necklace that falls beneath a statement heart-shaped chain. His pants are distressed, just as the Y2K era would have called for. Tam holds a miniature black bag next to her pants, which are beige and baggy—as if they’d just been snatched from a Tears for Fears music video.
Modern Luxury Casual
A stroll into Melrose’s premiere consignment shop, Wasteland, encompasses the true blend of decades that fashion faces now. Berets and bucket hats find themselves on the heads of people wearing baggy pants, flare jeans, and everything in between. Tyler, 27, and an employee at Wasteland, ponders as her suggests that “every two years” he changes his fashion sense. He is rather tall, but the garments he wears drape on him in a way that complements his height; a simple graphic tee, light wash jeans tucked into olive boots, and a yellow do-rag with white details to top it all off. He mainly thrifts vintage, but states he aligns with more of a contemporary style. In this, he outlines something ranging between the early 2000s and now, but like Nekisha, nothing too Y2K.
’70s Streetwear Chic
Right next door in Beverly Hills, Gilberto, 39, takes a break from holding his Dolce & Gabbana bags to pose. Green is on theme here, as his mint slacks and accented Gucci shoes build off of his checkered blazer and horn-rimmed sunglasses. In a play on the ’70s style he prefers, Gilberto pulls off perhaps the most well-coordinated outfit seen that day.
New Age Grunge
Atop the stone inlays of Rodeo—just outside of Tiffany’s—Delaney, 23, touches base with the Gen Z anomaly. Her all-black chunky heeled boots rest under grey slacks with what she describes as a “baggy silhouette”. A black turtleneck hides beneath a brown denim jacket, all brought together by a little red bag. She characterizes her favorite decade to draw from as the pop culture enigma that is the ’90s.
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.