Like so many of the fashion trends of the last 100 years, the original indie look is one that was born and bred in the UK. Moss, with her tiny mud-splattered denim shorts, oversized leather jackets and smudged mascara encapsulated it, but where Moss led, Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller and Agyness Deyn soon followed. The UK, for the first time since the Cool Britannia movement of the Nineties, was at the forefront of fashion.
Some of the British domination of this trend is due to the prevailing aesthetic of London – more than the other three fashion capitals, the city has always favoured an extrovert yet unvarnished approach to fashion. While the New York It girls of this era (Olivia Palermo and Nicky Hilton) had perfect blow-dries and immaculate make-up, their UK equivalents would go out with artfully messy hair and a bit of mud on their dress from a weekend festival their boyfriend was playing at.
Looking back at the trend, it clearly comes from a pre-Instagram era. Pictures young women took of themselves on a night out were likely to stay, forgotten, on their camera chip, rather than shared with the world. This meant women were less self-conscious and happier to break any fashion rules.
Equally, the trend was also born in a pre-financial crisis era and a few commentators have suggested that one reason why younger millennials felt they could party hard and rebel was because they were entering a robust workforce. Fifteen years later, and Gen Z doesn’t have that privilege.