The world of fashion is one of the best places to search for signs of millennial spirit. If you look at what designers are creating for 2000, you’ll find an overall atmosphere where everything is over the top, pushed to the outer edges and carried to astonishing extremes, from which there are several prevailing themes: futuristic, fantastic high-tech; the return to nature/bohemian/ethnic roots; eclecticism, bricolage and the patchwork crazy-quilt layering of diverse styles and influences; plain weirdness.
A simple explanation for all this is that we’re behaving this way because we feel poised to enter “the future” ready for a lifestyle change; that at the same time we’re nostalgically clinging to he past and want to relive it as it slips from our clutches (or that, indeed, we wish to return to it and deny futurism); that we’re summing up our history by piecing bits of it together in a hodgepodge I-want-it-all manner; that we want to be vividly different in honor of the new millennium, and the only route open is weirdness.
To put together your own millennial look via the medium of makeup and hair, I advise a playful approach to the whole thing. Get creative, and put together your own interpretation that incorporates some or all of the above.
For the futuristic element, it’s all about anything that gleams, glimmers or glows with cosmic radiance. This can be skin makeup or hair makeup, but its essential feature is that it is radiant like stardust. Try a silver gleam on your cheekbones, glitter on your earlobes, purple shimmer streaks in the chemically created red of your hair.
A shaved head can convey the same sci-fi message, but the right makeup is essential, and don’t leave out the earrings. Odd colors can be used in this category, and then you’re segueing smoothly into the weird category. Blue lipstick, pale pink mascara and gold contact lenses also fall into this area.
The back-to-roots element is pretty straight forward. If you’ve got glitter on your eyelids, match this with a hippie hairdo (long and very curly, long and very straight, long with flowers tucked in) and you’ve got a very modern look already. Other rootsy elements are: patchouli essence as a scent, tattoos, henna and body-painting.
The patchwork effect may be achieved simply by adding to this mix a recognizable element from one of the iconic style eras: red lips from the ’50s; white lipstick from the ’60s; over-the-top eye shadow from the ’80s. One strong element like this will immediately give you that certain je ne sais quoi of style.
You don’t need to do anything else for the idiosyncratic look. But if you want to be truly in the fashion of the millennial moment, you can take it one step further and achieve true sublimity. A band of white painted across your upper face; a rectangle of red painted upon and around your mouth; a smear of black across your eye and brow area, as if someone had swiped you with a paint-brush. Any of these things will do it.
Hairstyles that go in a variety of directions can easily fit into this category as well, and so can almost anything else you might think up that you haven’t yet seen anyone else do.
You never know what you’ll find when you start exploring the possibilities for a new, millennial you!