Marchioness > Archive > Volume X > Daisy Davidson: Chasing Noughties Nostalgia Down Virtual Rabbit Holes
Interview by Zofia Zwieglinska / Edited by Jessica Ann Richardson
Daisy Davidson: Chasing Noughties Nostalgia Down Virtual Rabbit Holes
Marchioness meets Daisy, the founder of @hysteric.fashion — an ARCHIVAL ODE to the SUBCULTURES and ALTERNATIVE FASHION SCENES of the 90s/00s
Dissent, defiance, decora. Think Kandi kids with straightened hair and mopey fringes, arms covered in jelly shag bracelets. Emo kids blasting System of a Down in between classes, with layers upon layers of re-touched eyeliner. Cybergoth girls rocking buckled platform boots, waist-length green hair and guys in oversaturated skinny jeans with studded buckle belts. The distinct vibe of Harajuku accentuated by the catchphrase ‘Rawr means I love you in dinosaur’. Feels a little 2007? Think again, it’s happening right now in 2020.
While listening to Panic! At the Disco fizzled out quickly, early Game Boy chiptune remixes have returned from the dead through TikTok. Check any YouTube music videos from the ‘10’s and you’ll see hundreds of comments from fans dating up to today. Type ‘scene kid’ into TikTok and the hashtag has over 200 million views, with teens echoing the subcultural trends from the ‘10’s. Just look to Molly Goddard SS21 – even her repetitive frilly tulle skirts have found their edge with a classic scene checkerboard straight off Avril Lavigne.
While most TikTokers are far too young to remember scene, they reminisce about the ‘10’s all the same. Some early adopters from the time have remained ‘scene kids’ throughout, finding their voice on TikTok. MAD Molly (@mad_molly_creepypasta_xd) is one such self-professed ‘scene queen’. Her characteristic rainbow hair, anime lilt and Monster energy drink obsession has amassed a cult following of newly-christened ‘scene kings and queens’ across the platform.
Decade revivals are nothing new by a long shot. Repositories of time capsules lurk everywhere on the web – whether it’s throwback pics of the Friends cast, pages filled with Winona Ryder’s career-defining performances in Heathers or Girl, Interrupted or images of 90s celeb couples we’d forgotten about; Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Billie Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler and Joaquin Phoenix. However, meticulous archiving of ‘00-‘10’s fashion in particular has become an obsession on sites like Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. Dedicated fan pages post daily updates, similar to the scene and goth repository that is @hysteric.fashion.
Founded by Daisy, the @hysteric.fashion Instagram account is an ode to 90s/00s subculture and alternative fashions. A fan of 90’s Harajuku street style encyclopaedia FrUiTs, Daisy started Instagram posting as a way of recording her deep-dives into the chasm of the Internet for MySpace relics. Her archive of imagery has been meticulously researched and supplemented by the images sent in by her 28k followers, much of it sourced from comic-cons, street style snaps and anime frames. The name for the account derives from Hysteric Glamour, a Japanese brand popularized in the 90s and 2000s, about whom legendary fangirl Gwen Stefani sang ‘My boyfriend bought me a Hysteric Glamour shirt –they're hard to find in the States, got me feeling couture’. Her single Harajuku Girls idolised the style and it’s rarefied eclectic jumble that still embodies the famous Tokyo street to this day.
Daisy thinks people are drawn to the 90s/00s because of their nostalgia for shared memories. “I think it's a mix. The age range of people who follow my Instagram is quite varied, so it’s people who like looking for nostalgia and who probably wore that stuff in the mid-2000s. Then you have the younger kids, who probably didn't follow that trend and even though they didn’t, they still develop this fascination – a lot of scene revival kids follow me. They kind of look at it for inspiration, I think.”
On her page, commenters reminisce about fashions they used to wear, what they used to post on MySpace (before the site closed in 2008), using the imagery as a way to reminisce of a ‘better time’. Whilst studying at Catholic girl’s school, even my friends would come in wearing eyeliner up to the brow, overgrown fringes and Slipknot patches, fawning over Edward Cullen. I wonder if any of them reminisce about fingerless gloves and energy drinks now? The majority of @hysteric.fashion’s fanbase reject modernity and the slick, plastic style that came with KUWTK. They see the kitsch of these styles as more expressive and in some way, more comforting.
Goth and kawaii scene culture also went global, with meetups in Sao Paulo, Germany and France, providing a sense of tribalism to young people caught between the growing consumerism coming from channels like MTV and a shared lack of belonging in school. Nowadays, that tribalism is seeing a return with e-girl/boy trends on TikTok. The return to music from millennial childhoods and a longing for nostalgia can easily be linked to this year’s socio-political upheaval and the aftershocks of the pandemic.
The word “nostalgia” itself is a combination of two Greek words meaning “homecoming” and “pain.” Or, in other words, being homesick for the past. David Berry, a culture columnist for the National Post in Toronto has recently published his book On Nostalgia, where he delved into the meaning of nostalgia and why it is so prevalent amongst millennial culture. In an interview with the Edmonton Journal, David describes social media as these seemingly "perfect nostalgia machines. Instagram and Facebook can show you a picture from eight years ago that you didn't even think about, and there you are, trapped in that moment again. But the problem is that the way we engage with these things, it's just about that engagement. It's not necessarily any deeper.”
Even with the seemingly mini dopamine hits of belonging found through these pictures, such pages have amassed a huge following, with @hysteric.fashion at 28k and others like @90sanxiety at over a million. A study from 2013 by Cornell University showed that “music transmitted from generation to generation shapes autobiographical memories, preferences, and emotional responses, a phenomenon we call ‘cascading reminiscence bumps.’” These bumps were experienced by the subjects of the study – millennials listening to their parents’ favourite hits from when they were kids. Whose to say these bumps can’t also be experienced through fashion by kids now who are seeing images from past decades online in these repositiories, craving the innocence and rebellious streak of scene kids from the ‘10’s who never grew up on social media.
What's the most exciting part of creating your Instagram?
For me, it’s the deep dives on the internet, coming across a page of photos with pure gold finds. I mainly start by looking up Myspace goth searches on Google and then I lose myself down the rabbit hole.
What’re your favourite looks from the 2000s fashion scene?
I’ve been looking through old FRUiTs magazines from the late 2000s recently and I love that hot mess of a crossover which is the scene kid mixed with indie nu-rave – it’s kind of hideous but great all in one!
What would you wear on your wedding day?
A Vivienne Westwood pink bear corset. It’s my dream wedding outfit (top half anyway).
What's your most treasured item of clothing?
I have a Gaultier X-ray dress, it is very hard to find. I also have a character hat with ears on it that I love.
How would you describe your style?
Bad mix of trashy, posh and cosplay.
Which figures do you look up to in the industry and who inspires you?
Random people with 300 followers who do completely their own thing and are outside the area. I also really love people on Instagram like @megastraprincess – she is the epitome of mid 00’s style and does it so well!
What is your day job?
I resell Japanese designers as a day job on my site like Hysteric Glamour.
What most inspires you?
Japanese street style starts a lot of my searches, mixed with random people on Instagram and hot mess DIY creations.
What is the best advice you've been given?
To be patient. I was quite impatient when I started and I couldn’t wait for things, doing Instagram has helped me slow down. If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
What music do you listen to when working?
A mix of podcasts called Real Ghost Stories Online and And That’s Why We Drink. It’s mostly true crime, case files, but also Harry Styles, PC music – something that’s in the zone of what I am researching.
Where do you aim to be with her career in 10 year’s time?
Doing what I am doing now – selling pieces, but also expanding it into a bigger business, lending more items for shoots. I’d also love my own shop and a studio.
Most stylish film?
Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola. Apparently she likes Japanese fashion and was wearing Hysteric Fashion that inspired the style for the film.
London, Paris, Tokyo or New York?
Tokyo. I went in November but I always want to go back.
Couture or RTW?
RTW. Especially Ashley Williams.
Favourite fashion magazine?
Kira magazine and FRUiTS for Japanese street style. They’re my faves.