Before you laugh at another one of my Madonna song headlines, listen up: Y2K fashion has been on the rise for the past few seasons and everything ’90s/Noughties is hot on trend right now. Cropped tops, bras as tops, low-riding bottoms and tiny bags are crowding the runways and walkways of all the major fashion weeks (and yes, Madonna wore them all before they were even on trend). The hottest models are trotting out in mules (again!) while their significant others clomp around in daddy sneakers (why?!) and jogging shorts (!). It’s all a case of déjà vu, which is great for all the twenty-somethings looking for a hit of nostalgia after two years of hoodies and sweatpants. And what a flesh parade we have: From Alaïa to Zuhair Murad, legs, chests, tummies and arms are all exposed to the elements this season via cutouts, slashes, slits and peekaboo lace. And it’s not only for women. Men have not been spared from this skin flick, with Fendi cropped tops, Prada tiny shorts and Ludovic de Saint Sernin mesh two-pieces that leave little to the imagination. Associate Fashion Director, Jeffrey Yan, explores why this season’s micro shorts (and its accompanying shrunken tops) is the one trend that has legs on page 121.

Not just a hark back to the Paris Hilton/Britney Spears days of “style”, this celebration of nakedness, or versions of it, makes sense. For the past two years, the pandemic has forced us to retreat indoors and we’ve shielded ourselves in comfy, baggy everything as we schlepped around at home, with a quick blazer thrown on for Zoom calls. The recent re-examination of traditional definitions of gender norms has also led men, women, and everyone else in between, to become more comfortable in showing the world that they’re not afraid to #livetheirbestlives and truly express themselves with fashion that’s not defined by societal dictates. What better way to make a public statement than with your body and fashion choices? See Alison S. Cohn’s wonderful read on page 60, where she breaks down the body politics of this era.

Talking about eras, let’s jump straight into the future with Emma Chamberlain, the 20-year-old social media star gracing our cover this month. The YouTube and Instagram sensation, who has over 26 million fans across both platforms, has won loyal hearts across the globe with her wholly authentic, stream-of-consciousness style of videos and posts—and she’s self-deprecatingly funny to boot. This American girl has amazing comedic timing, and uses belches, bloopers and “realness” as punchlines, connecting with her audience with a “hanging with friends” style of conversation and direct eye contact. It’s clearly working. And she’s now channelling her fame into yet another passion project: Her own line of sustainably produced and certified organic coffee. Plus, she’s the current darling of Nicolas Ghesquière of Louis Vuitton and recently presented celebrity looks on the Met Ball red carpet. See her take on various fashion styles and find out more about her on page 144.

And don’t forget to check out our extensive report on the spring/summer 2022 collections on page 64, which showcases so many brands pushing out looks from the Noughties, it’s like a Rolodex of Madonna’s many guises on the runway. The Material Girl has once again shown how relevant she continues to be; I’m just impressed that a 63-year old woman is vicariously teaching teenagers how to look hot in 2022.

—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief 

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Photographed by Yu Tsai
Creative direction by Windy Aulia
Styled by Martina Nilsson
Fashion: Louis Vuitton
Makeup: Sir John/CAA
Hair: Rob Talty/Forward Artists
Manicure: Bana Jarjour/Star Touch Agency
Production: Trever Swearingen/88 Phases
Digital technician: Luis Jaime/88 Phases
Photographer’s assistants: Embry Lopez; Jamie Kang