On the eve of the millennium, the change to the 2000s was seen to be more than
the turn of a calendar page or the ticking forward of a clock—the very idea of the “year
2000” became the receptacle of people’s hopes, dreams and fears. For centuries both
apocalyptic and Christian resurrection fantasies had been forecast for that date, while
since the 1950s science fiction films and books had foretold space age living by that time. As this highly anticipated date approached, fashion designers and manufacturers had to make sense of all these previous speculations, integrate them and then put forth their own ideas about how we would all dress in this new era. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there were a number of different responses—retro plunges into the past, sci-fi utility dressing, decadent party wear and faux-folkloric ensembles all strode down the catwalks in 1999 as designers individually sought to define future fashion.

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