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Face It: S Club 7 Is Responsible for the Way We Dress Now

Coming to terms with all of the trends they started.

by Anne T. Donahue
Nov 8 2014, 4:30pm

Now, 15 years after their first one, I’ll admit that I still have no idea what an S Club party is. I assume it’s 99% dancing in a desert, and 1% whatever the show was about. I still don’t even know what the band name means—that's up for your interpretation—but there is one thing we don’t need to assume: S Club-mother-fucking-7 birthed half the shit we wear today.

Yeah, you take that audible gasp and you feel it. I preach the truth. Either S Club 7 called 2014 style, as we know it, or we unknowingly pay homage to them daily because despite their dance moves lacking longevity, their wardrobes certainly did not.

And I have all the proof you need, right here. Draw an “S” in the air, and celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the album we were all too embarrassed to admit we owned. S Club 7 were a set of goddamn fashionistas.

MATCHING MAKEUP + ACCESSORIES

Let me just say what we’re all afraid to: “Bring It All Back” is both the worst song and the worst video ever made (I’m sorry), so I’m certainly not going to include it to prove my point because no thank you. But do you know what I will include? A less terrible video (for “S Club Party”) and Hannah Spearitt’s blue bandana and matching eye shadow—which are along the same lines as makeup seen at shows by Altuzarra and BCBG this fall (to name a few). So yeah, that’s right. Fashion is bringing it all back now. So don’t you ever apologize for matching makeup with outfit choices, just like no one apologized for this very strange video premise.

CROP TOPS

Crop tops are things that exist now, and existed then, and existed even before then. So with that fact in mind, I riddle you this: were members Hannah, Rachel Stevens, Jo O’Meara, and Tina Barrett merely jumping on the same bandwagon as Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears circa Y2K? HELL NO. S Club’s desert soiree took place in 1999—and that was the same year that Britney sang “Baby One More Time” and Aguilera was a “Genie in a Bottle.” The playing field was level. Miley Cyrus could’ve been influenced by anybody. (But probably these guys.) Crop tops are just as much an S Club thing as combining random letters, words, and numbers to form a band.

LEATHER FOREVER (AND SHEER SHIT, TOO)

Leather! Behold: the same fabric that was featured by Balenciaga, Gucci, and Balmain in their FW 2014 collections. BLESS. (Think: tops, skirts, pants, jackets, bags, and/or whatever it is Rachel’s wearing here. Which actually may just be a random piece of fabric. But who cares! It works!)

And then we’ve got Jo (who’s got the flow), who’s working Dion Lee’s mix of a sheer top with a leather bottom (if we want to keep the FW references coming, which we obviously do). Did Dion Lee create this piece as homage to one of the most forgotten bands of the early 2000s? Absolutely not. But today we will pretend, for this is my Yellow King, and I will win this.

#NORMCORE

And so I ask you: Gap ad or S Club’s “Two in a Million”? You decide. (Though it is obviously “Two in a Million.” As if I would include a Gap commercial and undermine everything I’ve been fighting for.)

Dress Normal™.

FUR

Now back in 2000-2001, you probably weren’t wearing fur or faux fur because we were all wearing peacoats, puffy jackets, vests, or two hoodies and saying, “Oh my GOD, Mom, I’m fine.” In fact, I hated this video because I thought everybody looked ridiculous. (Look at them! Look at those boots! What the shit?)

But look what the cat dragged in. First: a lot of puns. Second: THE ENTIRE SONIA RYKIEL COLLECTION. Neutral, warm, oversized—both the F/W line and Jo and friends’ pieces are truly winter-ready. Even if “Never Had A Dream Come True” has nothing to do with winter at all. (Because that didn’t stop me from crying to this song when a boy didn’t like me back.)

EVERYBODY IN (ANIMAL) PRINTS

At some point a costume director said to these people, “Please wear all these things at the same time.” As a result, most of us never truly recovered. However, individually, each piece makes sense and you can apply them to—you guessed it—2014. Observe: Bradley wears snakeskin like he’s right out of the Givenchy F/W collection, while Jo sets the stage for Blumarine’s zebra print route. Meanwhile, Carven’s oversize retro florals are a little bit like Hannah’s (albeit brighter), and Jon’s Hawaiian shirt is just better than most of the shirts any of us actually own.

Sadly, on a heavier note, this video serves as a reminder that foam parties exist. Frankly, I’m sorry to end on such a downer, but the good news is while you spend the day shuddering at the memories of standing in foamy water alongside your very high and drunk former classmates, you now have the music of S Club 7 to pull you out of the flashbacks of pouring soap out of your shoes.

Take care.

Anne T. Donahue is a gem and you should follow her on Twitter.