In the late 1990s/early 2000s, as a culture, we collectively decided that being a kandi raver was like, the hottest look. Pairing tiny tops with wide-leg pants became synonymous with the burgeoning dance scene because it was functional: the tiny top kept the raver cool, while the wide pants could hold water bottles and illicit goods. And although the silhouette had been part of hip-hop culture since its inception (most notably, Aaliyah’s iconic uniform), the look really seeped out in the popular style vernacular once parents began clutching their pearls about MDMA overdoses at raves (please party safe, folks). Suddenly, giant UFO pants and bikini tops were everywhere, until they weren’t — but flash forward to 2021, and three harbingers of today’s fashion are bringing rave-style back. Emily Ratajkowski and Bella and Gigi Hadid all recently wore variations on this theme, bringing it out from the Gadzook’s sale rack and into high fashion.
On Instagram, Bella shared a photo of herself in a full Jacquemus look. Her tiny top consists of the tiniest pink knitted cardigan, held together precariously by a single clasp that is obeying her orders to stay in place. Clothes take commands from Bella Hadid, not the other way around. Her wide-leg cargo khaki pants are serving us serious high school weed dealer, complete with stash pockets for hiding contraband and zippers at the knee for showing a little skin after class. Somehow, Bella manages to look staggering gorgeous and not at all like us when we borrowed our boyfriend’s pants.
Meanwhile, Ratajkowski’s top is only slightly more substantial. Equal parts daytime rave and morning coffee run, she’s wearing a black top with a back cut-out, a modern twist on the classic crop top that will never go out of style. She paired her low-slung nylon khaki pants with sensible sneakers, ensuring that she will be deemed cool enough to gain entrance into Berghain.
As for Gigi, she was spotted wearing the polished version of this ensemble as she arrived at the Marc Jacobs Fall 2021 runway comeback show. Her black crop top and cozy brown pants are offset by delicate lace and mixed metal jewelry, along with metallic touches on her sunglasses and leather belt. All it takes to elevate the raver look are exquisite accessories, though being a supermodel certainly helps. Rave on.