‘ChromeHeartscore’ or ‘Affliction McBling’? Introducing the nameless trend reviving Y2K fashion

By Monica Athnasious

Updated Mar 31, 2022 at 03:25 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Among the return of many 2000s fashion moments—think jelly shoes, low-rise jeans, phone charms, bicep bracelets, to name but a few—emerges another epithet of the Y2K revival. One that has been quietly trending next to the visceral palette of gen Z’s mainstream adaptation of the Y2K aesthetic. For many, it neighbours the Ed Hardy era (others disagree) but definitions of the name are divided. It’s a 2006 rocker chic, ‘Affliction McBling’ or ‘Afflictioncore’, Sons of Anarchy girlfriend, True Religion jeans, studs and stripes, Chrome Hearts amalgamation that is what many view as cyber grunge Y2K or cyberpunk Y2K.

Other names suggested for the aesthetic from avid fashion enthusiasts on TikTok include: ‘rockoflovecore’, ‘apocalyptic angel’—a reference to the saturation of cross and angel imagery—‘Urbling’ or simply ‘rocker chic’, which I personally find to be too generic of a term.

@thealgorythm

Suggestions welcome too! 👀👇🏼Its so specific, I can't find it's name anywhereeeee #trendpredictions #alternativefashion #00snostalgia

♬ CHANCES (INSTRUMENTAL) - KAYTRANADA

 

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While just surfacing in notoriety on the app recently, the aesthetic has been clawing its way into popularity over the past few years—a reemerging and flourishing trend that has us saying “Where the hell have you been, loca?” It was there at the nostalgic junction of the Twilight renaissance married with the rise of grunge fairycore, goblincore and cyber Y2K that this style may have begun its trajectory comeback.

‘Chromeheartcore’ or ‘Affliction McBling’? Introducing the nameless trend reviving Y2K fashion
‘Chromeheartcore’ or ‘Affliction McBling’? Introducing the nameless trend reviving Y2K fashion
‘Chromeheartcore’ or ‘Affliction McBling’? Introducing the nameless trend reviving Y2K fashion

While it may not seem like it, to many, the aesthetic shares core pillars with its iconic Y2K companions in what is more traditionally known as the ‘cyber look’ as well as the Paris Hilton-esque glam of McBling. But don’t get it twisted, it’s not cyber in a bright wild futuristic neon alien way but in a MySpace, grunge, rebellious way.

On top of that, the aforementioned ‘Affliction McBling’ also shares elements with its pink twin. The McBling era of the 2000s, if you’re old enough to remember, was, in a nutshell, everything extravagant, glamorous popstar. We’re talking: the stylings, drama and looks of Britney Spears, Hilton and Beyoncé, flip phones (we all wanted one), bedazzled everything, maximalism and jewellery. In one word, bling. 

Where it deters from these is what cements this style in its own lane. A lover of this aesthetic would find themselves in dark, distressed colours—we’re talking Affliction and Cotty On here—skulls, angel wings, giant crosses (embellished with rhinestones, of course, for that McBling element) and accessorised with endless adornments from none other than Chrome Hearts. You’ll also find acid grey denim, gothic lettering, buckle galore, leather, stripes, daggers and a good pair of platform shoes. Other delicate touches that elevate the aesthetic appear to come in the form of fishnet and ripped tights as well as lower back tattoos—which have also had their own sex-positive, empowering comeback.

‘Chromeheartcore’ or ‘Affliction McBling’? Introducing the nameless trend reviving Y2K fashion
‘Chromeheartcore’ or ‘Affliction McBling’? Introducing the nameless trend reviving Y2K fashion
‘Chromeheartcore’ or ‘Affliction McBling’? Introducing the nameless trend reviving Y2K fashion

But not everyone has taken a fancy to these resurfacing trends, begging for the aesthetic to never make it back into the mainstream. Commenters on The Algorythm’s video put forward their own hilarious, mocking definitions for the clothing. To them, it’s a ‘WWE glam’, ‘youthpastorcore’, Tiger King, “tacky,” ‘christianrockcore’, “dating a guy that watches MMA,” ‘nickelbackcore’ style that should be left in the past.

People’s distaste for the fashion trend seems rooted in the issues that often came with the subculture when it first gained traction—a specific kind of “Republican” energy that one can only assume is not the most attractive trait. Let’s just hope that this time, it won’t be the same.

Though without a distinct definition just yet, it’s hard to say just how far this trend will find itself in the mainstream despite dominating social media platforms like Pinterest for about two years. If it does, it’s going to need a name, so we’re wondering, what would you call this aesthetic?

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