Marissa’s loyalty to her associates; Ryan’s compassion for these in want; Summer time’s means to mild up a room along with her bubbly vitality; Seth’s fast wit and sarcastic humorousness. After rewatching Fox’s The O.C., which celebrates its twentieth anniversary immediately, upwards of thrice, I may wax poetic about how the primary characters’ lovable personalities have tugged at my heartstrings time and time once more. And never solely did I rapidly fall for the forged, however the collection’ definitive ‘00s model nonetheless has me in a chokehold to this present day. In reality, I’ve informed a number of individuals, together with lots of my fellow TZR editors, about certainly one of my favourite Instagram accounts, @fashionintheoc. Scroll by its feed, and also you’ll see how the beloved teen drama, which ran from 2003 to 2007, considerably impacted early aughts vogue.
Following the very juicy lives of the aforementioned excessive schoolers, The O.C. sparked a sartorial fascination with the once-sleepy surf city of Newport Seaside, the place the collection befell, in addition to the sunny SoCal area basically. “When it got here out, ‘informal California model’ was not a factor in tradition,” Alexandra Welker, the present’s costume designer, informed British Vogue final month. The stylist, in line with the outlet, drew inspiration from ‘70s and ‘80s skate and surf tradition when creating the characters’ particular person appears, including: “Nevertheless it very a lot grew to become a factor.” Together with her stylish spaghetti strap going-out tops and relaxed denim, nobody embodied the easy, Cali-cool aesthetic on the present fairly like Marissa Cooper (performed by Mischa Barton).
What’s extra, The O.C. paved the best way for a string of fashion-filled Southern California-based reveals that aired shortly after the collection, together with Laguna Seaside (2004), which led to The Hills, and The Actual Housewives of Orange County (2006) — which, after all, led to numerous franchises and the fact TV phenomenon. Contemplating the profound popular culture influence of its successors, it’s protected to say The O.C. was the unique reward that actually stored on giving.
However again to the style of all of it. Whereas, sure, lots of the outfits on the present had been laid-back (extra on these forward), the TV melodrama additionally spotlighted the splendid appears rich California prep college youngsters wore on campus — i.e. loads of sweater vests (rocked by the one and solely Seth Cohen, performed by Adam Brody), polos, and designer luggage. Ever since The O.C. honed in on the preppy aesthetic, the look has remained well-liked, which is a testomony to the present’s sartorial grip on the style scene.
However the costumes weren’t all high-end labels and cashmere — not to start with, anyway. Welker revealed in a 2018 interview with Web page Six that many Chanel purses Barton toted round firstly of the collection had been faux — gasps! — as a result of present’s tight funds, which the costume designer stated: “was a problem as a result of all the things needed to look tremendous high-end.”
The stylist had the same convo with Insider in 2021, talking concerning the charity vogue present within the pilot episode, when many designers denied her request for utilizing items within the scene. She understood getting turned down, although, seeing as nobody on the time may predict what a cultural phenomenon the present would flip into; Josh Schwartz, the collection creator, was simply 26 years outdated when it aired, in spite of everything. (Be aware: He created Gossip Lady, one other binge-worthy teen drama, the identical 12 months The O.C. ended.) However when the present’s star energy started to point out halfway by that first season, Welker began receiving a slew of requests from labels to function their appears onscreen.
Contemplating the numerous Y2K traits that started with The O.C., one can’t deny the present modified the best way we dressed within the early ‘00s. Because of Summer time Roberts (performed by actor Rachel Bilson) and Julie Cooper, Marissa’s unhinged mother performed by Melinda Clarke, Juicy Couture tracksuits grew to become a pattern that reached meteoric heights, with Hollywood It women like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears catching the velour fever.
Teeny-tiny miniskirts, too, grew to become an outfit signature inside the forged, together with for Olivia Wilde’s bad-girl character Alex Kelly (sure, the actor made a cameo on Season 2 as Seth’s girlfriend!). And when The Hills premiered years after The O.C., Heidi Montag adopted go well with, carrying micro hemlines harking back to these donned by Newport Seaside’s fashion-forward excessive schoolers. And I’d be remiss to not point out the Ugg boots Marissa wore throughout her time on the present, as teenagers throughout the nation quickly started strolling to class within the notoriously “ugly” footwear (myself included, clearly).
However what’s much more notable is how the collection’ signature model has returned to the style zeitgeist in recent times. Following Miu Miu’s miniskirt-filled Spring/Summer time 2022 assortment, the itty-bitty look roared again into the model world. Hordes of different designers, together with Diesel and Theophilio, jumped on board by presenting their distinct takes on the look, from the previous’s Fall/Winter 2022 belt iteration to the latter’s Spring/Summer time 2023 two-tone leather-based model. Then there’s the polarizing low-rise jean pattern, which has been slowly edging its approach again to into relevance by way of labels like Blumarine and Vaquera. Even Juicy tracksuits — a glance you in all probability by no means thought you’d see once more — have been revived due to collaborations with manufacturers like Ganni and Aries.
Whether or not you emulated the characters’ appears the primary time round or are simply discovering all of the sartorial greatness now (um, jealous), there’s no higher option to have a good time The O.C.’s twentieth anniversary than by recreating a number of the finest outfits with an assortment of Y2K items beneath. I, for one, will probably be copying my most-loved look from the collection’ four-season run, Summer time’s silky scarf and halter high mash-up she wore on the squad’s Tijuana journey, earlier than summer season (ha!) ends.