Stories Photo essay
Hair of the Indie Sleaze era

Words by Tara Young

"Indie sleaze" welcome back, you chaotic, messy scene. I feel like the mid-noughties were a moment in time when subcultures collided. Fashion trends, people and music; electronic, rock 'n' roll, punk, and indie intersected. Everyone came together and it was a big mish-mash of wild nights. The majority of memories lay in the cover of darkness until antics were uploaded to Facebook on a Sunday night, or Monday if your friend with the Canon DSLR had to edit their pics.

Jeans were tight, shoes were pointy, eyeliner was smudged and red lipstick was on thick. Tiny denim shorts and tights were a thing, there was a lot of leopard print, vintage shopping, music was cool and gigs were $5. As for the hair? There was an air of nonchalance; it was straight outta bed, fringe got swept to the side and off you went through to the next night. The term 'hot mess' springs to mind.

For me, this was during my early 20s, the formative years and life heavily revolved around music and fashion. It was just the beginning of Facebook and bloggers, horizons were expanding.

Without further ado, here is a fine selection of my edgy hair idols from the Indie Sleaze era.

Alison Mosshart = indie sleaze crush! Bed hair, fringe in eyes, smudgy makeup and a dash of leopard print. It was THE look and we were dancing on the table with The Kills 'Midnight Boom' on repeat

Florence and The Machine's album 'Lungs' came out in 2009, which was another album on heavy rotation. I'm pretty sure she's the reason I started wearing silky robes and kimonos, with docs and cute pastel colour hair.

Alice Dellal was straight out of iD Magazine. Well known for her long wild hair and sectional shaves; one side, both sides, undercuts. Yep, it was a moment for the punky indies.

IDGAF blonde, brass, yellow, dark roots. Everyone was doing it but no one was REdoing it :(

Wow ok, Pixie Geldof's hair is triggering because this is how my hair looked in 2009 as well. Like a Victorian up-do meets Patsy Stone from Ab Fab .

Agyness Deyn's bleached blonde bowl cut was a look for the true indie guys & girls at the time, top with a bowler hat and you were ready to flit about, spilling beer while listening to your fave indie band; if you were out at a show in NZ you would have been singing along to the Mint Chicks or getting thrown around with Die! Die! Die!

Alice Glass's bangs, choppy bowl cut and heavy eyeliner were iconic. I can hear "Crimewave" in my head and I'm feeling so nostalgic rn.

Yeah Yeah Yeah's were big Indie Sleaze energy. Karen O was one for these heavy bangs too, plus she rocked a rat tail come mullety situ at the back. An edgy and trendy look in the noughties.

Kate in 2012. This was the tail end of Indie Sleaze but this was an iconic image for me nonetheless, mainly because of the leopard print coat and cigarette. I lived to serve this look in my leopard print fur coat that I wore until the lining fell out and my bleached hair snapped off.

Ah, Alexa Chung, the coolest girl in the room. The one who dated that guy from Arctic Monkeys. She's definitely one for consistency because she's had this short, shaggy hairstyle since forever.

Before The Row there was...

If Indie Sleaze was an actual person it would be this exact image of Pete Doherty skipping down the street wearing mesh with an unkempt suit.

Can't have an indie sleaze memorial without Cory Kennedy. Her sweepy fringe, chains and wild curls will forever live on in the internet. A nod to Nylon magazine, too.

This is venturing towards the more 'electro' side of things with The Cobra Snake party photo vibe and people wearing cassette tapes on chains around their necks.

Ye in the mix, and Jeremy Scott's scarf.

Another sweepy fringe. M.I.A was colourful, clashing and always cool.

The only reason i'm putting this here is to remind you how silly these tiny headbands looked. Hope they don't recirculate.

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