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The window to watch: 2000s

by Michael Weare
5 October, 2011
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

Johnny Depp 1

What clothes, what watches, what cars and what music were people into in the 2000s? This is the sixth in our Window to watch series of feature articles that walks through the decades in terms of changing tastes in these key areas.

The main picture shows actor Johnny Depp whose career took off like a half dozen space shuttles all at once in the 2000’s. Maximum thrust was achieved with the hugely lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the gargantuan success of which probably bewilders even Johnny Depp himself. But Depp has always been Tim Burton’s actor of choice for all his projects including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and many more. If it’s outlandish fantasy and it’s not Harry flaming Potter, it’s got to be Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp is perhaps one of the most versatile actors of his day and age in Hollywood, although he wisely lives far from all the hoop-la in the tranquil South of France with one time singer Vanessa Paradis.

Fashion: Skater boy

Skater look

Of course skateboarding had been around for decades, and then, the fashion industry discovered that kids would pay big – or rather get their hard working ‘rents to pay out silly sums to adopt the casually scruffy beat up uniform so beloved of skaters. Jeans could be floppy and low cut so that half your ass would fall out of them, or skinny cut so that you could show off your new pair of over-priced Dee Cees or Mark Ecko’s. Superdry jackets and Superdry tee shirts at $50 a pop completed the look you could have had for a tenth of the price at Primark if you were only willing to lose all your street cred.

Watch: Mobile phone

Mobile phone

That’s right, a mobile phone. Starting in the 2000’s kids started abandoning the wrist watch in lemming like droves. Try as you might, you couldn’t get a 19 year old kid to bother with the traditional rite of passage of wearing a decent wristwatch. Not when a mobile phone was constantly in hand, there to send incomprehensible text messages twenty times a minute to friends they had just seen two minutes earlier. It was at this point in evolution that time telling gravitated from the wrist to the thumb.

It made watch makers sit up and take notice. Watches needed to play catch up, and become a whole lot more alluring in terms of size, stature and scope. Today imposing, statement making watches have never looked cooler and a lot of younger guys are starting to pay attention to them for the first time. There’s still a lot of bare wrists out there, but the watch, which for many of us never went away, has made a comeback.

Car: The new MINI

Mini Cooper

From the moment it was introduced in 1959, Britain fell madly in love with the Mini Cooper. So when the original ceased production in 2000, this most British of cars, whose fate now rested with its German owners, BMW, immediately set about introducing the new MINI – in caps. The new MINI is much larger than the original Mini. It is around 58 centimetres (23 in) longer, 50 centimetres (20 in) wider, and 7 centimetres (2.8 in) higher, but that pales into insignificance when compared to the most important thing for all lovers of the brand; it’s now more achingly desirable than ever.

The new Mini has managed to retain the classic Mini look and at the same time replace the dank, cramped musty interior of the original with a look that is clean, sleek and sexy. On 3 April 2007, the one millionth Mini rolled out of the Oxford Plant after six years of production, just one month longer than it took the classic Mini to reach the same total in March 1965.

Music: Keane

Keane

With the working class revolution well and truly over, Keane’s synthesisers and arty lyrics were forever sailing across the airwaves from 2004 onwards. The band caused something of a middle class revolution (lead singer Tom Chaplin’s father was the Headmaster of a school in ultra conservative East Sussex) with their unusual line up of three members, none of whom played guitar, but relied instead on synth keyboards.

With the release of their first major single, Keane began to achieve recognition in the United Kingdom and the United States. In January 2004, Keane was named the band most likely to achieve success in the coming year in the BBC’s Sound of 2004 poll. Keane’s debut album, Hopes and Fears, was released on 10 May 2004 in the UK, just a day before the band started their first world tour. It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and has been certified 9x platinum in the UK. They were definitely part of the soundtrack to 2000’s Britain, and refreshingly, they owed none of their success to Simon Cowell.

 

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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