These days, what’s old is new again in fashion, and a range of ’90s silhouettes are returning to present-day red carpets. With in-person events officially back on the calendar, celebrities are clearly making up for lost time, placing a range of nostalgic styles on our radar. They’ve recently taken a liking to low-back dresses that dip just far enough to offer a glimpse of butt cleavage, heralding the comeback of another Y2K trend.
These backless gowns were a popular choice at the Vanity Fair Oscars party last month, with numerous celebrities embracing the style. Hailey Bieber made a grand entrance in a nude Saint Laurent dress with wrap-around side cutouts, while Zoë Kravitz opted for a creation from the same designer, which featured a high neck and plunging back. Meanwhile, Hunter Schafer stunned in a slinky, denim Rick Owens gown with an open back.
Cat Quinn, executive director of global trends at MAC Cosmetics and self-proclaimed “trend whisperer,” recently called out the return of the trend on TikTok, predicting the resurgence of lower-back tattoos in conjunction. In fact, Bieber has already hopped on the train, showing off a rhinestone butterfly tattoo on her lower back just last week.
Lower-back tattoos, or better known as “tramp stamps” (a nickname steeped in misogyny), became popular in the late ’90s and early 2000s, championed by celebrities like Aaliyah, Britney Spears, and Nicole Richie. The fashion icons of the early aughts paired their tattoos with low-rise jeans, open backs, and exposed thongs to draw attention to their ink. Temporary iterations have already started gaining steam online, with almost four million views under TikTok’s “lower back tattoo” hashtag, which is filled with users inking their own.
The low-back trend is just the latest manifestation of Hollywood’s love affair with Y2K fashion, following ab-baring crop tops, kitschy accessories, and low-rise everything. Ahead, see how celebrities have been wearing the look.