“Not Okay” Costumes Perfectly Capture Influencer Fashion and Y2K Nostalgia

Zoey Deutch in
Zoey Deutch in "Not Okay"

Not Okay is the latest social media satire taking the world by storm and its costumes are as wild and flashy as the film itself. The fashion choices of its “unlikable female protagonist” Danni Sanders are heavily influenced by Y2K nostalgia and they have a deeper meaning.

Not Okay tells the story of a wannabe writer (Zoey Deutch), who finds overnight social media fame after pretending to be a victim of a bombing attack during her fake trip to Paris. Sanders is in her mid-20s and clearly a millennial, but her fashion choices look straight out of TikTok and have clear Gen-Z influences.

This is not a coincidence and director Quinn Shephard explains that her style was influenced by some of the most popular micro-trends of last year, such as Emma Chamberlain’s nails, TikTok money piece hair, and Y2K-inspired fashion.

“Danni is a character who doesn’t like her life as an adult very much, so she loves trends that make her feel like she’s in middle school again, which perfectly lined up with the shift toward Y2K fashion that was just starting in summer 2021 when we filmed,” Shephard told WWD.

Sarah Laux worked as a costume designer on the set of Not Okay and she believes that Danni “basically has no style, other than messy.” She’s just a consumer, whose closet is full of disposable fast fashion. Her rise to social media fame reflects that as she pivots to Instagram-friendly fashion and beauty trends that perfectly reflect our own reality.