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Marques’Almeida is ready for its closeup. The fall 2023 collection, which designers Marta Marques and Paolo Almeda showed in their native Portugal, was a blast of Y2K references in electric technicolor hues that all but screamed, ‘Instagram girlies, come take a look at THIS!’ In theory, the idea may seem incongruous with Marques’Almeida’s signature alternative aesthetic, but once you see a pair of bubble pink recycled polyester taffeta wide-leg cargo pants worn with a strapless dress fully open on the front and secured with an extra long belt (and accessorized with a matching cowboy hat), it actually makes perfect sense.

“We have this idea that the 1990s were the coolest thing based on our older siblings; the grunge was the cool thing,” Almeida explained (he is the youngest of two, and Marques is a middle child). “But the reality is that we started consuming fashion in the noughts. We were secretly listening to Christina Aguilera,” he added laughing. “We’re at the stage now where we have a slightly younger team, and it made us go back and look at [the decade],” Marques said. “They were like ‘this is amazing!,” and we were like, ‘Really? Is it?’”

“[Ultimately] it comes from us having found this really big drive to do stuff more maximalist and more celebratory. We don’t want to tone it down and this Y2K millennium vibe is great for that” Marques added. And so their fall collection is an extravagant ode to Gen Z and fashion’s favorite current decade, a mix of pop princess and techno raver that is unabashedly joyful. Another formal cargo pants ensemble came in an acid shade of mustard, this time worn with a corset embellished with an oversized (deconstructed) fabric flower—a new kind of more overt sexiness that the designers haven’t necessarily indulged in before. It was also present in a gauzy neon pink ruffled slip top worn with floral brocade trousers, and another all-over brocade set consisting of a corset (with a bust line shaped like devil horns) and big cargo pants. Apropos of the devil horn-inspiration, there were also so-bad-they’re-great lime green and pink flame appliqéd leather pieces. Elsewhere, a silver trench coat and matching “boyfriend” jeans resembled leather but were in fact made from coated denim “with a soft flannel feel on the inside.”

Towards the end came dresses and separates in a bold “graffiti” print—pulled from actual photographs of graffiti and peeled-off wheatpastes—that were like abstract, chopped ,and screwed versions of Lisa Frank. Two calfskin coats with oversized shearling trim on the collar and sleeves, one in acid green and neon pink, and another in lime green with lilac trim that looked straight out of Clueless (the TV show) were just too bonkers to be anything other than fun. The model in the latter was “particularly happy that that was her look,” Marques said. “They got all the references and it was such a great experience to see them kind of empowered; they incarnated the [clothes] so much better.” Also empowered? The little kids that walked hand-in-hand with many of the models, wearing the M’A kids line; one of them could be seen waving at the crowd as she walked on the runway. Happy clothes! What a novel concept.