How to look indie sleaze


Get the Look: These days you can’t swig a Red Stripe without someone bringing up the indie sleaze resurgence. So for this week’s column, The Kimbino unpacks the dirty, filthy Tumblr days of Sky Ferreira, Pixie Geldof and Loud-era Rihanna.

In this brand spanking new column, Instagram’s favourite fashion historian Kim Russell, AKA The Kimbino, will be taking current trends and characters as seen on screens, and turning them into super cool looks for you. She’ll scour the deep depths of Depop, plucking out the hottest new finds and saluting the Big Names week after week, while dissecting the sartorial styles of TV and film’s most-loved characters like a lab frog. Better start saving those pennies…

Listen up, I’m about to make a confession: I am a Tumblr girl. Always have been, always will be.

My peak Tumblr days in the late 00s coincided with the rise of indie sleaze – an era steadily reemerging from the fag ashes of yester-year’s basement parties. The girls that were so often reblogged all over my feed include Lindsay Lohan, M.I.A, Zoe Kravitz, Kelis, Lana Del Rey and Mischa Barton, to name a few. Personally, I found myself most drawn to Rihanna’s impromptu Coachella performance in 2012, Ashley Olsen in a fitted maxi skirt and Sky Ferreira wearing that green bomber.

So, for this week’s Get the Look, let’s take a trip back to indie sleaze. It was a time when fashion was all about clashing colours, American Apparel, rude slogan T‑shirts, charity shops, filthy hair and, of course, having maximum fun with a can of Red Stripe in tow.

Make-up of this era usually involved a bare or red lip (there’s no in-between), with a smeared or smudged dark eye look because you’d be out somewhere having a good time. Take Rihanna, for example, who at Coachella 2012 sat on her bodyguard’s shoulders and rolled a joint on his polished bald head, while making good use of her Ray Ban’s to hide the mess that the desert heat had probably made of her makeup. While I can’t supply you with the green, I can help you with some sick threads to one day pack into an overstuffed suitcase, before you jet off to party in the desert sun like a true indie sleazer. Ahhh.

Sky Ferreira

Who better to look at for indie sleaze-spiration than one of the OGs? Sky Ferreira is the popstar with the icy, platinum blonde locks and dark roots that you wish you’d had in secondary school. It’s hard to emulate this cooler than cool energy but, for you guys, I’ve tried my utmost.

I began with a pleated skirt – pleats are my thing right now. It’s black, gorgeous and you definitely need it. Sky would also probably throw on a button up shirt with the intention of layering something fly over it, so I found two pinstripe shirts, one by Maison Margiela, that I think fit the bill.

This shirt on Depop has this is never perfect” printed across it. Very indie sleaze. With a pleated skirt, I only imagine pairing it with the sickest pair of boots. I’ve managed to find a pair of Nodaleto x Marc Jacobs boots on Depop in great condition (full price is still available on the Marc Jacobs website). To top off the look, I threw in a navy bomber jacket, a slight variation to the classic green one Sky popularised back in the Tumblr days.


This was Rihanna’s Topshop (RIP) era, and if I’m not mistaken, her whole outfit minus the shoes were found there at probably bargain price. Unfortunately for you lot, I haven’t been scouring Topshop’s website. Instead, this Ashley Williams tube top is light, airy and perfect for an indie sleaze festival-goer, and it’s totally transitional with the right jacket at night. I’ve paired this with a dark denim skirt from A.P.C, because you can’t go wrong with a mini skirt. I’m going to be honest and say I hate music festivals, but if i had to go I’d wear a pair of comfortable sneakers which is where these Nike Cortez come in. You may have to fight over sizes and prices, but that’s not my problem. To tie the look together for a daytime session. I’ve added a Pucci headscarf and a pair of cheaper (but still cute) ASOS sunnies to keep everything – and everyone – out of your face and eyes.

Pixie Geldof

All hail Pixie Geldof, undisputed queen of indie sleaze. It wasn’t hard to find my favourite Pixie look to rebuild for you guys. When I skimmed through look after look, this leather jacket and checked skirt combo hit me hard. There’s nothing cooler than an it girl in a leather jacket, graphic tee, mini skirt and a loafer or boot. Luckily for you guys, I’ve given you a few options for leather jackets. I’m really not trying to break your bank two columns in, but it was tough.

I started with a third eye T‑shirt from 1017-ALYX-9SM. I then skimmed the pages of ASOS for a checked skirt and found two options – a stretchy houndstooth and denim check – amongst their 200 different styles. I found four different jackets, two of which are at a standard price point for leather, while another is 80s vintage and the last is a bank breaker from Acne Studios. Whether it’s worth it is for you to decide.

I compromise a lot on shoes, but with this look, I couldn’t leave out the Prada Monolith’s that I myself have been eyeing for weeks now. I want to live vicariously through you guys, so please buy them. As much as I love the Prada’s, I also added a pair of Dr Martens x Basquiat shoes to the look which has a much friendlier price point. I hope this look fulfils your Pixie fantasy. If it didn’t, what’s wrong with you?

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