Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Grunge 2010

Screw the 'the new demure' - I'm all about 'new grunge'! I posted this on my Polyvore a year or so ago - must be some kind of fashion savant (I kid).

New Grunge

Ever since Kristen Stewart rocked the plaid shirt in Twilight I have noticed a huge shift back to grunge - Pixies & Pearl Jam are touring, everyone is being seen in Doc Marten's, plaid shirt, opaque black stocking with floral button up dresses, velvet ribbon chokers and rocking the beanie. The High St stores are following suit & I even just scored a little black & ochre floral zip-up front number from the House of G!
Kim Gordon appeared on Gossip Girl as Rufus fondly waxes lyrical about touring in the early 90s. One show was even a flashback to the 90's - let's hope that spin-off eventuates! Speaking of Gossip Girl – little Taylor Momsen is channeling Courtney Love in a big way. And many celebs are doing the plaid-shirt-grunge- jeans style thing - Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen are the current Queens of grunge.
Courtney was a star in her day, I loved her style – baby doll dresses, shock of platinum blonde hair and a slash of bloody red lippie. Queen cool. Even now she still features heavily in the top fash mags and has her own fashion Blog.
And yes, as usual it all comes back to my fave Kate Moss – the latest ‘Queen of Grunge’! Love her style and she has always kept the grunge look, adapting it with her rock chick looks and to the latest trends for the last 20 years. This article a year ago in The Sunday Times UK.
In the meantime, I’m rocking my Kate Sylvester Menswear plaid shirt, buttery soft and in beautiful blue, taupe & grey shades. While I’m a bit old for baby doll dresses, I’m also seeking out some neutral coloured floral dresses with button down fronts & cinched waists that I can throw on over black opaque tights with boots. My beanies will also be getting an outing. I just don’t know that I can go back to Docs - they take so long to break-in! Gotta be soft and slightly munted. So, Kurt & Courtney’s rock progeny Frances Bean has just turned 18 and inherited an estimated 40% of her father's fortune. 18! My gosh, time flies!!! Seems like yesterday that a friend came to me saying “Oh my God I have heard this amaaaazing band, you’ll love them – Nirvana!” The rest, as they say, is history. Grunge was born in the early 90’s in Seattle, with bands like Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and of course, Nirvana championing a look of plaid shirts, boots, baggy combat pants, woolly cardies & long lank hair. Of course it was all about the cold climate and being skint. I started University in Dunedin in 1991 and had no idea the clothes we were wearing were part of a worldwide phenomenon – I just thought it was what students wore in freezing cold Dunedin. We were all broke, living in freezing cold dilapidated flats with Jane’s Addiction, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the Pixies to keep us warm.
My standard outfit in 1991-1993 was Doc Martens, boyfriend’s work/Norsewear socks, beanie, fishnets, short velour culottes or Karen Walker Mini-Kilt (she was a fledging designer with a small boutique on High Street then), black tight polypropylene jerseys and about half an inch of smudged black eye-liner. I was in love with movies such as Singles, Gas Food Lodging, Natural Born Killers and Reality Bites.

We watched TV shows Twin picks (lumberjack chic) and My So Called Life, which had Clare Danes & Jared Leto running around in flannel shirts and leather chokers. There was no Paris Hiltons or Rihannas, styled to the hilt and desperately trying to get photographed kissing girls or gets tattoos for press. Grungy young actresses like Julia Roberts, Ione Skye, Milla Jovovich, Winona Ryder & Juliette Lewis (both ex’s of Johnny Depp – who continues to rock the grunge look today!) ruled. Quirky rock chick brunettes, who kicked around in jeans, floral print dresses & clompy boots who hung off rock stars. We were Gen-Xers man, slacker cool!

Winona Ryder & Janeane Garofalo in 'Reality Bites'

In 1992, New Yorker Marc Jacobs - now an über-fashion star but then a young designer - started working as Creative Director at fashion house Perry Ellis.
Jacobs had garnered a buzz in the industry via his friendship with the Supers who walked for him (Linda, Christy, Kate et al) and his super casual clothes which were made from plush, expensive fabrics (cashmere shrunken tees, etc).
In 1992, Jacobs showed the seminal collection that was based on the style he loved, grunge. Flannel shirts, cashmere disguised as thermal underwear, Doc Martens, beanies straight from the street culture came down the runway on the likes of Kate Moss & Kristen McMenamy. The fashion world was aghast and Jacobs and his friend Duffy - who was hired as the President of Perry Ellis - were fired. But whilst the collection was slammed by critics, it was lauded by the cool kids and has gone down in fashion history.

Interestingly, Jacobs sent the collection to grunge darlings Courtney & Kurt - they weren't impressed - “Marc [Jacobs] sent me and Kurt [Cobain] his Perry Ellis grunge collection . . . We burned it. We were punkers-we didn’t like that kind of thing.”
A few years into the trend in 1994, Time Magazine wrote ("If Everyone is hip...IS Anyone Hip' by Richard Lacayo): "At at a time when the pavements are worn thin by Doc Martens, when every open door admits a file of backward baseball caps and soul patches, when jocks sell attitude and all of rock is supposed to be alternative -- hipness is bigger than General Motors...Such bands as Pearl Jam and Fugazi may be able to maintain their position without submitting to every industry demand for videos or major-label distribution...("Unless people start wearing lumber," says the performer and fashion watcher Sandra Bernhard, "there's not much more designers can do.") Kim Gordon had her own label. “So this year's most up-to-the-minute design-wear house, X-Girl, owned by Kim Gordon of the rock band Sonic Youth, is hawking brightly colored tennis sweaters, polo shirts and floral-print shifts that hark back to the Lilly Pulitzers of the horsey set, circa 1973".

Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth)
Carolyn Murphy & family imitate Courtney & Kurt,
 Vogue, Rock The House (Nov 2001) 

To end - one of the most amusing movie scenes ever - My Sharona from Reality Bites. Take it away kids!

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