If punk was ‘anti-fashion’ then Grunge is ‘non-fashion’. Flannel shirts, ripped jeans, dirty T-shirts with outdated logos and black combat style boots is what grunge is all about. Grunge set the definition of ‘shabby chic’. One of the major reasons to dress up in worn-out outfits was to signify easy fashion that did not involve any kind of investment. The ideology of the grunge movement or grunge fashion was to make fashion more relatable and accessible. At a time when bodycon dresses were gaining popularity, grunge made looking slouchy the new cool. So how did it all begin? The story is an interesting one.
Photo credit: Pinterest
How Did the Grunge Movement Begin?
Like most subcultures, grunge began as a reaction against the established political regime in the US. It was a reaction against the capitalist point of view that the government had, excluding those who did not have many resources to survive in the developing American economy. It was in the 1980s that grunge was initiated in Seattle and since its beginning has found a strong manifestation through music and fashion. Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, is considered to be one of the most famous faces of the grunge movement and took it to the masses. Though unlike punk, grunge did not have a specific agenda but did become a form of expression for the lost and emotionally neglected.
Models in YSL
Grunge in Contemporary Fashion
Grunge fashion was never welcomed with open arms by the fashion fraternity. Marc Jacobs' infamous grunge-inspired 1992 collection for Perry Ellis cost him his job. However, the sadness, loneliness and disconnectedness of the grunge movement found a form through street dressing in large US cities like Seattle. It marked the beginning a new era in fashion where slouchy silhouettes became a trend.
Since then a number of designers such as Calvin Klein, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Anna Sui and Versace have interpreted and incorporated grunge in their collections. Heidi Slimane, the current creative director of YSL, has often been credited for experimenting with grunge.
L-R: Grunge look (photo credit: Pinterest) and a model in YSL
How to Pull Off the Grunge Look
Pull out those straight-legged jeans and those flannel shirts; the loose silhouette is something that is back in fashion. One of the best ways to pull off the grunge look is to mix it with a bit of sophistication; do not hesitate in pairing those oversized white T-shirts with ripped denim shorts and skirts, and accessorizing them with sneakers is always a great idea. To add a tinge of spice, go for a big leather sling bag. That's how you take your first step towards grunge.