Sunday, 16 January 2011


In our weekly seminar our group discussed the existence of Grunge in the 00's. Was the music still alive? If so, where? How had the music changed? We also discussed it in terms of fashion. Was the anti-fashion statement now a popular trend? Who was/is wearing it?
These questions led us to consider the two current types of grunge we believe exist. "Modern Grunge"- the style of music may have changed, less angst, however still intelligent in-terms of composition and lyrics. We also thought about the fashion of these bands. If they weren't playing typical "grunge" or dressing in the standard look, then were they still grunge? I believe that if a band's passion is for the music and not the "band look" then they are likely to have to the same standards and the original grungers. I challenged this idea by going to a gig of a band i had never heard and new nothing about, an unsigned current band. Their music could be described as a mash up of folk, indie and acoustic. Not very grunge. However, their look would certainly not have fashionistas jumping out of their seats. Loose fitting jeans, converse and slogan t-shirts sum up the musical bunch. It was all about the music for these guys, just like it was for idols in the early 90's. There were no woes about fitting a generic "i'm in a band" look.
I believe there are still bands out there doing it solely for the music, even if they don't fit the grunge critique.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


"the grunge sub-culture has always been interesting to me, stemming mainly from the music after being introduced to Nirvana by a friend a while back. I've always had a rough understanding of the fashion that accompanies the scene but this project has led me to learn further how it influences the fashion industry in a big way. Having leading designers such as Marc Jacobs creating pieces which fit in with the scene is really interesting to me and the people within this group consider themselves anti-fashion. Some of my style icons such has Mary-Kate Olsen and Alice Dellal have also been associated with the grunge scene too which may explain my attraction to it. I'm looking forward to seeing how this sub-culture still fits in in 2011 and especially in london." Kerry


GRUNGE- Fashion Shops

After researching how grunge began, I started to think about the link with fashion.
Grunge fashion was essentially a mix of punk ethic and outdoor wear. Hard, durable fabrics that didn't cost much and that you could wear for years. Essentially, the grunge look grew organically - there was no attempt to consciously come up with a style. The grunge look just grew into itself.

Layers, flannel shirts, anything plaid, tartan kilts, flowery cotton dresses, hoodies, ripped denim, baggy clothes, charity shop / thrift store clothes were their signature. 

As the Grunge sub-culture values themselves on rebelling against fashion, discussing what sort of shops could relate to their group becomes difficult.

-B Store is one of them, okay that it isn't a charity shop or cheap, but it has flannel shirts, ripped jeans and baggy clothes! 

-A second shop that sprang to my mind is Dover Street Market, specifically for their basement. This department stocks brands such as Supreme which are often related to Skate culture, however the line between these two styles is quite blurred in some aspects e.g. flannel shirts and bobble hats.  Although these clothes are highly priced, they give off a feeling of "refined grunge" to me.

-Thirdly, the Urban Outfitters mens department is fitting. Their loose fitting tee's and "Renewal" section could be suitable for this type of style due to their bulky jackets and worn pieces.

This has shown that this Grunge look is now very commercial and easily available... so what makes you a real Grunger?


Although this sub-culture's roots are in Seattle, it still had an impact on what was happening in the UK during the early 90's. This disheveled aesthetic was passed onto the UK under the name of "Heroin Chic", characterized by the heavy use of Heroin in the early 90's. Users include grunge idols Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love who famously admitted to having this addiction. The public accepting this made the confession almost "fashionable". Being pale with sunken eyes then became a "look", a juxtapose to the glamourzonian models of the late 80's. This became a trademark look for a young waif-like Kate Moss in the UK, being thrown into the limelight by realist fashion photographer Corrine Day. Day was heavily criticized for  glamorizing drug use and anorexia at this time.

The breakthrough of independent music with bands such as Nirvana changed the music scene of the 1990s.  Seattle was nicknamed "the new Liverpool", leaving the UK behind in the music popularity race. Britain was heavily into the Britpop scene at this time although some bands such as Headswim managed to make UK grunge waves of their own. 


The grunge scene of the 1990's was primarily known for it's music influences, rather than the fashion. This scene aimed to portray an "anti-fashion" aesthetic with un-groomed hair and a major disinterest in trends. This rebellion inevitably resulted in a new trend; Grunge. Characteristics of this look include checkered shirts, layered clothing and nightwear as outwear in terms of the girls.

This trend was even adopted by fashion designers at the time, such as Marc Jacobs. His Spring/Summer 1993 collection for Perry Ellis was heavily influenced by grunge fashion. However this radical look saw him dropped from the label. 

Marc Jacobs revived this look again in 1996, although slightly more refined. This look was once again revoked in 2010 by several fashion designers, making it still rather current. Alexander Wang's Autumn/winter 2010/2011 collection shows a heavy grunge influence with the use of greys and kaki colours and slouchy layering. Rag & Bone's collection at the same fashion week also had a grunge-esque look to it with chunky knits and oversized garments.  


Although this subculture was not listed, we decided it was a strong culture that has a lot of aspects that can be explored and developed further. These images are an introduction to the type of subculture we've decided to research.