The Birth of Grunge

Do you remember listening to the gritty sound of Nirvana as it drove through the speakers? Or the shaky growl of Eddie Vedder as Pearl Jam’s Ten ripped through bars across the world? If so, chances are you were living in the era in which Grunge was born.

Spawned by a wave of rock-and-roll bands in the eighties and nineties, most significantly from Seattle, distorted guitars and angst-filled lyrics started to influence an urban uniform adopted by youth across the globe. It was a time of social change and revolution, and the Grunge movement became a way of expressing fear of the unknown and social alienation.

But how exactly did its tenacious sound influence fashion? During a time of uncertainty for the future economy, Grunge was a way for young people to express trepidation. After years of clean silhouettes dominating the runway (even if deconstructed), this trend shocked the world with its dishevelled look and rebellious attitude.

Marc Jacobs was one of the first to pioneer the trend, with his shocking collection for Perry Ellis in 1992. It was so different to what the fashion world was used to that he actually got fired for it. A collection before its time, it catalysed a wave of designers to construct their own interpretation of the trend.

Icons quickly followed; Drew Barrymore and Kim Gordon were the champions of messy hair, oversized shirts and military boots which combined to form a style born from the streets. It became so popular so quickly because it defied conformation to society – it was about letting the culture that surrounds you influence your style, and breaking the mould of ready-to-wear.

After all, fashion is about expression – Grunge was one of the first trends to be truly authentic and unforgiving in its presence…

Discover our Autumn Winter 2016 lookbook which lends a nod to the Grunge era.

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