After the long introduction about the trends which have had a significant impact on my personal style I posted the other day, I’m more than happy to finally take you on a journey through each of them. Our first stop is grunge.
Although grunge was doing alright in the 1980s, it wasn’t until 1991 when it hit the mainstream. That year Nirvana released Nevermindwhich went multiplatinum, replacing Michael Jackson’s album at 1st place on the Billboard chart. Its single Smells Like Teen Spirit became the anthem of the generation and the band’s charismatic leader is still considered to be one of the most influential style icons of the modern culture.
So what was this phenomenon all about? I’m not an expert, but what I found very special there, was a huge passion and authenticity the bands stayed for. With raw, bitter lyrics, noisy guitars and unsophisticated charity shop clothing, grunge was a desperate scream of lunatics asking for freedom to be themselves in the material world.
The greatest bands from that period, such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden or Stone Temple Pilots, to name a few, are actually one of the greatest bands in the entire history of rock.
If I had to post my favourite grunge tunes here, your wrists would be killing you from scrolling down, so instead, let me remind you of the most remarkable ones:
1)Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
2)Rape me, Nirvana
3)No Excuses, Alice In Chains
4)Would, Alice In Chains
5)Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden
6)Dead and bloated, Stone Temple Pilots
7)Jeremy, Pearl Jam (no clip as the original version is unavailable on YT and linking the censored one doesn’t make much sense to me. If you wish to watch the uncut version, click here)
Now I feel a bit guilty as my heart is telling me the list should be at least twice as long. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll know where to look for more in case you’re interested.
Another thing I would like to remind you is two videos, probably the best Unplugged performances ever.
If you want a quiet, November evening with a piece of wonderful music, there’s nothing better to go for. Really, I couldn’t recommend them enough- that special atmosphere was something only a few could create. For me, Cobain and Staley from those gigs were magicians, exposing the beauty of sadness and melancholy like no one else could.
Back in the 90s, grunge fashion wasn’t really all about fashion, if you know what I mean. In Seattle the style of local kids was highly influenced by two factors: the recession and the weather. You picked up the pieces you could afford and they were supposed to keep you warm, which was where layers came in handy. Seeing a bit of sunshine you could always take of your flannel shirt and tie it around your waist, showing off some stained, holy t-shirt which was a perfect match for the ripped, faded jeans. There was also some room for beanies and oversized jumpers, pretty much anything cheap, practical and comfortable would get the approval, the way it looked was secondary.
Ironically, with the growing popularity of grunge bands, the style was copied all over the world, and became one of the strongest trends in high fashion, with Marc Jacobs introducing it to the catwalk and Kate and Cara rocking it like no others.
Today, if you want the ready-made grunge look, all you need to do is make your way to the nearest H&M or purchase some designer piece online, if you’re not on a low budget. However, the only reasonable approach which gives you the opportunity not only to express yourself but also to feel the spirit of the grunge era would be visiting your local vintage shop ad start the treasure- digging there. Good luck!