Neo Grunge

Take a trip down memory lane to 1995. I was just at the age when going out to clubs was super cool (with a fake ID of course), and the Grunge scene was making its way into pop culture. The music, a blend of part punk, part heavy metal, and all guitar, was in. Nirvana, and Pearl Jam were constantly playing and Courtney Love was in the spotlight. In fashion, the highly styled bright-colored clothes of the power-yuppified 1980’s, cleared way for this so-called grungy-era which consisted of a messy swamp of  plaid, denim, and layers over more layers. Nothing made sense but it didn’t have to. Fitted was out and sloppy was in. I was a big proponent of lazy-wear and this fit me to a tee. My frizzy large hair and ripped/dirty jeans were in. Even better? My clothes were comfortable. I was a happy camper.

Fast forward to 2013, where fashion month has spoken and the message is clear: The 90’s are back with a vengeance. Shows like Rodarte, Vivenne Westwood, Henry Holland, and Dries Von Noten grabbed at the concept. Yesterday at the Saint Laurent show, Twitter reactions went something like this:

We don’t need another bad version of Topshop.”

“Is this a real joke on the fashion industry? 

No, it’s not a joke. See random mash-ups of sloppy cardigans, plaid shirts, and sparkly dresses accessorized with ironic strings of pearls and black bows, fish nets and biker boots.




These negative reviews define a backlash to Slimane’s version of what YSL should be – a nod to the late Yves. The departure to lowbrow fashion will upset some, probably most, but the concept goes like this. The youthful and wealthy French fashion girl will be the customer here, not me. My 90’s icons? Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs immediately spring to mind as masterful mediums of pop-cultural watershed. That’s all well and good, but today, I am no longer willing to wear baby doll dresses with fishnets, leather bustiers, and messy layers. (I did a test drive yesterday on Instagram and it was quite a joke). I will let all of the teenagers test out those waters.

But wouldn’t it be radical if we could reinvent the Saint Laurent look, not literally, but in our own words? And isn’t that what personal style is all about? The long-term effects of grunge culture is sure to creep into the internet, shops, and our lives as we know it, so I decided to embrace it for a bit with a little collage of what’s to come. If there is nothing else new under the fashion sun (BTW, I am so on-board with the Saint Laurent line for Spring) to embrace, neo-grunge might be my friend yet again. Trash and Vaudeville, Dries Von Noten, Topshop, here I come. Fashion is supposed to be FUN! Shopping trip anyone?

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 Collage by Carina Gupta

From left we go: optimized links et al. Topshop crop top, what would grunge be, without you? Topshop vintage overalls, alice + olivia striped pumps. Vince Camuto retro sunglasses, Ray-Ban retro glasses, Etoile Isabel Marant crying for Freedom!  jersey tank. Tibi vintage washed denim vest, Free People maxi skirt.

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