I suppose if you have to blame it on someone, you have to blame it on Nirvana. Grunge, the very anti-fashion era. If you think about it like that, it’s ironic that it’s being discussed on a fashion website, but that’s what it has come down to; anti-fashion is our idea of fashion.
Before you start to think about the clothes yet, it’s important to realise where the whole decline of mainstream came from…which brings us back to Nirvana. It was music that started this trend (you could call it) of rebelliousness and essentially, worn out clothes.
It all kicked off with their album “Nevermind” and the image of dirty jeans, flannel shirts and Courtney Love’s, unkempt hair, that made teenagers ‘crazy’. TV shows at the time, like My So-Called Life encapsulated that very image of anti-fashion style; Angela’s red-dyed locks and oversized everything fuelled the era of teenage rebellion even more (when girls weren’t drooling over Jordan Catalano.)
You could argue that the whole movement made an “official outbreak” into the fashion world when Vogue featured a “Grunge and Glory” spread in December 1992. Marc Jacobs also caught on with his Spring/Summer collection of 1992 for Perry Ellis, which embodied the grunge image. Although it wasn’t popular with critics, it turned the industry on its head. Maybe all this media attention made grunge mainstream, the exact opposite of what it was supposed to be in the first place.
Naturally, it’s come back like a boomerang and hit a lot of youngsters over the head. ”Oversized” is now the word and heaven forbid if it isn’t. However, this time around we seem to be missing the point a bit. When the phase first started it was all about finding the most moth-bitten sweater at a charity shop and pulling out the kitchen plug chains to tie to your jeans. Now, we pay Topshop to do that for us. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to join the ride, when you could be reflecting an inspiring and overlooked period of history. Unfortunately the price of Doc Martens may have risen since the 80s and 90s, but don’t buy some until you’ve had a rummage through your parents’ old clothing in the attic…chances are they might have a pair from their punk days.