Ever since Neanderthal man donned that charming leopard-skin loincloth, fashion has been notoriously evolutionary. Just as we humans have progressed and developed, so have our desire for and taste in clothes. In the constant and fast-paced evolution of style, certain trends dominate while others become quickly outdated. However, sometimes two seemingly polar opposite styles can come together and create something entirely unexpected. In this case, the combination of pretty pastels and gothic grunge.
In the punk rock era of the 1970’s the idea of ‘grunge’ and ‘goth’ exploded in popularity with studded leather jackets, multi-coloured hair, and a particular penchant for anarchy. This enjoyed a brief mainstream fashion revival in the 80’s, with Madonna sporting lace gloves, heavy makeup and cross-shaped earrings, but soon disappeared into obscurity in the minimalist Millenium.
Loveheart pastels have always been a Spring/Summer staple; from trippy hippie tie-dyes, to bountiful florals and pretty ice-cream colour blocking – pastel colours have never been far from the catwalk. But who could’ve predicted these two completely opposing trends combining and creating something entirely new, and more surprisingly, something which works really quite well?
Pastel grunge has created quite a sensation in the blogging world, with countless teens jumping aboard the pastel grunge trend train. The style is inspired by artists such as Lady Gaga with her use of religious iconography (mostly crosses) and multi-coloured hair, and the pastel princess Marina and the Diamonds, with her self-proclaimed ‘Sally Homemaker’ image – a cross between Marilyn Monroe and a Stepford wife. The trend really took flight with the use of popular teen blogging site, Tumblr, with thousands sharing their own quirky take on the designs.
The features of the pastel grunge trend are notably; pastel tie-dye, dip-dyed clothing, multi-coloured hair, lace, galaxy prints, velvet, leather, iconic images such as the peace sign, ying yang, crosses, skull and bones, embellishments and studding, collar detail, plaits, backpacks, two-tone colours, pale pink, violet and blue, rainbows, unicorns, mermaids, doc martens boots, ripped clothing, ‘creepers’ and flowers.
The concept behind the trend is to retain the rebellious anarchy of the goth and grunge era, but to sweetly infuse it with pretty princess girlishness. As this style is mostly worn by teens and tweens, it could almost be seen as a satirical trend, suggestively mocking the unicorns, rainbows and princesses they worshipped as children, injecting a more mature, hard-core edge to it, to create the ultimate bittersweet fashion. Stemming from teen bloggers and quirky celebrities, pastel grunge is slowly weaving its way onto the major catwalks, and will soon no doubt be a principle staple in every high street store this coming Autumn/Winter.