One of my most vivid memories as a teenager would be drowning out the voices around me on the bus or in lessons with the sounds of Green Day, Nirvana and Muse, while everyone was addicted to the tacky pop sounds of Girls Aloud, Westlife and Britney Spears. I guess I got my love for Rock and Roll from my mother who loved listening to bands like Metallica, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Guns n Roses when I was a baby. I’m now twenty years old and still get shivers when I hear ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by Metallica and feel excitement when I show people my ‘Come as you are’ tattoo, dedicated to my favourite song by one of the best bands from the grunge movement.
I fell in love with Nirvana in my early teenage years. There was something so hauntingly beautiful and tragic about Kurt Cobain’s voice and appearance that made Nirvana such an appealing band. By the time I had grown to become a huge fan, Kurt Cobain had long passed away – but the memory in him lives everywhere: in the bands music, their legacy and in today’s fashion trends.
Grunge fashion has made a successful come back and I’m not talking about those horrendous cross-patterned leggings or skull vests, I’m talking about plaid shirts, baby doll dresses and well-worn Dr Martens. Channel early Drew Barrymore, Courtney Love and even misanthropic cartoon character Daria Morgendorffer for the perfect grunge fashion icons.
Thanks to Hedi Slimane, we’ve seen Saint Laurent (who dropped the ‘Yves’ recently,) bring a rebellious edge to the Autumn/Winter 2013-14 shows that are being shown during Paris Fashion Week. The return of oversized shirts mixed with pretty lace dresses and a LOT of leather is proving to be a big hit with us grunge fans. Beauty wise, Saint Laurent models were aptly equipped with a head of low-maintenance waves, minimal jewellery and lashings of jet black eyeliner – everything that has the rebel yell of 90’s grunge.
However, it seems as though people are thinking otherwise. Viewers of the show who commented Vogue.co.uk called it “an insult to the grunge movement and to Kurt [Cobain]’s memory” and “hideous.” Even the critics were known to be a bit baffled by the designers choice of feel and mix of eclectic textures, particularly because the line is known to be “not very Saint Laurent.”
Todays fashion is one of those concepts where its beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We’ve seen those crazy beekeeper headpieces from Alexander McQueen and the outrageously massive hoop bag from Chanel: two pieces which had reviewers and critics frantically searching for answers and explanations.But in my eyes, Slimane’s role as creative director for Saint Laurent has not only proved that he has got the talent that a fashion designer (as well as a part-time artist and photographer) should have, but that he can turn one of the most famous fashion houses in the world on it’s head.
Because everybody needs a bit of change, right?