COME AS YOU ARE
Kurt Cobain’s been dead for 20 years. There’s no question; grunge is on the mind of anyone who bares a thought about fashion and zeitgeist. What’s in this time around, what’s out, who even gives a shit about cyclical trends and what should we even give a shit about. The same things that made up the palette before are haunting - or trending rather, the oversized silhouettes, Love’s baby doll dresses, tattered denim, weighty boots, the overwashed and pilled flannel and plaids. Pick up your mobile device and type #grunge into instagram you’ll see photos of Cobain, self made celebrities wearing the aforementioned, Hedi Slimane’s unabashed adoration in Saint Laurent Collections and lyrics to Violet, Zombie, 1979. Anytime a fashion is revisited you have the originals who seem to say nothing but we did it better or thats not _______. This past Met Gala was the celebration of Punk and in judging what was worn there seemed to be a debate over the literalism of punk aesthetics and a more elevated interpretation. With grunge, as a movement being college aged, should we expect a smarter and more evolved version of itself? Remember… grunge was about anti-establishment and anti-fashion before Marc Jacobs said it was cool. For a generation born A.D. Cobain, what is the real legacy of grunge?
It’s most apparent that anti-fashion is in fashion when one of this years undoubted trends is the sweat pant. Zanerobe’s signature pant, The Sureshot Chino, a dropped crotch, elastic waist jogger is a phenomenon in itself. Diesel has created an entire collection of denim in the style, Joggjeans, denim that looks and feels like sweatpants but with the facade of Diesel’s worn and torn signature washes. Lagerfeld said sweat pants mean you’ve given up, we can only assume he meant velor track suits. The message sweats seem to mean now is I don’t give a FUCK
In fashion there are establishments, Hermes, Balmain, Céline… for Brian Lichtenberg these are things and people to deface. Even though brands like Lichtenberg’s or UNIF’s quips and puns of fashion’s highest tier of luxury may be a joke, but they’re only funny to people who know what they mean. They might be anti-establishment but the same people wearing them aspire to own the real thing. That’s the difference between the 90’s and now, there’s an acceptance of commerce. We’re all the baby swimming in the pool after the dollar? but we’re ok with it
No one does heroine anymore, there’s Xanax, a millionaire doesn’t wear a suit, they wear jeans. The legacy of grunge isn’t only a cutoff jean jacket and tieing a flannel shirt around your waist, it’s a Margiela couture collection, where artful kimono inspired blouses are paired with boyish denim and patent leather boots; something Anna Wintour did with her first Vogue cover, pairing a Lacroix top with a pair of jeans. It was controversial move in the 90’s but now it’s commonplace to see a girl in a pair Nudie High Kai denim carrying a Proenza Schouler bag. Take a brand like Calvin Rucker, pairing romantic black and printed blouses and ornate sweatshirts with tattered oversized boyfriend denim styles. There is no high brow and the affluent wouldn’t dare dress it, it’s not safe
Come as you are …has come to be the residual attitude of all the idealism that 20 years ago seemed to have had. Luxury is the luxury of being able to sit at dinner in Van Cleef and Converse and be Miss World.