For example, I may want to find solace and comfort in my own company, but due to basic life necessities, like groceries, I may find myself forced to leave my warm cocoon, drag on my most comfortable and comforting baggy sweater, over my well-worn band tee-shirt, and throw on my oldest, but fondest patched and ripped pair of jeans. Did I just go "grunge?" Maybe I wanted to disappear in my clothing and knew I would be the least bothered and the most comfortable in these old, raggedly, but familiar clothing. Just a thought...just saying....
Kurt Cobain, whom many consider the style leader in the grunge movement, was definitely not a follower of fashion. He was a sensitive, creative, lost soul who wanted to create music, but found, as the front man of one of the most popular bands of the century, he was also expected to chase after fame and money.
Now, anyone who has done even a cursory study of Kurt Cobain and his many different dress attire would be quick to raise an eyebrow at the faintest idea the Kurt Cobain was a trend-setter, a fashionista, or a poster boy for a fashion movement. Now...a poster boy for a socio-cultural movement...then yes, no raised eyebrows and a lot of strong head-nodding at this point.
I still remember running across Kurt Cobain, with his wife and daughter, in a coffee shop sharing ideas with Michael Stipe, REM. He was dressed in his usual grunge attire and pretty much looked like everyone else in Espresso Royale. I nearly fainted when I realized who I was sitting next to while studying for the next endless round of tests, working on my thesis, and hanging out with my friends. College is truly where we all learn to be great multi-taskers.
He wasn't flashing fancy designer labels or a big entourage, but was truly a musician of the people who wanted to just blend in the crowd and enjoy the solace or comfort of "not" being recognized by rabid fans or hounded by the media. Athens, at that time, was a place where a lot of actors, creatives, and musicians discovered they could just throw up their hands and go grunge (lol) and "not" be disturbed.
The music and the energy of this particular decade, like any decade I guess, was an outlet to resist conformity and promote self-expression while at the same time "finding" yourself. The youth, Generation X, was bored with mainstream music as it had become overly-commercialized and synthesized...now, this may feel very familiar as we are experiencing much of the same in today's "popular" music. So, young people during the early 1990s sought alternative music much of which was being played by college radio stations and produced by small record labels. The music itself was a combination of hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock. The music had a hard, grinding sound and sound this type of music produced was described as grunge. Hence grunge was "born."
Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and SoundGarden popularized grunge music which was music that largely addressed issues of social alienation, confinement, apathy, discomfort with social prejudices, and a general theme of social disenchantment with the state of society. It was depressive and angst-filled which young, college-age listeners connected as ,in many respects, this music represented their feelings of powerlessness, frustration, and confusion about the current state of the world and their future.
In 1992 Marc Jacobs was working for Perry Ellis and was also heavily into grunge as well as coke, heroin, and alcohol, decided he wanted to show a collection inspired by grunge clothing. The press loved it...Perry Ellis, not so much. The collection was actually never produced or sold in retail stores. Jacobs was fired, but not defeated. His 2013 resort line, Marc by Marc Jacobs Resort 2013 is considered a reinvention of his love and obsession with all things grunge.
The paradox with the grunge fashion trend was that grunge with its emphasis on cheap and worn thrift clothing, outdoor clothing, and a general unkempt appearance was completely an anti-fashion statement. The clothing worn was definitely not a conscious attempt to create fashion as one musician journalist is known to have quoted "Kurt Cobain was just too lazy to shampoo."
And yes, grunge is a great buzzword to throw around to grab the attention of the press who are looking for ways to convince their younger and more fickle target audience that they are still cool and relevant...yeah, "with it" by tossing around phrases like, "grunge glam" or "luxe grunge." I'm, like, huh? Grunge and glamour in the same sentence is simply laughable and puts those who accept these terms as very close in the box of "fashion victim."