Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Cheap Monday looks for spring/summer 2010 seem like inspired by the whole grunge subculture. The collection is full of distressed denim and shredded cotton pieces, both on the list of what we've already seen on DIY projects and Alexander Wang's work. What I do find interesting is the patching work. I love the fact that the patches are very feminine and such, it balances the whole grungy vibe. Also, we should notice Ann-Sofie Back's contribution to this collection. She, as Cheap Monday's new head designer, was in charge of everything but jeans, which remained under Orjan Andersson's control (founder of the brand). Yes, that would mean those dresses, sweaters and knitwear come directly from Ann-Sofie's mind.


How to wear grunge style

Layers of tops are essential. Good for braving the elements / outdoor gigs. Good for hiding your body and saying the body doesn't matter too much - not compared to music, anyway.
Flannel shirts were huge for men and grunge women liked them too. Flannel was popular in Seattle as outdoor wear.
Anything plaid became accepted grunge style. Plaid flannel shirts. Long baggy plaid shorts. Tartan kilts were also good for women or men(ending above the knee but well below the crotch, ladies!)
Ripped denim. Ripped mainly because grunge kids were anti high-fashion and wore their clothes half to death. Once grunge style became popular and mainstream, people would buy their jeans and rip them in a bit before wearing them to get the grunge look. A pale, half-dead stonewashed denim was ideal for jeans.
Baggy clothes were essential for boys and girls. No skinny fit. Baggy jeans only. And baggy worked well with the layers of tops. Grunge clothes never fitted because you'd just wear something you'd found in a bin, bought very cheaply, or stolen off a friend who was skinnier/fatter than you.
Charity shop / thrift store clothes. With the recession, we'll probably see a new mutation of grunge as people start dressing solely from charity shops, and start creating combinations of daywear that Primark never intended in all its years.
Flowery cotton dresses. But only for men. Okay, women could wear them too. But only with heavy combat boots or Doc Martens.
Cardigans and very baggy jumpers. Chunky knit cardigans with old leather buttons were everywhere. Holes weren't just for jeans - every grunge cardigan or sweater ended up with a hole in it for you to put your thumb into so it doubled up as a pair of fingerless mittens.
Hoodies. Of course. How could we not mention hooded tops! You could get thin hooded tops to stick under long-sleeved tees. Or fat hoodies to wear on top of all your other layers, preferably with a really baggy cardigan over the top.
Hair was ideally lank, for boys, or stiff with yesterday's sweat from a gig. Dye jobs were common, especially bleached hair, but they were irregular - having your roots show for anything up to three inches was common in grunge style. 
Combat boots. Or worn old high top sneakers or baseball boots. Or Doc Martens.
Accessories - Beanie hats. Or leather thongs tied round your wrists. Grunge fashion wasn't huge on accessories, unless it was tattoos, piercings and lots of dangly things round the wrist.
Essentially, grunge was/is/shall be again a non-style created by poor kids who wanted to reject the commodification of their world.

Getting into grunge fashion is, even today, easy and cheap. No-one sells cardigans or plaid or flannel for huge amounts on eBay - it's all still stuff you can root around and find in second hand stores, or that people want to throw away.