Turns out that, in the 1990s, teen spirit smelled like a lot of things.
“If the Seventies was a coming into a curiosity of what would it be like if were weren’t so uptight, and the Eighties were about breaking the mold and doing a new thing and kicking up the dust, I think the Nineties was when the dust was settling,” muses designer Jayne Min in the fourth episode of our six-episode documentary series connecting music and fashion.
If the decade had a poster child, it might be Kurt Cobain, who fronted the most iconic and successful of all grunge bands to emerge out of the Pacific Northwest, finally bringing punk energy to the masses. “Nirvana brings the middle of the mosh pit into the center of American culture,” marvels Rolling Stone‘s Contributing Editor Joe Levy.
And with grunge came a very specific style and philosophy. “The Nineties was about alt-culture,” says Jian DeLeon, Editorial Director of Highsnobiety. “It was about not buying anything. Super thrift store, anti-consumerist. About not caring and looking like you didn’t care.”
Except, of course, if you were an East Coast rapper like Sean “Puffy” Combs – one of a handful of music (and style) impresarios who helped mainstream hip hop culture on MTV and elsewhere. For more on grunge, Yo! MTV Raps, and the East Coast/West Coast war, watch the video.
See other episodes in the series below.
Watch 1960s Style, Trends Revisited: British Invasion, Hippies, Woodstock
Watch 1970s Style, Trends Revisited: Disco, Punk Rock, David Bowie
Watch 1980s Style, Trends Revisited: Early Hip Hop, MTV Crowns Madonna, Michael Jackson
Watch 2000s Style, Trends Revisited: Teen Pop, YouTube Stars, American Idol
Watch 2010s Style, Trends Revisited: Social Media Explodes, Stars Brand Themselves 360