Like any true trailblazing trend – women wearing trousers in the 20s, mini-skirts in the 60s – the grunge look was nothing the world had ever seen before and its undone, minimalistic and at times scruffy aesthetic was a metaphorical two-fingers to establishment, government and the opulence and extravagance of the late 80s and early 90s.
As frontman of Nirvana, the grunge band of the decade, Kurt Cobain became grunge’s king, his wife Courtney Love its queen and the couple inadvertently became unlikely fashion icons in the process.
Kurt was the ideal pretty poster boy and his appeal heralded a new age – think Kate Moss, floaty nylon nighties worn with Doc Martens and open oversized lumberjack shirts.
And 20 years on, today’s version of 90s grunge is prettier and much more wearable. It’s a carefully cultivated edit of the best of the decade and it’s a lot more polished than those who were there the first time round will remember.
Slouchy grey cardigan worn over a floral dress? Inspired by grunge.
The slew of army surplice inspired khaki jackets that are everywhere this season? Yep, grunge again.
Ripped denims or cut offs worn over tights? You guessed it… grunge.
Helen Mirren’s pink hair… you get where we’re going with this.
Kurt Cobain photographed in 1993 and a model at the Saint Laurent AW13 runway show
You see, what was originally meant as an anti-establishment statement, has now become more commercial than ever and even Kurt’s wife Courtney who is a fashion month FROW regular and is currently appearing in the latest Saint Laurent campaign, has become a more polished version of her former self.
He may have died 19 years ago today, but Kurt Cobain’s legacy lives on in many forms, fashion being one of them and his distinctive look still lingers on streets and catwalks all over the world.