Dating the drummer nail polish
“Rarely has slovenliness looked so self-conscious, or commanded so high a price.”But the seed was planted. And last year, over a decade since grunge’s initial riotous explosion onto the scene, Horyn retracted her statement.
Since its first outing, grunge’s west coast thrift shop vibes have come to serve as the inspiration for some of menswear’s most game-changing designers – from Raf Simons’ SS13 prints inspired by Kurt Cobain’s floral smocks to Hedi Slimane’s SS16 homage to the Nirvana frontman for Saint Laurent – elevating slouch-around pieces like flannel shirts, oversized sweatshirts and beat-up baggy jeans to surprisingly fashionable status.
From beatniks to goths, it’s subcultures – those underground coteries outside the confines of everything mainstream – that have given so many current wardrobe staples their style cachet. As boldly anti-authoritarian as ‘1970s-era punks’ key pieces were, most of them (thanks to fashion’s ravenous appetite for appropriation) still sit perfectly well in your modern-day casual wardrobe.
Music, language and rituals all help define a subculture but it’s a gang’s visual signifiers that give it away – the tipped shirt collar or bowl haircut, the studded leather biker jacket or the black nail polish, those style cues that instantly lay bare interests and affiliations. Today, you’re just as likely to see a pair of distressed jeans in high street shop windows as on someone with a Mohican moshing at a Ramones tribute gig.
Fast-forward to today and rappers have moved on from reclaiming sportswear to taking up the mantle of the millennial’s rock star.
Pitting themselves against rockers, 1960s mods (who initially earned their name from a love of modernist jazz) splurged on slim-cut suits and scooters to stake their claim to the status of coolest subculture.“I love the whole look, the music, the imagery, the attitude, even the scooters.
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It will always be in my heart.” – Paul Weller told magazine.
Arguably one of the most fashion-forward subcultures, the mods and their numerous revivalists have shared a passion for style.