Grunge/Heroin Chic



n. Slang

  1. Filth; dirt.
  2. A style of rock music that incorporates elements of punk rock and heavy metal, popularized in the early 1990s and often marked by lyrics exhibiting nihilism, dissatisfaction, or apathy.

The grunge culture beginning in the late 80s early 90s coming to prominence with bands such as Sonic Youth, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. The music was a combination of various genres including rock, metal and punk. The image was to appear scruffy , down and out and usually associated with drug use. Grunge culture began as a sub-culture although can be considered a key movement that some would say reflects the decade. Kurt Cobain

Heroin chic

The look that was popular in the 90s and is coming back now. Being waif skinny, pale, tired and sickly looking, using cigarette smoke as perfume, lanky, and wearing clothes that hang off your emaciated body will give you the ‘heroin chic’ look. you are supposed to look like you have been up for the past week partying and you are worn out (but in a cool way). There was a lot of public outcry about this look saying it encouraged children to try drugs and saying drugs were cool. Urban dictionary

‘There were two defining moments along the way, both involving Moss. The first was in 1990, when some of the first published fashion photographs of Moss, taken by Ms. Day, appeared in the British magazine The Face. One showed Moss topless; another suggested she was naked. She wore a mix of designer and secondhand clothes and no makeup over her freckles, and her expression was sincere. The photos seemed to usher in a new age of antifashion style. Artlessness became art. Some called it “grunge.’’
The second moment, in 1993, was a shoot for British Vogue that featured a pale and skinny Moss in mismatched underwear. A public outcry ensued, as some claimed that Moss’s waifish figure seemed to imply she was suffering from an eating disorder or drug addiction.
The grunge aesthetic took hold for several years in designer imagery of the 1990s, most visibly in Calvin Klein’s influential fragrance and jeans campaigns, and also in street fashion, with the throwaway style of flannel shirts and distressed jeans, as popularized by Kurt Cobain and the Seattle music scene.’
Douglas Martin, New York Times / September 6, 2010

The look they pioneered began to take off, christened ‘waif’ at first, then merging seamlessly with the US grunge scene. At the Paris shows, Day would laugh to see the second-hand clothes shey’d shot six months before being imitated on the catwalk.
Guardian interview

Photography: a cultural history, Mary Warner Marien, pg7-107, enter fashion, 2002,laurencekingpublishers, accessed 28/11/2010

Fashion, desire and anxiety: image and morality in the 20th century, Rebecca Arnold, Heroin chic pg48, 2001, accessed 28/11/2010

Heroin chic, urbandictionary, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=heroin%20chic, 28/11/2010

Grunge, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Grunge+rock, accessed 28/11/2010

Corinne Day, Douglas Martin, New York Times / September 6, 2010, New york times

Kurt Cobain image, http://www.smh.com.au/news/music/cobain-is-the-new-elvis/2006/10/25/1161699375968.html, October 25, 2006