“Pretend with me, for a moment, that it’s the fall of 1993.
Bill Clinton is president of the United States. Janet Jackson is topless on the cover of Rolling Stone, Mariah Carey is cooing about her Dream Lover and Bjork is illuminating the oddities of human behavior with every breathy yodel. The Real World – the first official reality television show in history – is only in its second season, with its greatest MTV network competition being Beavis and Butthead.
American pop culture has spent the previous year saturated in the spirit of grunge. The thriving Seattle music scene from the late 1980s passed its torch to the 1990s, allowing its untrammeled essence to bleed through the formerly polished and ‘pretty’ avenues of mainstream America.
‘Come as you are’ – though Nirvana’s chart-topping single released two years ago in 1991 – remains the lingering message.”
The above excerpt is from my feature in the Winter 2016 issue of Mirabella Magazine: ‘American Grunge, 2.0: The Remix.’
To add further celebration and elaboration, I have provided beauty, fashion and popular culture recommendations to whisk you back a couple of decades and engage your 90s grunge-related fascination.
Continue reading for further excerpts, expansion and style bites…
American Grunge 2.0: The Remix
Winter 2016 Issue of Mirabella Magazine
On American Pop Culture’s Natural Progression Toward Grunge:
“Following the synth pop sounds, ‘bubble gum’ lyrical themes and sexually-driven, hair-whipping glam metal bands of the 1980s, the music industry hungered for depth and reflection – something listeners could sink their teeth into in hopes of tasting its flesh. The hunt became for something which reflected reality as opposed to glossing and gyrating over it. Seattle delivered, and the rest of America gobbled it up with fervor, vigor and a middle finger in the air.”
On How Beauty & Fashion Responded to Grunge Music:
“The lipstick got darker and more muted as the song lyrics delved deeper into exploring the cavernous hollows of the human soul. Just as the fashions were no longer sprinkled with sparkle, glitter and splatter paint, hair and makeup trends also aligned – conveying the flat, matte, absence-of-fairy-dust mentality.”
I hope you enjoyed the excerpts. Purchase the issue here.
In it, I delve much deeper into the origin and evolvement of grunge fashion trends in the Pacific Northwest, offer a lengthy list of recommended hair and makeup products, as well as explain the differences between the original style and the reinvention of today. Homage to Courtney Love’s epically poetic angst also makes a roaring appearance.
And, in the event that I accomplished the task of getting you into an oh-so-90s-grunge brooding and contemplative mood, the following may entice you:
The Best Lip Colors For a Matte 90s Pout
The Not-Yet-Grunged Nudes
Listed in order from angelic to on-the-verge.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks in Ashton & Crush
- Colourpop Ultra Matte in Midi
- Kylie Matte Liquid Lipstick in Dolce K
- Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Choker & Rave
The Darker Side
Listed in order from subtle rebellion to vampiest.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Veronica
- Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Grunge
- Colourpop Ultra Matte in Nevermind
- Stila Stay All Day Lipstick in Chianti
The Best ’90s, Reinvented’ Chokers
If you have an insatiable case of 90s choker adoration but prefer your style to be filtered through the brighter, more refined and glamorized remixes of today, you must follow @soclove on Instagram:
Get Your Body Loved by Courtney, Courtesy of Nasty Gal
And, if you consider Courtney Love to be the patron saint of grunge, you must feast your eyes (and, perhaps, body parts) on the ‘Love, Courtney’ collection by Nasty Gal. It will satiate your raging 90s angst for quite some time.
Bonus: Must-Watch 90s Grunge-Related Documentaries & Films
My So-Called Life: Complete Series
If you crave the brooding, introspective and poetically yet semi-tormenting energy of adolescence in the early-to-mid-1990s, this television series will become your stomping grounds of entertainment and indulgence. Purchase here.
The quintessential 90s pop culture film, Winona Ryder is everyone’s girl crush and partner-in-angst. She is the epitome of 90s grunge allure: Uncontrived and accidentally sexy. Ethan Hawke isn’t particularly offensive either. Watch it here.
Soaked in Bleach
The findings offered in the documentary draw a conclusion that may or may not be true, but all is well-executed and certainly interesting for anyone intrigued by the short life of icon Kurt Cobain. Watch it here.
Note: This piece is merely a glimpse at what is to come. Going Forward, I will be publishing era and subculture-focused fashion and style features once per month – always being sure to incorporate a history lesson and personal backstory. In other words, this section is not solely to satisfy your superficial appetites; it is also a place to sink your teeth into the celebration of authentic humanness, while being informed about beauty, fashion and popular culture trends.
©TheDailyDoll.com / Lacey Johnson 2017