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Twenty Years Later, Kurt Cobain’s Impact on Fashion Remains

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cobainblogFashion loved Kurt Cobain from the moment the Nirvana front man stepped onto the cultural stage. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit the airwaves in August 1991, and less than a year later Marc Jacobs presented a career-making collection of flannel shirts, Dr. Martens, and cashmere thermal underwear inspired by the musician and his grunge scene. The controversial show got Jacobs fired from his creative director gig at Perry Ellis—the press loved it, his bosses hated it—but he would go on to launch his own label.

Cobain died less than three years after Nirvana’s first big hit—this month marks the twentieth anniversary of his death—but his look remains a touchstone. In 2006, Jacobs himself revisited grunge’s messy layers. And on the current runways, Cobain’s plaid shirts, granny cardigans, and floral dresses keep on trending. See Dries Van Noten Spring ’13, Saint Laurent Fall ’13, and any number of Fall ’14 shows, including Calvin Klein Collection, Isabel Marant, and Max Mara. Cobain’s look is equally influential in menswear. John Galliano and Raf Simons have both lifted ideas from his rule-breaking getups.

On the eve of Nirvana’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a slideshow of Cobain’s lasting impact on fashion.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com

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Dept. of Culture