Grunge Exhibition Proposal
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1992-1997The Grunge Undertaking
C U R A T O R SCLARISSA HOLMES
COTIE GOOZEEBETTY KANG
KORRIE TYLERLAURA AGUILERA-
In 1988, a Seattle record label called Sub Pop released a three-box set titled Sub Pop 200. The set included bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, along with a 200-page booklet with pho-tos by famous photographer Charles Petersen, who became known as the man who created grun-ges hair-sweat-and-guitar look. In this book, Sub Pop described its bands punk-metal guitar noise as grunge. From that day on the term stuck and this grunge movement spread like wildfire.
And by 1992 when bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam hit big on the radio, the grunge influences became a worldwide phenomenon, far beyond its birthplace of Seattle. A new generation emerged, one that consisted of Caucasian youths in ripped jeans, untucked flannels, and stomping boots. Not to mention indulging in beer, pot, Black Sabbath albums, and dreaming of the day they would too become famous rock-and-roll stars. It was all about anarchy and rebellion, and it showed in their behav-ior, their philosophies, and their style. The New York Times declared the grunging of America is on.
But grunge wasnt just shaping music, but every aspect of life, especially fashion. The fashion in-dustry saw this fad as an opportunity, and fashion houses started designing ski hats, torn jeans, and flannel shirts and charging hundreds of dollars for them. Although the commercial success was short-lived, the grunge influence and its nostalgia for liberation is still felt today. This exhibition takes you on a journey through the grunge style movement that dominated America from 1992-1997.
Other Seattle bands including Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam achieved mainstream success in the nineties. So what made these bands so sig-nificant? They were the epitome of what mainstream rock at the time was not doing. It became a form of expression, and an especially defin-ing moment for Generation X-ers. Grunge was not defined by one par-ticular sound; it was a variation of sub-genres such as distorted heavy metal or melodic rock. What used to be a local scene became a cul-tural fad nationwide, and grunge music eventually became so popular
The term grunge was originally used to describe a style of rock music integrating elements of heavy metal and punk rock. This type of rock music first emerged during the mid-1980s in Seattle, Washington. The grunge movement reached far beyond the city and spread to popular culture when Nirvana released Nevermind in 1991, an album that strengthened the popularity of grunge music.
Seattle is currently to the rock n roll world what Bethlehem was to Christianity.
SPIN December 1992
Successful in Seattle: Turning Grunge to GoldBy JANET MASLIN.New York TimesNovember 8th 1996
Seattle - The City of Grunge
Grunge was not only a musical trend, but a lifestyle for the youth. One of the key aspects of grunge musicians were their unkempt appearances and lack of stage antics. They were against mainstream rock; the rebels of popular music. Musicians like Kurt Cobain wore inexpensive and unfussy clothing, like ripped jeans and plaid shirts. They dressed for themselves, and never found the desire to dress up in expensive costumes. But with increasing fascination in the movement, the term grunge became a fashion trend. Plaid shirts soon became an expensive product of the fashion industry. Designers like Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein capital-ized on the trend, incorporating ripped clothing and unusual layering into their collection. With the current revival of grunge today, it is apparent the popularity of grunge music has continued throughout the decades.
The Grunge Sound: Taking Punk to the Masses
Sub Pop, formed by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, was a record label responsible for projecting the Seattle Sound. Released in 1988, the Sub Pop 200 compilation was released along with Green Rivers Dry As a Bone. A Sub Pop catalog described Green River as ultra-loose GRUNGE that destroyed the morals of a generation. With a little media attention from journal-ist Everett True of Britain, Seattles music scene was put on the map and the rest was history.
The grunge movement was inspired by hard-core punk, heavy metal, and indie rock bands. Kurt Cobain, the lead singer and guitarist for Nirvana, popularized the musical sub-genre and aspects of fashion that are well known for the 1990s. As other alternative music groups, such as Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and The Screaming Trees, signed to label contracts in the early 1990s, grunge became established as a sub-culture of music. Those following the craze wanted to dress similar to their idols, which influenced the development of grunge fashion. Other sub-genres, such as skaters, of the 90s started to pick up similar dress char-acteristics, including the plaid flannel shirts, long greasy hair and, baggy, ripped or patched jeans. Being grunge was based around the mindset of being independent and disre-garding what people thought about them.
Pop Culture + The Influencers
Kurt Cobain + Courtney Love
The grunge movement was based on staying under the radar and not carrying about fashion. Since the popularization of al-ternative bands in the early 1990s, fashion designers began to construct their collections and inspiration based on this grun-ge aesthetic. These influencers of grunge were disgusted when grunge became commercialized and fashionable. Soon enough grunge fashion was found anywhere from musicians, skaters, and even Marc Jacobs and Anna Suis 1993 designer collections.
During the late 1980s, bands based out of the UK, had similar al-ternative music styles, commonly known as Britpop. Their styles of fashion included pullover cable sweaters, T-shirts, denim, suede jackets, and Doc Martens. Popularized Britpop bands, such as The Stone Roses, dressed as if they werent trying to be stylish. They are the unrecognized influence of these iconic looks that were emulat-ed through other American alternative musicians during the 1990s.
Politics + EconomicsTrickle-Up Theory
Marc Jacobs 1993
"Thrifting" became the norm of the 1990s. No one cared about being fancy, in fact they de-spised it. Flannel and leather, the boho-hobo staples of second-hand attire, were the basics of a non-fashion statement. A flannel shirt worn around the waist was a precaution against the Pacific Northwest's unpredictable weather. Doc Martens trailed effectively through mud. "It wasn't like somebody said, 'Let's all dress like lumberjacks and start Seattle chic! This stuff is cheap, it's durable, and it's kind of timeless. It also runs against the grain of the whole flashy esthetic that existed in the 80's, Sub Pop Co-founder, Jonathan Poneman said.
SuiYoung Anna Sui & Marc
Marc Jacobs discovered his passion for de-sign at a very young age . Soon after his graduation in 1984 from Parsons School of Design, Jacobs was soon crowned the head of sportswear label Perry Ellis. In 1992, Jacobs debuted what would become a landmark collection and pave the way for grunge as we know it today: flannels, thermals, Doc Martens, layers, skullcaps, and good old rock n roll. He was fired af-terwards, but nonetheless he was titled the guru of grunge. Shortly after he opened up a small boutique featuring his very own label Marc Jacobs, and the rest was history.
Today, Marc Jacobs is one of fashions cool-est, most influential designers. In fact, Jacobs was the youngest designer ever to win the CFDA Perry Ellis Award in 1997. Jacobs has since then won countless awards including Womenswear Design-er of the Year, Menswear Designer of the Year and Accessories Designer of the Year.
M a r c Jacobs
BIRTH DATE: April 09, 1963 (Age: 50)EDUCATION: Parsons School of DesignFROM: New York, New York
Marc Jacobs rocking the signature grunge look himself, 1993
Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis, 1993
Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis, 1993
Marc Jacobs 1993 grunge collection for Perry Ellis
Anna Sui stepped on the scene in 1989, and by1991 she debuted her first runway show. It was from that day, that Sui would become an overnight success. For nearly a decade she slowly built her business out of her apart-ment. Eventually her hard work would pay off, and in 2009, Sui won the CFDA Geof-frey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. Sui describes her clothes as nostalgic often portraying memories of her childhood. Sui has been referred to as a pioneer of con-temporary niche. Anna Sui, maker of $300 avant-garde dresses, is that heroine. Her subjects are the antiestablishment club kids who party all night and work any number of menial jobs while waiting for a big break in the popular arts. Sui offers them just what they love: clothes that are commonplace in design but when worn by the right peopl
BIRTH DATE: Aug 4, 1964 (Age 48)FROM: Detroit, MichiganEDUCATION: Parsons School of Design
A n n a S u i
Kate Moss & Naomi Campbell were just a few of the many big supporters of the designers eclectic style and rock n roll edge.
Twiggy wearing Anna Sui in Italian Vogue, Photographed by Steven Meisel, 1993
Vogue Italia, Anna Sui, 1993
More Featured Designers of the Grunge Undertaking
T O M M Y H I L F I G E R
C H R I S T I A N F R A N C I S R O T H
Largely successful for his preppy stylesHis logo heavy designs gained im-mense populari