90s Fashion, Makeup & Style Photo Shoot: Fuel Fire
As grunge returned to the fashion and makeup mood boards of this season and the 90s look was revisited as an inspiration for loads of editorials and designer collections, it is getting clearer that fashion is loosening up and evolving nowadays into something known as glunge or as the irony has it, glamour grunge.
In its beginnings, however, the whole point of grunge fashion was to dress down, rejecting the hard-edged styles and the attitudes of the 80s as well as the glamorous supermodel image that was popularized in the same 90s decade.
In fact, for us to understand 90s fashion, makeup and hairstyles, we must first understand the music genre that is Grunge and the premises on which it became one of the most popular alternative rock genres.
Grunge fuses elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal, although some bands performed with more emphasis on one or the other. The music shares with punk a raw sound and similar lyrical concerns. However, it also involves much slower tempos, dissonant harmonies, and more complex instrumentation—which is reminiscent of heavy metal.
The grunge movement was heavily influenced by bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, with Soundgarden having the largest influence on the genre. Grunge musicians themselves were influenced by the Beatles and many other pop bands, not to mention heavy metal of the early 70s, particularly Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.
Lyrics were angst-filled, often addressing themes such as social alienation, apathy, confinement, and a desire for freedom. Many grunge musicians displayed a general disenchantment with the state of society, as well as a discomfort with social prejudices, another similarity to punk rock music.
Even in the economical state of those times, there was a terrifying feeling of burnout in the culture at large. Kids were depressed about the future and this was not only reflected in their attitude or music preference, but also in the way they dressed and looked.
Clothing commonly worn by grunge musicians and fans consisted of thrift store items and the typical outdoor clothing of the region – most notably the flannel shirt, as well as a generally unkempt appearance.
The style did not evolve out of a conscious attempt to create an appealing fashion. This clothing was cheap, durable, comfortable and kind of timeless. It also ran against the grain of the whole flashy aesthetic that existed in the 80s.
The style was perfect for that awkward stage of adolescence, layers that one could shrug off and hide behind, an armor of sorts.This eclectic style often consisted of blending feminine and masculine looks with their hard and soft aspects clashing.
Fashion IT Items: Flannel, Big Sweaters, Leather Jackets, Band Shirts, Long Shorts, maxi skirts and dresses Ripped Shorts/Jeans, Dungarees, Crop Tops, Plaid, Patterned Tights, Jean Jackets/Vests, Baby-Doll Dresses, Boyfriend Cardigans, Colored Jeans, Crew Neck Shirts, Wool Blazers and Dark Jeans.
Grunge, 90s accessories are Rounded Sunglasses, Ray-Ban Sunglasses, Converses, Lace-Up Boots, Doc Martins, Military Boots (Unlaced), High/Exposed Socks, and Interesting Hats.
Makeup in the 90s is either adopting the completely natural look, or going bold and adventurous with your makeup choices. A preferred look is the smeared, black eyeliner on the bottom lash line, as though you’ve been partying all night and eventually falling asleep with your makeup on.
Grunge makeup is usually heavy on the eyes and neutral on the lips and face – no blush, nude lipstick. If you’re not into dark eye makeup, use plenty of mascara, line the eyes and soften the edges of the pencil.
Put on a bright shade of red or burgundy lipstick to achieve that effortless “i don’t give a f*ck” glamorous grunge look that Courtney Love and later Brody Dalle preferred.
Hair wasn’t the prime concern for women or men in the 90s and it didn’t take too much of their time. Messy and greasy hair are specific elements of the grunge look. Dying your hair in punk tones, like pink, blue, purple, bleached blond or ombre is a perfect way to catch the spirit of the 90s.
Avoid perfecting the hairstyle and simply throw it up in a bun or ponytail. Letting your hair hang down is also a good look for grunge.
Here are some photos from an editorial myself and a fashion blogger and friend organized to capture the 90s Grunge spirit. Our model, Selina, is wearing Scared Off shorts, Predator Leggings, Prey Dress from 109. Shirts, beanies and boots from H&M, crop top and skirt from Mango, vest and sunglasses – vintage.