For those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up in the ‘90s, aka the heyday of grunge, when Seattle was the center of the musical universe and flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and high-top Chucks seemed to be the only clothing options worth wearing, there was one band—one man, really—credited with starting it all. That man was Kurt Donald Cobain. As the lead singer of Nirvana, his poetic, anti-establishment lyrics and dark, brooding angst gave voice to a generation of social outcasts, misfits, and melodramatic teenagers alike, anointing him with the title of Grunge King, much to the shy rocker’s chagrin.
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So in the spirit of full-blown nostalgia, and because Cobain’s much-hyped documentary, Montage of Heck, is now in theaters and available on HBO GO, we decided to hark back to the days when Nevermind, O.J. Simpson, and Bill Clinton ruled the cultural conversation, and pay tribute to the musical legend with three ’90s-inspired outfits, tailored for the modern-day rocker. Scroll through below.
Not only was Cobain a harbinger of the Peter Pan collar trend, but he also famously dyed his hair a multi-hued purple-pink color (seen here at a Nirvana concert in 1991), which can be easily achieved thanks to this Manic Panic semi-permanent hair dye.
Shop the look: Manic Panic Amplified Squeeze Bottle in Hot Hot Pink, $14; manicpanic.com. Levi’s 501CT jeans, $98; us.levis.com. Comme Des Garçons blouse, $387; farfetch.com. Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, $55; converse.com.
For his performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1992, Cobain rocked a shorter, Ringo-esque bowl cut (he was a self-professed huge Beatles fan), a printed shirt layered over a graphic T, heavily destructed jeans, and his go-to accessory: a Fender Stratocaster.
Shop the look: AYR The Slouchy Jean, $325; ayr.com. Zara Printed Shirt-Style Blouse, $50; zara.com. Vans Perforated Leather Slip-On Sneaker, $60; vans.com.
One of the rare photos of the rocker and his then-wife Courtney Love, taken at the MTV Video Music Awards the following year, this getup perfectly embodies Cobain’s grunge-rock aesthetic, juxtaposed against Love donning an angelic white gown. Also, those glasses.
Shop the look: Illesteva Leonard II sunglasses, $290; net-a-porter.com. BlankNYC Skinny Boy jeans, $128; blanknyc.com. Paige Denim Sandy top, $89; paige.com. Greats Wilson sneaker, $49; greats.com.
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