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Seattle, WA

Seattle + Grunge + Gothic + Chic = 'Grungy Chic'

C
hicing it up or mixing it with other style categories, Seattle’s original grunge style is still going full force. And what is Grunge plus Gothic mixed with a touch of chic stylishness? Let us call it ‘Grungy Chic’. In Seattle, Washington, the birth place of grunge music, it is visible to all that visit this alluring city that there is a very eclectic mix of dress. But for the purpose of this article, we will concentrate on two: the old grunge and the new ‘Grungy Chic’.

In the 1980’s there was a phenomenon that overtook Seattle and eventually the world-wide music scene. Different sounds were being played together: guitar rock with punk and metal. The combination stuck and became the genre that we now know as grunge music. This style of music was originally played by bands such as Mudhone, the Melvins and Pearl Jam at little known spots like the Crocodile Café in Seattle’s Belltown district. But the real press came when a popular band named Nirvana came to the forefront. The attire of these bands where very carefree, layered, unconventional and almost sloppy in appearance.

While some might heavily argue that grunge is just a musical style and not a category of style in the fashion world, grunge has actually become a proper word that describes both, a style of music and dress. Now the cross over came when the generations of the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s started to mimic the dress of the bands that blessed us with the new, exciting, rebellious and underground blend of sounds. The look of the bands with their multiple layers, lots of plaids, un-kept (whether intentional or not) and carefree hair was becoming a fashion trend for the masses. But the fashion that was once called a trend is now here to stay.

The Gothic style is quite a bit older (architecturally originated around the 12th century) and has already been attributed to multiple arenas… architecture, historical periods and fashions to name a few. Additionally, this style is known as a subculture, and the people of gothic style are often viewed as belonging to ‘the dark side’, to be ‘night walkers’ (up only after sunset), and society phobic. They are also, generally speaking, pale in complexion, wearers of extreme amounts of make-up (white pancake make-up application and dark make-up encouraged), and darker than dark hair and clothing. This edgy style, no longer only for the exclusive use of so-called “outcasts”, when used on the right person, can often be striking to view. And when elements of the gothic style are incorporated with other style types, they can be quite the enhancers. The jewelry, for instance are great conversation pieces... from the large cuffs and links to the skull based pieces, to Victorian mourning-style jewelry.
I got a scholarship to Seattle University and I was writing (musical) arrangements for singers and everybody...Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing.
– Quincy Jones
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