Nov 17, 2011 12:00AM

Daphne Guinness: Real Fashion Ended with Grunge

The best and worst of grunge: Kate Moss, Johnny Depp and Kurt Cobain.

The inimitably eccentric heiress that is Daphne Guinness has proclaimed grunge to be the last inspired era in fashion. "There hasn't been anything real since grunge," Guinness told Interview magazine. "That was the last movement led by music or an art form."

Clearly unimpressed with the state of fashion these days, Guinness was lost for words when asked to define the style of this period. When she did answer, the only term which seemed to suffice was a lustreless "corporate". I can't quite decide if I find this statement to be profoundly accurate, or if perhaps all fashion would seem drab and 'corporate-like' when compared with Guinness' outlandish wardrobe and her panache for outrageous and fabulous haute couture, soaring heel-less platforms and 'skunk hair' that would make Cruella De Vil proud. Either way, the heiress has a strong commitment to fashion, famously using the windows of Barneys as her dressing room - so when she has something to say about the nature of the industry, perhaps it's time we listened.

I sincerely hope that I haven't taken Guinness' words out of context, given that in the same interview, she also expressed the deep upset she feels when she is misquoted by the press or her words are taken out of context.

"Thoughts are fluid and words are sticky? But sometimes it's like they try to tie you into knots."

Instead of passing judgment as to the validity or otherwise of the heiress' claims, I wanted to look at the pros and cons of Ms Guinness' argument regarding the death of fashion as synonymous with the death of grunge by revisiting what was good and not so good about the influence of grunge, as well as some of the great stuff that has followed.

When grunge is oh so good:

Grunge gone bad

Great fashion moments that have followed the grunge movement

Fashion movements may have become more fluid and, therefore less definable over the last decade, but that is not to say that there haven't been some fabulous moments in fashion over the last ten years, or that there aren't designers out there carving their own paths by creating unique and beautiful designs. Here are some of our favourites from the past year alone:

Richard Chai

Richard Chai's unique blend of surprising fabrics, architectural touches and a minimalist approach to form and shape lend his designs a distinctly modern feel that is both covetable and wearable. His pieces certainly mark a positive moment in fashion since the reign of grunge.

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou's use of bold graphics and hyperrealist fabrications sets her apart from the masses. In what I see as a real departure from the 'recycled past', her designs are truly unique and contain their very own special moment in fashion.

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang has pioneered an oddly sexy sporty-tomboy aesthetic that many designers would struggle to make work, yet somehow he does it time and time again. Though it cannot be denied that Wang certainly draws influence from the grunge era himself, his approach to female fashion is truly unique and definitely worth a mention as a definable fashion moment to follow grunge.

There are undoubtedly pros and cons to Daphne Guinness' claim that there hasn't been anything real in fashion since grunge. I must admit that her words on the recent tendency to recycle fashion's past, for example, is nothing if not poignant.

"Fashion is not just about trends. It's about political history. You can trace it from the ancient Romans to probably until the '80s, and you can see defining moments that were due either to revolutions or changes in politics? But now we've been feeding on a sort of cadaver. At the moment, we're just endlessly recycling the past."

In the end though, fashion is by its very nature cyclical and perhaps there is nothing wrong with that. Note to self: avoid corporate fabrications and three piece suits at all costs.

Rosie Dalton

Latest


Interview: DSTVV

Meet the "industrial grungegaze" band who named their most recent release after Molly Soda.


Watch: 'Sad Dream' by Sky Ferreira

Sad but really attractive.


Halloween Playlist

Featuring Misfits, The Cramps, Slayer, Electric Light Orchestra, Die Antwoord, Kanye and more!


Georgia May Jagger x Sunglass Hut Behind-The-Scenes

A preview for their floating Sydney Harbour pop-up shop.


Hurricane Sandy: Instagram Edition

Featuring photos by Coco Rocha and Nabil.


How To Be A Super Successful Film Editor

We interview Jamie Selkirk, most known for his work on the Lord of The Rings trilogy.


Poepke's Top 5 New Season Picks

Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackermann and more from the Paddington store.


Oyster Photo Essay: Zac Handley x Berlin

"The youth have basically said 'Fuck it, let's just do whatever we want'."


Oyster Market: All The Things!

Hermès, Marc Jacobs, Prada and more.


Oyster Playlist: Sambassadeur

Swedish pop or die.


Robert Pattinson Is The New Face Of Dior Homme

Teenage girls start buying men's fragrance.


New York Diary: Hurricane Sandy

"Apparently alcohol is an essential for hurricane survival."


Halloween: Instagram Edition

Alexa Chung as Marie Antoinette, Andrej Pejić as Cher from Clueless, plus Tavi and Petra do Stanley Kubrick.


Opening Ceremony Spring 2013 Lookbook

Stacked heels, gingham dresses and Florida sunsets circa '98.


'Unsung Heroes' at Cockatoo Island Film Festival

A cultural experience with guaranteed good karma.


Oyster Words: Hazel Cills on Digital Narcissism

"Digital narcissism — a common problem among teenagers with internet connections."


Win A Limited Edition Pair of Karen Walker Sunglasses

To celebrate the arrival of the Candy Bar pop-up shop in Australia.


Watch: Lena Dunham Talks About Her First Time in Obama Campaign Ad

It is safe to say Obama has got the young female vote.


Watch: 'Who Will Love You Now' by Mitzi

Very excellent fashions.


Preview Courtney Love's Clothing Line

A vintage-inspired collection.


Molly Soda's Top 10 ASOS Picks

Dress like the Queen of The Internet.


Oyster Notes: Alice Dellal

Alice appears in the Chanel Little Black Jacket exhibition, opening this weekend in Sydney.


Exclusive: Maurie & Eve AW13 Campaign

Starring Gabby Westbrook-Patrick.


Oyster Words: Zac Bayly on Internet Superheroes

"Memes are the street art of the censored web," says artist An Xiao Mina.


Watch: Ai Weiwei Does Psy's 'Gangnam Style'

Chinese contemporary artist harnesses power of viral K-pop video.


Azealia Banks, Charlotte Free & Ellie Goulding for ASOS

They star in the Christmas campaign.


Liberty Ross for Alexander Wang's Confessional

Addresses her husband's affair with Kristen Stewart.


ManiaMania x Ellery Melbourne Sale

Starting this Friday!


Watch: 'Young Again' by Paul Banks (Interpol)

In which he is bullied by small children and takes revenge during a game of dodgeball.


Listen: Fatima Al Qadiri's 'Desert Strike' EP

Title inspired by a Sega Megadrive Game