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


Oyster Mix: River & Phoenix

New wave and post punk to get you through to the weekend.


Beauty Daily July: Barney & Naomi

Meet the brains behind the hair and make-up.


Reactions to Frank Ocean's Coming Out

The good, the bad, and the ugly.


Watch: 'Mirror, Mirror' by Chanel Beauty

Shiny (human) disco balls.


Stereosonic 2012 Playlist

Featuring Van She, Diplo, Avicii and more.


Arizona Muse is the New Face of G-Star

She stars in the AW12 campaign, shot by Anton Corbijn.


Chanel FW12/13 Haute Couture Runway Gallery

Take a first look at the show here!


Download: Tyler, The Creator's 2012 Summer Camp Mix

Featuring Mariah Carey, Toro Y Moi, N.E.R.D. and more.


Frank Ocean Comes Out

Via a letter posted to his Tumblr.


Watch: Preen's Resort 2013 Film

A collection inspired by Jeff Koons' neo-floral artworks.


Watch: Charlotte Free Trapped in the Tumblr Closet

Go behind-the-scenes with the pink-haired Queen of Tumblr.


James Franco x Playboy

He debuts his column, 'Francophile'.


It List: Jil Sander Prefall Scarf at LN-CC

Shop brand new Prefall at LN-CC.


Beauty With a Conscience

You'll be surprised just how far a tube of lipstick can go.


Oyster #99: Hannah Murray

"It's like, 'Oh, you're making a film about women. How unusual!"


Best of Backstage: Paris Men's SS13

Hermès, Raf Simons, Acne, Dior, Givenchy, Henrik Vibskov, Dries Van Noten.


Nike's 'Dream Team' Collection

Celebrating 20 years since the USA's victory at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.


Oyster #99: Nite Jewel

"A lot of people don't have faith in women to be successful."


Jac + Jack SS12 Lookbook

Unembellished but never boring.


Listen: 'Nathan' by Azealia Banks

Featuring Styles P.


Oyster #99: 'The Naked Truth' Beauty Story

Naomi Preizler shot by Charlotte Wales.


Oyster #99: Laetitia Crahay

"To be independent, and not to have to rely on a man."


Watch: Scanlan & Theodore x Daan Roosegaarde

Fashion sponsors art for the 18th Biennale of Sydney.


It List: Rochas Leather-Trimmed Raffia Loafers

Shop the sale at Net-a-Porter.


Watch: Odd Future's Short Film 'Sam Is Dead'

Directed by Tyler, The Creator.


Exclusive: Karla Spetic SS12/13 Lookbook

A sorbet-gelato warm-weather delight.


Oyster #99: Miss USA

"I think people forget that pageant girls went off to do so many things — like the Doritos Girl."


Mugler Resort 2013 Lookbook

Half-Japanese femme fatales from the future.


Polaroid Launch Instant Digital Camera

With ink-less print technology!


Backstage at Milan SS13 With Emporio Armani, Prada & Jil Sander

Our highlights of Milan's menswear presentations.


Watch: Van She's 'Jamaica' Live in the Studio

The second single from 'Idea of Happiness'.


Exclusive: Emily Jean for Carly Hunter SS12/13

Oceans of minimalism and soft asymmetricality.