I can proudly state that I'm not a Marie Claire reader–at least, not since I was 16. But, I do sometimes like me some Gawker (for those of you who don't know, Gawker is a mean-spirited, Manhattan-centric, media-obsessed, celeb-stalking blog…that totally fills my empty minutes with wondrous laughter). So I cannot tell a lie: Gawker (via their sister site, Jezebel )is how I found out that this month's Marie Claire has tossed a new/old trend back into the mix: Grunge. Yes, you're thinking right: Nirvana, plaid on plaid, oversized sweaters, long stringy hair, ripped trod-upon jeans kind of grunge.
Only this time around, MC is endowing this unfortuante fashion with a new context, shooting skinny-mini model girls as they "fix" pipes, "operate" heavy machinery, and "relax" atop oil barrels, among other laborious tasks.
The brown leather Hurley vest (above left) is 145 big ones–and all gone to waste when combined with the clashing plaid flannel and tote. And that gold patterned headscarf (far right) that a steam pipe is this close to exploding onto is $70 from Frank and Kahn. This time around, grunge isn't second-hand (even though it looks it). It's high-end. And it's not inspired by those frivolous musicians and aritsts – it's coming straight from the people who wear these clothes: factory workers, of course! As Gawker says about this photo of these two visions in plaid, laughing over a hot cup of joe: "Haha, isn't it fun to pretend to be blue collar?…OMG totes, I'm gonna eat Hamburger Helper tonight. Kidding! I've got a reservation at Masa."
It's not so much the clothing itself that bothers me–I could probably get used to plaid again, if I had to (though hopefully I won't have to. I much prefer flirty dresses and gladiator sandals). It's the idea of paying thousands to play proletariat. First off, can't I just pay $2 at Salvation Army? Secondly, is there no line the fashion industry won't cross? On the other hand, millions of underpaid American workers just sky-rocketed into the couture class!