The Nirvana frontman and style icon Kurt Cobain, Getty Images.

The Nirvana frontman and style icon Kurt Cobain, Getty Images.


If it weren’t for Kurt Cobain, plaid flannel shirts would still be something only lumberjacks wear. The legendary artist and involuntary style icon was frontman for a genre – and an immortal fashion style.

In the early 90s Nirvana dominated charts all over the world and were critics, fans and label executives' favourites. Frontman Kurt Cobain became one of the most influential artists known to the world and his heartbreaking life story continues to fascinate. On 4 May, the first authorized documentary about the icon is released.

With the premiere of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck we remember the legend by counting down the ten celebrities who love the fashion style he made famous.

Rihanna and Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson, Getty Images.

This superstar is fashion-forward to say the least. But one of her favourite on and off stage looks is distressed denim, opened plaid shirts and ripped stockings. Rihanna does grunge with a twist.

The Twilight Saga is set in Washington State in the northwest US, so the former Twilight lovers were probably heavily exposed to the subculture during their years of filming in the grunge mecca. Still, years after the last Twilight film was released, both “Bella” and “Edward” dress in plaid as often as they can.

Frances Bean Cobain and Kanye West's collection for Adidas, Getty Images.

The daughter to the figureheads of grunge was definitely not following in her parents’ footsteps growing up. That all changed. A few years ago the now 22-year-old threw out her girly-girl dresses and dyed her hair dusty pink. She’s been seen in oversized band t-shirts, smoky eye shadow and stonewashed denim ever since. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree after all.

Grunge is far from representative of Kanye’s style, which is customized and often up to code with current – or future – trends. But looking through his collection for Adidas, “Yeezus” has included a whole bunch of grunge items. Like these ripped commando sweaters for example. Also, it’s not rare spotting the hip-hop mogul sporting a waist-tied plaid shirt either.

Jared Leto and Taylor Momsen, Getty Images.

Jared Leto’s career started with plaid shirts, wife beaters, stonewashed denim and chokers in My So-Called Life. The actor and singer has tried out a lot of trends and styles since, and is sporting a platinum blonde Karl Lagerfeld-esque look at the moment. Despite his current debauchery we have a feeling the hair colour will fade into a post-grunge bleach and he will find back to his checked roots.

Is she punk, goth, grunge – or non of the above? One thing is certain – actor Taylor Momsen does embrace opposites, like mixing girly dresses with ripped stockings, chunky boots, black lipstick and flannel. She is definitely grunge – but probably equally punk. Oh well.

Marc Jacobs A/W 2006 – still flirting with grunge and Gwen Stefani copying Kurt Cobain's outfit, Getty Images/All Over Press.

In 1992, a young Marc Jacobs nearly wrecked his career and ruined his future when he introduced grunge to the runway. He was fired from Perry Ellis, abhorred by the grunge movement and ridiculed by the press. Marc Jacobs was amazed by the movement then and loves the style now. Despite his past, the designer still loves to include a twist of grunge in his collections. 

Like Jared Leto and Marc Jacobs, Gwen Stefani’s career was taking off when Nirvana had reached superstardom. In the 90’s she often mixed grunge with her skater-chic style. However, for the past years, the No Doubt singer has been seen mimicking outfits worn by the late Kurt Cobain.

Sky Ferreira and Cara Delevingne, Getty Images.

This young artist was a cog in the machine to become the next Britney Spears when she decided to go her own way. She started sounding differently and wasn’t afraid to be imperfect, which is totally grunge. But what actually makes her grunge and not just an indie singer is her fashion choices: Oversized band t-shirts, plaid shirts, cut off denim shorts and a turned back baseball cap.

With a plaid shirt tied around her waist and a pair of chunky boots on her feet, the British It-girl is – in some ways – the modern poster child for grunge. Besides the stereotypical attributes mentioned, Cara seems careless about her looks. The supermodel is rather making funny faces than posing, and prefers dressing down rather than up.

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