Are Hipsters the new Grunge/Anti-Fashion?


It seems that more and more these days new subcultures are popping up all over the world. So, it was only fitting that I explore the question that I have been wondering lately, Is the Hipster culture replacing what the Grunge scene was to Generation X?

Every generation has the aspiration to find someplace where they belong. Now, I can’t say that grunge music and fashion was that for me because I was about 4 years too young to actually enjoy everything about it. I’ve always felt like I have been late on everything. The punk movement seemed so expressive and new and of course I wasn’t around to live that. Then when America had its pulse on a new movement yet again I was too young. Now that the music industry is churning out more of the same thing it seems that the youth has turned more to the fashion industry.

Grunge was always about the music. The fashion just came last and as a method of expression on what music you listened to. Now, it seems to be just the opposite. There are more young people posting their daily outfits instead of record reviews. I happen to be addicted to checking out people’s Chictopia pages regularly too.

Grunge was this:


I like to call it unconscious dressing… They didn’t know it at the time but they were creating a revolution still discussed two decades later. This trend or influence has somehow spilled over into the 2000s.

Hipsters or Scenesters (whichever you prefer) are mostly identified by young people in their 20s who live in metropolitan cities with access to many fashion labels and cool new lounges or places to hang out..Misshapes (which is/was a party created by three new york DJs) was the first time the outside world saw young people who were learning more about fashion and creating their own look of personal style radically different than ever seen before. Having your photo taken there was even more important than going there for the music and atmosphere. This became so popular that a book was published of photos taken at this famous gathering:




I don’t want to say that I am part of the scene but I am a bit of a floater in it. I have attended the parties a few times and most of the time I end up looking at the outfits than the music…

Any thoughts on this observation?

oh and merry christmas!

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  1. 1

    Great post. I love your blog. I’m a bit into the grunge style and while I wouldn’t call myself a hipster or scenester exactly, I’m definitely in and out of it. That photo of Beth Ditto is adorable.

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    I think the biggest difference between the two subcultures (and why I personally believe that hipsters are not at all like grungers…) is that the grunge look is totally unconscious. People wore what they thought was comfortable and what was common in the Seattle region where the it all began (hence the flannel button-downs). Grunge fashion was a reflection of the disheveled, who-gives-a-fuck lifestyle those people led. They had no idea they were creating an entire fashion category. Hipsters, on the other hand, make a premeditated effort to dress a certain way, attend certain parties and listen to certain music. It’s more of a fad than a way of life. My personal feeling is that grungers defied social norms by being themselves and doing whatever they wanted, while hipsters, in a conscious attempt to separate themselves from others and solidify their uniqueness, have actually created a movement in which everyone inevitably looks the same.

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    The difference is that the hipsters are actually trying to be grunge, and it’s all very put together, whereas people in actual grunge bands didn’t try to look like anything, they just didn’t give a damn. Dressing “grunge” would be like taking whatever clothes you find on your floor and just chucking them on. If you have to make an effort, you’ve already failed.

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