The History of Its Grunge, Gorp, and Graffiti Scenes
, 2022-09-22 16:57:49,
When we talk about U.S. style cities, New York casts an incredibly long shadow. It’s the only American city with a fashion week that matters, for instance, and a hub for both industry and media. From a global perspective, it’s often seen as the single stateside generator of fashion.
But that oversimplification cuts out a lot of regional scenes, some with rich histories and long-lasting impacts. And with that in mind, one American city that deserves its flowers right now is Seattle.
Though rarely mentioned in the same breath as “style” or “fashion,” that rainy mountain town in the top left corner of the map laid the groundwork for the current menswear zeitgeist of grunge and gorp, going back to the ‘90s. And in some current, high-profile cases, fashion is literally pulling art off of Seattle streets.
“It’s not really hated on, or misunderstood,” says Andrew Callaghan, Seattle native and host of the American culture show, Channel 5. “I would say it’s just not acknowledged.”
Before we continue, let’s get our lexicon in order. Grunge style basically means dressing like Kurt Cobain (501s, cardigans, flannels, granny glasses). And gorp (terrible word, but we’re using it) means “good old raisins and peanuts,” aka trail mix. It’s since evolved into a slang term for the aesthetic of technical outdoor gear that was originally worn for functionality, but which has become fashionable in the past five or…
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