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  • wonder, in a way, we are nostalgic for that look, that vibe, all over again. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, plaid, dip-dyed hair, it all feels so very now, if you look at the FW13 offerings from Saint Laurent and Givenchy and Burberry… And what about those sell-out patchwork boyfriend jeans by Junya Watanabe, the patron saint, somehow, of Brit grunge? You'd be a cleverer person than I am, if you managed to nab a pair.


    This latest incarnation of grunge is very specific. Not punk and not rock chick, either. It is not even hipster, but lies delicately but definitely somewhere in-between. It is a look that can't be taken too literally. If it smells too much like teen spirit, if it is accompanied by anything other than squeaky-clean hair and the richest of skin, it looks ridiculous, especially for any of us who are no longer teens.

    Cherry picking, then, that's what it's all about; honing in on the elements without having to go for the whole shebang.

    Shall we start with plaid? Let's. Plaid, or tartan, as we call it here, was everywhere on the runway in all sorts of permutations. Think of it, too, in terms of an accessory, as well as a piece of clothing. A plaid shirt tied round the hips may not offer much function other than concealing one's bottom but, goodness, does it look right. Maje has a brilliant oversized flannel plaid shirt that I want right here and now. IMHO, a girl can never have too many plaid flannel shirts, but what about the one in chiffon by Burberry Brit? Luxe grunge may sound like an oxymoron, but it is, in effect, what we are aiming for here. Neo-grunge, maybe that is what we should call it, instead.

    Slip dresses in florals, then, they by all means fit into the trend. Wear with another revival: sheer


    "LUXE grunge may sound like an oxmoron, but it is, in effect, what we are AIMING for"

    black tights, or bare legs for the brave – or those in the southern hemisphere. A pair of double-buckled biker boots or even a pair of heels. Pale denim, always, but not ripped, please. Actually, if you want inspiration, Google image what all the models were wearing to and from the last batch of shows: denim cut-offs, sheer tights and plaid shirts tied round their hips. Okay, it's not a look we can all carry off, but a luxe hoodie, a baseball cap, a cashmere beanie… these all aptly and elegantly acknowledge the trend.

    A friend of a friend has a sister who used to be in the Royal Air Force, and is still kicking herself for not nabbing her old air-force boots, which would work just fabulously here. As long as they were scrupulously polished. This neo-grunge trend may very well be about proving we don't have to look picture perfect all the time – sometimes it is good to be a bit ragged around the edges. Not quite as ragged as the first time round, though. Neo-grunge only works if it is super-glamorous, of course.

    How to do

    polished GRUNGE

    plaid, pale denim and leather make
    for perfect on-trend pieces

    LAYER UP

    Dress down a glamorous slip dress with a
    biker jacket.

    PLAID UPDATE

    Swap flannel
    for chiffon.

    FINAL TOUCH

    Heeled boots will elevate the look.

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