Grunge, punk styles set to rock New York Fashion Week runways

Thu Feb 7, 2013 6:10am EST
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Grunge and punk are poised for comebacks for fall and winter, say top U.S. department store buyers at New York's Fashion Week, which starts on Thursday, but don't rip up your flannel shirt just yet as the revival will be taking on a more feminine flair.

The return of grunge and punk for autumn 2013 are part of a rock 'n' roll theme experts expect to see in collections by the more than 90 designers showing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Manhattan's Lincoln Center.

Hundreds more labels will parade collections elsewhere in the city during the semi-annual event, which draws more than 200,000 attendees to New York, from buyers to editors to models.

"There are early indications that people are having a love affair again with the idea of grunge," said Ken Downing, fashion director of luxury department store Neiman Marcus.

The disheveled thrift shop style was embodied in the 1990s by the late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain and his wife, Courtney Love. Its dark, irreverent looks had their roots in punk styles of the late 1970s.

"When I say grunge, people always kind of grimace, but it's not an absolute interpretation from the past," Downing said. "There's a real girliness to it."

In pre-fall collections shown recently to department store buyers - collections that can set the tone for fall and winter fashion - grunge emerged in looks giving prim schoolgirl clothes some tomboy attitude with menswear-inspired shoes and motorcycle jackets, Downing said.

RELAXED STYLES   Continued...

Models stand in the sun before the Degen Autumn/Winter 2013 collection show during New York Fashion Week, February 6, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer