There are moments that can change your life and moments that can change history. Marc Jacobs’s Spring 1993 collection for Perry Ellis managed to be both. It was 1992, a time when fashion was still catering squarely to the practicality of working women and the upper echelons of society, when Jacobs turned his eye to the grunge scene bubbling in the Pacific Northwest, sending out Carla Bruni in Dr. Martens boots, Tyra Banks in Birkenstocks, Shalom Harlow in Converse All Stars, and Kate Moss and Kristen McMenamy in tees with Robert Crumb graphics. His cast of supers were decidedly dressed-down on the runway, looking more like their off-duty selves than the glamazons the fashion press was used to, spinning and strutting in flannel shirts, vintage-y pear-print wrap dresses, and raglan tees in neon colors elongated into slinky maxi dresses. The look, as Jacobs said at the time, was inspired by the authenticity of the music world and the way his model friends were already dressing. It was an early bellwether of fashion and music coming together, of youth culture impacting high fashion, and of fashion becoming a talking point for pop culture. Today he tells Vogue, “The Grunge collection epitomized the first time in my professional career I was unwavering in my determination to see my vision come to life on the runway, without creative compromise.”
The story of what happened next is essentially fashion legend. Critics across the industry panned the collection: Cathy Horyn wrote “Grunge is anathema to fashion, and for a major Seventh Avenue fashion house to put out that kind of statement at that kind of price point is ridiculous.” (She retracted her statement decades later.) Suzy Menkes, for her part, declared “Grunge is ghastly.” Not long after, Jacobs was surreptitiously fired from Perry Ellis. It was the dismissal heard around the fashion world, one that birthed Jacobs’s eponymous collection, which has been, since its inception, a prism that refracts the obsessions and aesthetics of American subcultures through a fashionable, singularly Marc Jacobs lens.
This November, Marc Jacobs—with the approval of the Perry Ellis company—is bringing grunge back, recutting 26 looks seam-for-seam from his Spring 1993 collection. Modeled here by Gigi Hadid, Binx Walton, Slick Woods, Dree Hemingway, and more, the collection looks surprisingly modern. Coco Gordon Moore, whose mother, Kim Gordon, was the star of Marc Jacobs’s first-ever ad campaign, wears Kate Moss’s finale look: an ivory blazer and Crumb tee. Lily McMenamy, whose mother appeared hand-in-hand with Moss in the show’s finale, wears her mom’s lilac ensemble. All to say, there’s a lot of fashion to love here—and it’s almost certain to sell. In the 12 hours Vogue has had the lookbook, millennial staffers have already begun planning out which items to buy.
Different looks from the collection