Kyle Guerra is an amateur skater and bassist for the band Small Hands, and, in addition to that, a walking time capsule.
|"Grunge and Glory"|
Kristen McMenamy photographed by Steven Meisel for Vogue, 1992
The "anti-fashion" trend has long been a controversial topic in the fashion world. Many critics cringe at the word "Grunge," even bashing the iconic 1992 Vogue spread created by renowned creative director of Vogue, Grace Coddington, and talented photographer Steven Meisel. However, I believe that when it comes to Grunge many people dislike it not only because they do not understand it (it is, after all, intended to be both misunderstood and undefined), but also because it is so often badly executed.
After all, Grunge is not just about "dirty" and when it comes to Grunge, the biggest mistake people make — including myself — is planning; no one can successfully feign not caring, both in fashion and in life, and not caring is really what gave birth to Grunge in the first place (thank you, Kurt Cobain). Grunge has been called many things, but when successfully executed can be perfectly summed into one word: cool. What makes something “cool,” you ask?
This is what brings us to the subject of inspiration for this article. When I asked my friend Kyle if he would be willing to be the subject of my first fashion feature, he was perfectly surprised (remember that one time when I talked about effortlessness being the key???), which assured me that I had chosen the right person.
|"I grew up listening to 90's music."|
|[My favorite skateboarder], Bobby Worrest,|
he just kinda has, like, a cool style that I
like. He just wears plain clothes, Dickies,
cheap work pants."
|"I've always loved flannels, I guess."|
My dad graduated high school in '93 and if I look at pictures of him in high school, all he's wearing is flannels and stuff." Not only did I genuinely find it interesting that Kyle's father had played such a vital role in creating Kyle's unique aesthetic, but the word "nostalgia" also quickly caught my attention, reminding me of Kurt Cobain's 1993 interview with author Darcy Steinke, where he cited his nostalgia for the years before his parents' divorce as a reason for his signature style of "perpetual adolescence."
What makes Grunge great, and in many ways more practical than other trends, is not only its visual appeal, but its appeal to both function and economy. Kyle learned this perk early on, and has been repurposing many of his worn out pants into cut off shorts for years. In fact, it is this necessity for practicality and money saving that creates the worn and torn thrift store look we love so much. "I don't want to spend money on $60 pants and get holes in them. I know what I buy is gonna get a lot of wear and tear." Fortunately for grunge wearers, this
"wear and tear" adds character, rather than depreciating value. "I like it when a shirt looks worn in kind of, so I tend to just wear the shirts I've had a long time. Me and my skateboarding friends don't really care what we wear; we kind of take pride in it, but not, like, in a pretentious way. We wear dingy clothes because, ya know, we don't want to mess up nice clothes, but at the same time, all we own is dingy clothes because we skate in them and everything." When I asked Kyle if there is any planning involved in creating his outfits, he sort of responded with both a yes and no: "I don't plan like a chick would, but I guess I kind of pick things. I don't really care about matching...probably because I don't know how to. I just wear what I like."
|"I buy what I see and I like that's|
His Attitude Towards Fashion: