Happy Birthday Kurt: My Love Affair With Rock n'Roll

Today's the birthday of one of my greatest music icons, Kurt Cobain. He would have been 45 today

This made me think of how much music inspires style...and just about everything else.

Coco Chanel used to say that fashion isn't just in clothes but in everything around us. I think she was right: fashion reflects on society in all its colors and music is a huge influence on what we wear.

Before meeting my fiancè, I didn't have much of a taste in music. In my teens I was into hip hop: I adored the flashiness of it, the "outcast-gone-cool-kid" mentality, the rags-to-riches stories. I dreamed of being one of the super-slick, honey-voiced R&B singers in the overstyled rap videos (so not me today!), but as I got older, I kind of got bored of hip hop (except Eminem. Eminem will always have a place in my heart and my playlist) as I realized that lyrics that mainly touched on the topics of drugs, cars and money, and referred to women exclusively as "hos" very quickly got trite.

When I met David, a musician, a whole new world of music was opened up to me. Having recently gone solo as a freelance guitarist after spending years in a metal band, David was passionate about guitar-hero rock, punk and metal. He loved Queen, Yngwie Malmsteen and of course Nirvana, and he introduced me to music I've heard before, but never quite appreciated.

...and that's how I fell in love with rock n'roll.

I've always found David similar to Kurt Cobain - was it the blonde hair or the rocker spirit? - and maybe that's how my initial curiosity was awakened. The more I found out about Kurt's life and music, the more I was fascinated by him. I find his voice to be one of a kind and irreplaceable, no matter how many other singers have tried to match up to his uniqueness. And by "voice" I mean not only his amazing vocals, but also the rebellious, vibrant tone that makes each one of his songs stand out. Each and every one of Nirvana's songs is its own angsty little masterpiece: one of my first favorites was Come As You Are, which was also used in the Dsquared2 SS11 men's fashion show. I found Lithium on a particularly "wish-I-never-got-out-of-bed-day" and I was thrilled to discovered that there was music that struck a chord with my depression, but without dragging me down even more. The more I listened, the more I fell in love: songs like the desperate, pitch-black My Girl, Heart-Shaped Box and another favorite, The Man Who Sold the World, became part of my everyday soundtrack. in some weird way, I am uplifted by them. The only thing that makes me sad is that Kurt's not around anymore.

I've nearly gone crazy choosing a favorite among Nirvana's songs and I've come to the conclusion that I don't have one. They're all my favorites.

One that I love passionately is Dumb, for its exquisite lyrics:

"I'm not like them/but I can pretend
The sun is gone/but I have a light
The day is done/but I'm having fun
I think I'm dumb/or maybe just happy"

...and About a Girl for its, well, tenderness. I think it's a really vulnerable, and somewhat romantic song.

There are countless other Nirvana songs that I'm hopelessly mad about, and I'm a little saddened by the fact that I didn't live through his era, the 90s. I mean, of course I was alive during the 90s: I was just way too young to appreciate what this era was really about, in music and in fashion. While researching grunge as a style, I've built up an amazing inspiration file: what about Marc Jacobs' fantastic "grunge" collection from 1992? Or, fast-forwarding to SS11, Charlotte Ronson's grunge-meets-girly looks (oh Charlotte, where was your rock touch at NYFW? Anyway, if you're reading this and happen to have some SS11 left, I'll take it all, thank you!)

I love the refined-rebel atmosphere of a sheer floral summer dress paired with tough biker boots, a beanie hat thrown carelessly over perfectly straight blonde hair, smoky eyes that have gone a little smudged, heaps of studded bracelets and long chain necklaces. I love checked shirt-dresses. I love layers. I love style that references something, and that's not afraid to look daring and a little messy.

What's in your iPod definitely influences what's in your wardrobe. This summer, I'm getting my first pair of Converse since high school, as a tribute to Kurt. If I can only find a pair without any leather in them.


  1. quando io e il muso ci siamo conosciuti, i cd che aveva in macchina hanno aiutato parecchio...

    non mi sono mai piaciuti i nirvana... troppo... troppo... non mi trasmettevano entusiasmo e gioia di vivere.

    ma adoro questo post!

  2. Labibu: grazie :-)

    infatti tante persone che mi conoscevano (e conoscevano la mia personalitá facilmente deprimibile) mi dicevano "ma che ascolti questa roba che ti deprimi". Peró stranamente, non mi intristiscono affatto queste canzoni, anzi, Dumb mi trasmette proprio gioia di vivere, é una canzone felice. Cosí come lo puó essere anche In Bloom, Come as You Are e alcune altre.

  3. I. Love. How. You. Write!!! Man kan inte sluta läsa! Grymt inlägg, underbart skrivet!

  4. Sofie: taaaack vad glad jag blir!

  5. Caspita...già 45! Io invece la sua epoca l'ho vissuta, ero adolescente nei '90 e ricordo l'uscita di Never Mind e il clamore che suscitò, anche se i Nirvana li seguivo già da prima quando avevano una formazione un po' diversa (se non lo conosci, ascolta anche "Bleach" del 1989). E ricordo bene anche la collezione grunge di Marc Jacobs! Glamour Italia e Vogue in quei mesi non proponevano altro! Stavo ore a sbavare sulle riviste e ovviamente a prendere ispirazione! Era il mio stile in quegli anni! ;-) Che bel periodo, lo ricordo con affetto...
    Ora, spulciando tra i blog, americani soprattutto, ho visto che la tendenza è tornata alla ribalta! E nonostante sia passato tanto tempo, mi piace sempre! Bellissimo post! A presto!

  6. aww love him!
    i love nirvana's music :)


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