Grunge the first time around. (Vogue/fashionspot)
from Interview Magazine:
MARY: Let's revisit a collection I loved, which was the Spring '93 Grunge Collection for Perry Ellis.
MARC: Oh, it's my favorite.
MARY: Oh, good.
MARC: That was a time when I did love music, I couldn't get enough of what was going on. Maybe it was Nirvana that brought me back. I guess it was a comfort because something that sounded so right — and non-commercial — had become so influential, so immediately. I remember being in Berlin the year the wall came down, and I was in some bar, and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was on the radio. At that moment I felt an energy I'd only felt before at clubs like Hurrahs, or when I was listening to garage bands.
MARY: Did that free you to try something radical?
MARC: I liked the idea of making some visual noise through clothing. I found a two-dollar flannel shirt on St. Mark's Place and I sent it off to Italy and had it made into a $300-a-yard plaid silk. It was like the Elsa Perretti crystal tumbler at Tiffany that was inspired by a paper Dixie Cup. I love to take things that are everyday and comforting and make them into the most luxurious things in the world.
MARY: And you made the fancy Birkenstocks.
MARC: Yes. We asked Birkenstock to make satin Birks. We asked Converse to make duchesse satin sneakers. If I were wearing a tuxedo I'd want to wear it with satin Converse sneakers. I'd want my tuxedo to be shrunken and ill-fitting, so I'd look like one of the John Holmstrom cartoons from Punk magazine. It's the idea of imperfection, of being awkward.
MARY: Did you know it would cause such a stir?
MARC: I didn't set out to be some hellion. But everybody labeled it grunge. There were a lot of things that stimulated me to do it, and music was one of them. But there was also this new kind of beauty that was starting to be recognized. Girls like Kate Moss. There was this idea of the shoe-gazer, this person who couldn't look up, who's sort of insecure. And I've always felt like that, that I never fit in. But that's sort of empowering too.
*spotted this interview on fashionspot.com