Stéphane Sednaoui (photographer) - Nirvana's spread for Mademoiselle Magazine, 1993

Kurt Cobain's Feminine Fashion Rebellion

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Original photography above by Stéphane Sednaoui. Kurt Cobain in a Dries Van Noten sweater, Dave Grohl in a Todd Oldham sweater, Krist Novoselic in a Joan Vass sweater, scarves (worn as skirts) by Gene Meyer.


In 1993, Nirvana's photoshoot for Mademoiselle Magazine featured everyone in skirts and women's sweaters. The band, especially Cobain, used their massive platform to push gender boundaries and challenge society's rigid idea of masculinity.

Kurt Cobain leaning against a telephone pole, on a sidewalk, wearing a women's red sweater and a colourful patterned long skirt, feet wide apart.Stéphane Sednaoui

Kurt Cobain, known in part for his androgynous style, occasionally wore dresses and skirts, stating:

"I like to wear dresses because they're comfortable. Men wearing dresses isn't controversial."

He often donned stereotypically feminine accessories as well, like large white oval sunglasses, makeup, and nail polish.

Kurt Cobain smoking in a red shirt, with white oval sunglasses at top of head, and wearing worn nail polish.Kurt Cobain wearing Christian Roth sunglasses and worn nail polish, 1990's


Kurt Cobain on the cover of The Face magazine 1993Cobain in blue dress and eye makeup, on cover of The Face magazine, 1993

Cobain's fashion allowed him to vividly express himself and his views, and would go on to inspire generations of individuals and designers.

See more of the photoshoot here, and for a deeper look at how Cobain's style connects to an evolving culture, read What Kurt Cobain Means To Those Who Don't Fit The Mold.

Kurt Cobain in a dress on stage, playing guitar, with one knee bent with that foot off the ground.
Kurt Cobain performs in a floral print dress, Amherst, 1990. Image: Malibu PR Gal.



Tags: Entertainment History People

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