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November 7, 2018

The Original Grunge Girl: 24 Candid Photographs Capture Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland on Stage During the 1990s

If you see a photo of Kat Bjelland not knowing who she is, you’d probably mistake her for a huge Courtney Love fan. In some photos the two women are absolutely twins. Same bleached blonde hair, same red smudged lipstick, same Peter Pan collar dresses from thrift stores. But Kat is famous because of her 90s trio Babes in Toyland, a band that made history for female grunge bands. She was the lead singer and the guitarist.

Kat met Courtney before the grunge explosion, in a bar in Portland. The two became friend and decided to fly to San Francisco, because Courtney felt like that’s where the big music scene were going to be. Either San Francisco, or Seattle. We all know what Seattle meant for the grunge movement, so we guess Courtney was right. Kat and Courtney ended up fighting, so Kat founded a band without her best blonde friend. Babes in Toyland were born, and with them, a legend of female alternative rock.

Kat Bjelland is often considered the original kinderwhore doll. Read what she has to say about the way she dressed:
“Anything that gets discussed too much gets rote, but I don’t know. I was just wearing my clothes—I mean I’m dressing up of course, but I’ve always just bought thrift store vintage clothes, because they used to be less expensive, and pretty. And believe it or not, dresses are really good to wear on stage, they allow you to move your legs and kick and they’re really easy to wear. It’s a little annoying, you know, if they focus on it, but it’s part of it. Fashion, rock and roll, it goes together, I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t.”



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