Bring back some good or bad memories


July 8, 2019

That Time When Nirvana Dressed Up in Woman Clothes for Mademoiselle Magazine (1993)

I like to wear dresses because they’re comfortable. Men wearing dresses isn’t controversial.” – Kurt Cobain
Under the headline: “Reaching Nirvana: The Grunge Gods Get In Touch With Their Feminine Side”, Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic posed for these sexy fashionable photos in the November 1993 issue of Mademoiselle Magazine.

Kurt Cobain wearing a Dries Van Noten sweater. Dave Grohl in a Todd Oldham sweater. Krist Novoselic in a Joan Vass sweater. All scarves (shown as skirts) by Gene Meyer.

Kurt Cobain, and his band, Nirvana, seemed to come out of nowhere. Two years ago, the Seattle group’s major-label debut album, Nevermind, outsold such top guns as Michael Jackson, U2, and Metallica, and helped bring the underground punk movement into the music mainstream.

Grunge has since become a fashion statement and, according to FeelNumb, Chelsea Clinton dreams of bringing Nirvana to The White House but the band have steadfastly refused to wear the grunge crown, they would rather wear dresses.

Here, below are some rare behind the scenes photos from the photoshoot on 15th July 1993. The photographs were taken by Stéphane Sednaoui at 434 Dexter Street, Seattle, in front of Hostess Cake factory, which was demolished in 2015.

In June, Sednaoui recalled some fun memories from the shoot:
I had reluctantly accepted to work with a magazine that I didn’t like (too commercial for my own taste) because it was to shoot Nirvana.

I arrived very early morning in Seattle on the shoot day July 15, 1993. (Probably with the working team but I don’t recall, they might have arrived the day before). I was tired and fell asleep on the concrete floor of the photo studio. When the band arrived they found me there, asleep on the floor and wearing a sarong — I had been wearing sarongs since a 1992 trip in India, it was much more comfortable. They might have thought it was funny and that’s probably why they decided to dress like this for the shoot.

Also, because of the commercial fashiony character of the magazine, the band most likely decided to take the piss out of it and to have fun.

I don’t remember talking much, although I must have been playful cause they seem to enjoy the shoot and vice versa. It was smooth and spontaneous, nothing was planned before we started to shoot. We just walked out of the studio and shot in the nearby street, then on that street corner because we loved the Republican street sign.

I don’t know how long the shoot lasted. Maybe one or two hours max. I don’t even remember the rest of the team as it was not the usual people I used to work with. I really must have been stressed or super focus cause i have a blurred memory of the surrounding events. Probably by noon we were done. The band and I didn’t connect more than what you see on the photos and we never got to work again together, therefor I always felt a bit disappointed that it was for a crap magazine that we met, and that it ended up being a “fashion shoot” spoof. Although I like the funny result, I would have prefer to get to know them a bit deeper and capture more of their persona and their guts.

(Photos by Stéphane Sednaoui)



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