Fashion: The latest in hobo chic

By Rhiannon Harries
Sunday 16 November 2008 01:00

Anyone who has ever chuckled at the scene in Ben Stiller's fashion-world spoof Zoolander in which a designer unveils a clothing collection inspired by "the vagrants that make this wonderful city" will no doubt be aware of the industry's occasional ability to transform the most inappropriate subject matter into a sartorial statement. In the case of this season's "luxe grunge" trend, designers have fortunately stopped short of channelling actual vagrants and opted for the nearest acceptable alternative, the proponents of the early 90s grunge scene.

The most striking catwalk incarnation of this trend was at Burberry, where models wore knitted beanies and chunky fingerless gloves with casually layered separates in dusky autumnal hues.

Celebrity fans of the look, including model Agyness Deyn and Alice Dellal, have spawned a host of teen copycats, who can be identified on a high street near you by their lumberjack shirts, ripped jeans and laddered tights.

Of course, any trend preceded by the word "luxe" should be handled with care, since it is generally shorthand for describing something that, despite being inherently at odds with expensive, designer clothing, has been given a high-end makeover nonetheless. Grunge style – originally built on cheap, wilfully unfashionable pieces such as DM boots and lumberjack shirts – is a case in point.

But if you still fancy embracing the glammed-up grunge look this season, remember that million-dollar skin, hair and nails will be essential to be sure that people realise that you are simply achingly fashionable.

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