Fight me on this if you want, but Courtney Love was undeniably the entire package of everything we loved from the 90’s. Sure, she was the official queen of grunge, but what really set her apart from the rest of the “riot grrl”-grunge pack was her likeness to much more than the average “flannel +boyfriend jeans” starter pack: tattered babydoll dresses, skin-clad ensembles, and sheer slip gowns, all tied together with smeared red lipstick and half-finished cigarettes. Her embodiment—or dare we say, establishment—of the “kinderwhore” uniform made her a genre-blending, “no fucks given” art form that fashion needed at the time.
Fast forward to now: Hole’s breakthrough album, Live Through This, turns 25 this year, and Love has sparked rumors (again) about a potential Hole reunion. With all of this info, we couldn’t help but reminisce on the times Love proved herself to be a showstopper—whether it be through couture gowns, or by literally stopping the show by hauling objects at other stars, was to her own accord.
So, sit back, lightly head-bang to yourself as you listen to “Violet” (it’s still a bop, don’t @ me), and take a look back at the Hole front-woman’s most impressive style moments.
This runaway Vegas bride look is everything we adore about Love: unhinged, slightly questionable, and side-by-side with a future frenemy. The anti-prom queen, featuring a tiny tiara and twinning moment with then-bestie Amanda de Cadenet, was one of the most iconic moments that cemented her as our favorite disheveled beauty queen.
When two worlds collide, one chucks a makeup compact at the other. At the 1995 MTV VIdeo Music Awards, Courtney Love graced all of our then-boxy television sets in the most Courtney Love way possible: by hauling her compact at none other than Madonna mid-interview, then proceeding to crash said interview. What was more impressive in that televised moment? Her lace-and-leather set, tied together with Charles Jourdan pumps.
Courtney Love and babydoll dresses go together like peanut butter and jelly. The amount of times she’s worn these Peter Pan-collared dresses with rugged Doc Martins is unfeasible, but we loved them each and every time.
A slip dress (usually with cigarette in hand) was the uniform of every supermodel of the ’90s, but could only be truly pulled off by Love. Sorry, Kate Moss, but no one can wear a lace nightie around the streets of Los Angeles like she can.
Love’s outfits were frequently tailored to send a message—literally. Yes, the butterfly wings, pink tube top, and bejeweled bob leaned on the line of Spice Girl, but was given a touch of signature Love style with her “DIVA”-engraved midriff à la permanent marker.
Another bubblegum pink, Sharpie-covered abs moment, because we live for this.