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A Fabby Halloween: Heroin Chic

It was the mid-90s and Kate Moss was the face of Calvin Klein. She and model James King (the blonde pictured below) were the poster children for the waifish, drug-addicted look that is "heroin chic." Pale shiny skin, dark circles under the eyes, messy hair, black clothes, and an affected bored look were all over fashion magazines of the time. In fact, it became so prevalent that President Clinton felt the need to decry the fashion industry for glamorizing heroin.

Throwing together some scuffed-up motorcycle boots, ripped and holey tights, a little tank dress, and a pea coat — all in black —is easy as pie. Ring your eyes with red and smudgy black, keep the hair bedhead-y, and wear some long fingerless gloves to cover up those imaginary track marks. Make sure you don't forget your handy dandy tourniquet and ciggy case. Voila! You're fashion at its worst...or best, depending on who you talk to!

Source and Source

MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 10 years
ITA minaminamina!
BeautyEditor BeautyEditor 10 years
There's something so sexy about the scruffy chic look. I know I may be a few years late, but I think I may try it.
minaminamina minaminamina 10 years
Okay, this is a little ridiculous - my two best girlfriends have been in and out of rehab since high school for heroin. My best guy friend died of an overdose my senior year. My best friends father died of a heroin overdose when he was just a little boy. I'm not sitting here sobbing about it. Yes, drug addiction is a terrible thing, blah blah blah blah. Why isn't anyone freaking out because of the Mrs. Mia Wallace proposal costume that fab posted? She was a cokehead, right? Everyone just take a deep breath - heroin chic does not mean "Heroin is chic," it means, "bored-ass skinny models who chain smoke and might do drugs." That's a pretty fun costume idea. Not the most original, but pretty fun.
LeninaCrowne LeninaCrowne 10 years
Geez Fab. Thanks for glamourizing heroin and drug culture to the thousands of readers of this blog, especially the young girls.
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 10 years
In general my bad taste barometer is off the scale, but even I think this is in bad taste, so that tells me all I need to know. Referencing a look that was big in fashion is one thing, but accessorising with "a handy dandy tourniquet" means that you are not dressing up as a "fashion moment" but are you dressing up as a drug user. To me that's about as hilarious as dressing up as a cancer patient. And look, I have my handy dandy portable drip stand with me in case I need a top up chemo treatment. Yay, isn't halloween fun? If anyone's thinking of going with this costume you should think about how small you'd feel if someone came up to you and told you their brother died of a heroin overdose...
mabess mabess 10 years
I can't decide whether carrying a tourniquet around on Halloween is a bad idea or not. A part of me thinks it's kinda cheeky and clever, another part of me thinks it's in bad taste, and the last little bit thinks it'd be more fun carrying around a bag of powdered sugar (with just a tad sprinkled around the nose.) Halloween's all about pushing the envelope for some people. We dress up as murderers and monsters and mock public figures openly, why are drug users off limits? (And Fab's whole point is that the costume isn't about being a drug user, but is about the heroin chic style anyways!)
Pepper Pepper 10 years
This is all very wrong.
fashiontoronto fashiontoronto 10 years
I agree with Meg23 and MisterPink
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 10 years
I really don't see why people are offended by this at all. 'Heroin-chic' was really big in the 90s. Would you rather the look be called 'waif-like'? It's more of a street style anyway. I personally love the look, and I just don't understand the problem. A certain style of dress is not promoting or encouraging people to do drugs. I agree that junkies are no good. This look has absolutely nothing to do with that and bears no resemblence to actual junkies. That said, I don't think this would make a good halloween costume...
dogsbody01 dogsbody01 10 years
Absolutely disgusting!There's nothing chic about drug addiction!
pollypo pollypo 10 years
I think that Fab's apology was warranted, since shooting up heroin isn't fodder for a halloween costume, but given that she has appologized (and very graciously), maybe it's time to calm down?
Meg23 Meg23 10 years
This is getting out of control. Fabsugar did nothing wrong posting this. People dress as a lot worse things. This look was a huge part of fashion and this is a fashion site. I'm sorry to anyone who has had time in their lives where drugs caused them pain because they did drugs or family or friends did. The best thing you can do is to learn from it and grow into something better.
Rugelach Rugelach 10 years
I don't know what to say other than when I read this I started crying. This hurt me. Ow. Maybe I have no sense of humor. Maybe it is hormones. Maybe it is because this Halloween it will be my one year's clean date from heroin or cocaine and it has been on my mind a lot. Junkies suck. They are not sexy or "cute". I can say this because I was one. I was disgusting and I'm not ready to laugh about it yet. Be mindful where you wear an outfit like this. People don't want to be crying on Halloween.
lecolt45 lecolt45 10 years
I love this. It's how many of the girls at my school dress. I prefer to mix this look up with more Woodstocky pieces though, so I have my own look.
Meg23 Meg23 10 years
Fabsugar, you don't have to apologize. Klar, I completely agree with your statement.
Fashion Fashion 10 years
Hi! I apologize if I offended anyone, I picked this look because it dominated fashion for a good part of the 90s, not to promote drug use. The look is most recognizably termed as "heroin chic," which is why I referred to it as such, and I picked the tourniquet as a prop for no reason other than to give a clue about the costume. I hope that helps, and please continue to voice your opinion! xo
tati33 tati33 10 years
ooooo the Forever 21 Peacoat I like!!
mommie mommie 10 years
OK, wear black and white as your signature fashion statement but glamourizing drugs and smoking? Both very bad health habits, and you won't live long enough to grow out of that trend. Heroin is no joke.
yaddayaddayadda yaddayaddayadda 10 years
while part of me thinks this is brilliant, i can see where it could very easily go into bad taste land. though i'm considering a manson family group costume, so maybe my sense of good taste isn't the best. ;)
fleurfairy fleurfairy 10 years
Yeah, this is kind of frightening. I think seeing someone carry around a tourniquet would nauseate me.
klar klar 10 years
i don't find jokes about heroin addiction particularly funny. that being said, i always felt that the 'heroin chic' style was more of a street look than an actual nod to a lifestyle of drug addiction. i guess i'm saying i loved the clothes but hated the nickname.
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 10 years
I wrote my thesis on this subject (it was about James/Jamie King's boyfriend, the photographer Davide Sorrenti, who died of a heroin overdose) and I was always under the impression that "Heroin Chic" referred to that style of photography rather than being an actual "look". Either way, I think dressing up as a heroin addict for Halloween is in pretty poor taste.
Meg23 Meg23 10 years
Well, I for one love herion chic. I'd love if it came back into style.
KatJet KatJet 10 years
This is not fashion, it is depressing. This woman has a serious drug problem and it is disappointing to see anyone flag this style. Of course President Clinton was right. It does glorify heroin and looking like hell. As publishers of a fun fashion site you have an important role in many young women's lives. This is classic irresponsible journalism.
aimeeb aimeeb 10 years
Kate Moss, eh but I've always thought James King was beautiful!
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