It was controlled chaos at the chaos goes couture, punk-themed Met gala last night…emphasis on the “controlled” part. There was too much behaving at the Met Gala and It seems most of the beautiful people who graced the red carpet didn’t get the memo that the theme was PUNK. Rebel yell? It was more like a Rebel whimper ..The very essence of punk is trashy, brash and bold- but most importantly punk is CHEAP. Punk is a protest and a do-it-yourself, anti-establishment riotous rebel yell. yes there are spikes, chains, safety pins and razor blades. yes there are tattered t-shirts, leather jackets, ripped jeans, bondage trousers, asymmetrical skirts and crinoline. But there were no long silky evening gowns in PUNK! No beaded Grecian goddess dresses, or diaphanous sheer caftans or delicate floral prints! Punk was not delicate, and it was rarely feminine… it was uncouth, urban, undone.. and it was rough and grimy and gritty. I am sorry but flipping through the photos of the couture gowns that passed off as punk last night I sort of felt the whole tone of the affair was a bit “missing the point”. If it’s punk you are celebrating, then for goodness sake dress the part! I mean isn’t fashion all about taking on personas and recreating time periods through sartorial choices? When John Lydon fancied an outfit out of a pink (used) trash bag, I don’t think he quite envisaged the same breed of punk that the satin and sequin-clad fashioni of last night seem to have begat. I mean even Elizabeth Hurley’s safety-pinned Versace dress would seem down-right radical among the gossamery frocks that took center stage at the Gala. Punk's riotous origins began in London and New York in the 1970s, and it has always been characterized by an edgy, subversive, squalid street-wise attitude that was authentically cool-because it was really made from the street and reflected the disaffected sentiments that charachterized the rebellious youth. The music was loud and angry and unapologetic ( Sex Pistols, the Clash, the dead kennedys, the talking heads, and the Ramones) as were the clothes…..Few of the glitterati seemed to have gotten punk right last night, but Christina Ricci (in plaid Vivienne Westwood) Sienna Miller (in studded Burberry Prorsum), Elle Fanning (in Tye-Dye Rodarte), Julie Macklowe (in Hot-pink Zang Toi), Miley Cyrus (in a fishnet Marc Jacobs dress) and Zandra Rhodes (in a glorious safety-pinned ensemble) really captured the rebellious, riotous and unruly spirit of punk.
Sid Vicious would approve.
“Undermine their pompous authority, reject their moral standards, make anarchy and disorder your trademarks. Cause as much chaos and disruption as possible but don’t let them take you ALIVE" ~ Sid Vicious
Metropolitan Museum of Art, ‘Punk: Chaos to Couture,’ recreation of CBGB’s legendary bathroom, 2013…
The breakout star of “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is neither the maverick designer Vivienne Westwood nor modern punks like Gareth Pugh and the sisters of Rodarte, but a toilet. At the show’s entrance, visitors are immediately confronted with a re-creation of a filthy restroom of CBGB, the Bowery club that was one of the birthplaces of punk, as it would have appeared in the mid-1970s — drawing reactions, at least among those who remember the original facilities, ranging from amazement to ire. There are three urinals, two toilets with the seats up, two sinks, a bare light bulb, a brick wall, countless used cigarette butts and a whole lot of graffiti, mostly the names of the bands that performed at the club.Patti Smith once said “all the action happened in the toilets,” according to Andrew Bolton, the curator of the exhibition, and it is a place where history is literally written on the walls.
The re-creation of the graffiti is based on images taken in the 1970s by the photographer David Godlis, who documented the New York rock and punk scenes. Several band names indicate that this is how the bathrooms would have looked shortly after 1976, when Dead Boys, a punk band managed by CBGB’s owner Hilly Kristal, first played at the club.