PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition opens tomorrow May 9, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The exhibit explores the impact Punk music and attitude have had on fashion, and its continuing influence today. Special focus on the 70s punk rock scene of London and New York’s CBGB’s.

Iconic punk garments from the mid70s are juxtaposed with recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear have borrowed punk’s visual symbols. “Since its origins, punk has had an incendiary influence on fashion,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute. “…designers continue to appropriate punk’s aesthetic vocabulary to capture its youthful rebelliousness and aggressive forcefulness.”

Do-it-yourself, punk’s enduring contribution to high fashion, is explored in four galleries: D.I.Y. Hardware, focusing on couture’s use of studs, spikes, chains, zippers, padlocks, safety pins, and razor blades, with Sid Vicious as its icon. D.I.Y. Bricolage feature designs made with recycled materials from trash and consumer culture, highlighting the customization influence. D.I.Y. Graffiti and Agitprop explores punk’s provocation and confrontation through images and text. D.I.Y. Destroy examines the effect of punk’s rip-it-to-shreds spirit, typified by Johnny Rotten, via torn, ripped, slashed, and shredded garments associated with deconstructionism.

Designers represented, to name a few, are Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Rodarte, Comme des Garçons, Maison Martin Margiela.

Exhibition dates: May 9 - Aug 14, 2013.

photos: Michele K. from press preview May6. *2 gallery pix courtesy MetMuseum: DIY Hardware & Graffiti



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

{photosource:wwd,dangerousminds.net, furinsider, IMDB }