Costume Institute's Spring 2013 Exhibition Explores Punk Fashion - Threads


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Costume Institute's Spring 2013 Exhibition Explores Punk Fashion

Visit www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2013/punk for  details on the Metropolitan Museum of Arts PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition.
From the exhibition section D.I.Y. Destroy
Sid Vicious, 1977
From the exhibition section D.I.Y. Destroy
Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Vogue, March 2011
From the exhibition section D.I.Y. Destroy
John Lydon, 1976
From the exhibition section D.I.Y. Destroy
Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969), 1982
Visit www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2013/punk for  details on the Metropolitan Museum of Arts PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition.

Visit www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2013/punk for  details on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's "PUNK: Chaos to Couture" exhibition.

Photo: MetMuseum.org

When punk rock burst on the music scene, its sound was directly opposed the prevailing music of the time. As a subculture grew around the rock movement, a fashion aesthetic also developed--one that was just as hard-edged, rebellious, anti-materialistic, and anti-authoritarian as punk rock's music and politics. Certain elements became trademarks of punk fashion that are still recognized and used today: utilitarian and deconstructed garments, metal hardware, band T-shirts, safety pins, feathers, and leather and vinyl materials, often with a hand-made, DIY ethic. Fashion designers became enamored of the punk subculture's sartorial expressions, began designing collections with a punk influence, and an entirely new interpretation of the punk aesthetic took off. Many couture designers still reference the punk in their runway collections.

Punk's influence on fashion has been so significant through the past several decades that the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is focusing its spring exhibition on it. The exhibit, "PUNK: Chaos to Couture," opens to the public on May 9 and runs through August 11, 2013. The Costume Institute Benefit and gala on May 6--which encourages attendees to ever more creative and unique heights of fashion, regardless of the exhibition's focus--is likely to be a visual feast for those who appreciate the nuances of punk fashion.

The multimedia exhibition will feature 100 fashion designs for women and men, including original punk garments from the mid-1970s and more recent haute couture and ready-to-wear interpretations. The focus will be on the juxtaposition of the punk DIY ethic and the haute couture made-to-measure approach, organized around the materials, techniques and embellishments common to punk style. Period music videos are incorporated into the exhibits, as well. The exhibit will be organized into thematically into different sections, including "Rebel Heroes," "Couturiers Situationists," "Pavilions of Anarchy," "Punk Couture," "D.I.Y. Style," and "La Mode Destroy." Featured designers include Haider Ackermann, Azzedine Alaia, John Galliano, Viktor & Rolf, Comme des Garcons, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, Rodarte, Zandra Rhodes, Jeremy Scott, Preen, Givenchy, Gianni Versace, Vivenne Westwood, among many others. For more exhibition details, including fashion images and audio/visual components, visit metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2013/punk.

What do you think of punk fashion and haute couture's appropriation of the aesthetic? Will you visit the Met's "PUNK" exhibit? Are you at all influenced by punk's aesthetic or ideologies in your own sewing?

Comments (7)

sewandsing sewandsing writes: Punk hardly coincides with my idea of elegant, but sometimes the fit is inspiring. So given the opportunity, I would probably attend the show to appreciate the body awareness inherent in this genre.
Posted: 6:50 am on February 20th

agapantha agapantha writes: Punk fashion is not my favorite but I'd go to the exhibit if it happened to be in my home town. Style doesn't have to suit me personally in order for me to be interested in it. Ya never know what's gonna be relevant.
Posted: 3:08 am on February 20th

jeannearis jeannearis writes: I'm not certain. I'd love to see the exhibit if I didn't have to wait in line. I almost always get inspiration from these kinds of shows even if I think "punk" is ugly. I went to an exhibit at FIT a couple of years ago that was Gothic. I thought I'd hate everything, but I was delighted with many things, and filled with ideas. I found it mind-expanding. Of course, I'm going to love YSL or Valentino, but maybe there are lessons/inspirations in things outside my comfort zone. So yes, I would go.
Posted: 1:36 am on February 20th

samsstuff samsstuff writes: I loved the DIY aesthetic, taking something & reconstructing it, making it your own. I loved thee freedom of the music, to say anything. I didn't always agree with everything, but the desire for change & the spirit of re-creating the world, those things I love.The designers didn't really get it right, in general, institutionalizing something that came from the streets & the music, making it somehow corporate with only the slightest flavor of the original. I love the influences I see (& hear) here & there, but most often they're punk inspired & not truly punk. Still, it would be amazing to see the exhibit & the transitions that have occurred over the years. The movement wasn't really about the drugs, which for some, but not by any means all, were a way to escape what they saw as a harsh economic & political reality. The models & their super thin, post apocalyptic look, are a part of the designers vision & interpretation of the punk movement & like the designs, not truly punk. It would also be interesting to see examples from the streets side by side with designer interpretations, as well as more modern 'punk' pieces. Just in terms off fashion history, I'd love to see this. I wish I were somewhere in the area...
Posted: 12:33 am on February 20th

samsstuff samsstuff writes: I loved the DIY aesthetic, taking something & reconstructing it, making it your own. I loved thee freedom of the music, to say anything. I didn't always agree with everything, but the desire for change & the spirit of re-creating the world, those things I love.The designers didn't really get it right, in general, institutionalizing something that came from the streets & the music, making it somehow corporate with only the slightest flavor of the original. I love the influences I see (& hear) here & there, but most often they're punk inspired & not truly punk. Still, it would be amazing to see the exhibit & the transitions that have occurred over the years. The movement wasn't really about the drugs, which for some, but not by any means all, were a way to escape what they saw as a harsh economic & political reality. The models & their super thin, post apocalyptic look, are a part of the designers vision & interpretation of the punk movement & like the designs, not truly punk. It would also be interesting to see examples from the streets side by side with designer interpretations, as well as more modern 'punk' pieces. Just in terms off fashion history, I'd love to see this. I wish I were somewhere in the area...
Posted: 12:32 am on February 20th

Mariesainte Mariesainte writes: I don't care for punk style or esthetic; it strikes me as ugly, harsh, drug addicted, and ill, as the models for it seem to be. It may be edgy, but edgy as in post-apocalypse disaster, not a place I want to be. No, I certainly won't travel 600 miles to see any exhibit of it in NYC. I am more impressed by designs that are becoming to women, comfortable and beautiful as in enhancing health, movement, color, and the joy of life.
Posted: 11:18 pm on February 19th

Mamato8 Mamato8 writes: The only influence I can see in my life is, I don't feel so bad handing down jeans to my grandsons with the knees ripped out. They may think it's a fashion statement!

Oh, there is another... One of my sons gives me his pants to fix. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to darn all the holes, or just certain ones? I wouldn't want to "fix" one of the design features of his pants!

My style is more tailored, modest and feminine.
Posted: 8:26 pm on February 19th

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