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Fast Fash:

May 6, 2013

The Met Gets Punked

Fashion, Culture, Art and Anarchy Collide at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

By Nancy Staab

Vogue Meets Sid Vicious, Safety Pins Meet Socialites, and Couture meets Punk Chaos when The Costume Institute Gala Debuts Its Latest Punk Fashion Exhibit May 9, Plus All the Pretty-in-Punk Fashions from the star-studded Met Gala on May 6.

Somewhere Sid Vicious is laughing in his grave. The former frontman for Brit band The Sex Pistols, the band that emblematized the Punk Movement, must be gobsmacked that his anarchic, anti-establishment culture, with its thumb-your-nose-at-the-bourgeoisie attitude, has suddenly gone proper. Or if not exactly proper, punk is at least being enthusiastically welcomed by the Met Museum and style and culture hounds at large, with the opening of “Punk: Chaos to Couture” exhibit at the Costume Institute Gala at the Met. On May 9.

Curator Andrew Bolton makes strong claims for the importance of the punk aesthetic to fashion stating, “Since its origins in the 1970s, punk has had an explosive influence on fashion. With its eclectic mixing of stylistic references, punk effectively introduced the postmodern concept to bricolage to the elevated precincts of haute couture and directional ready-to-wear.” Bolton goes on the cite punk’s “aesthetic of brutality” and “do-it-yourself, rip it to shreds ethos” as a source of new ideals of beauty for the rarefied world of fashion and a breath of fresh air.

 

The punk exhibit at the Met The punk exhibit at the Met

The Exhibit

The time is ripe for a punk revival and suddenly fashion designers and fashion editors alike are going gaga over Union Jack tees, tartans, black leather, shredded and deconstructed clothing, t-shirts with subversive messaging, graffiti splashed items, spikes and studs, exposed zippers, safety pins and other tough-chic hardware.  Last season the likes of Chanel, Fendi, Saint Laurent, Versace and more sent models down the runway in variations of a punk aesthetic. Says the exhibit’s curator Andrew Bolton “Although punk’s democracy stands in opposition to fashion’s autocracy, designers continue to appropriate punk’s aesthetic vocabulary to capture its youthful rebelliousness and aggressive forcefulness.” The exhibit will feature approximately 100 garments bearing a punk influence—from vintage 1970’s punk fashions to the ways in which recent fashion has borrowed punk inspirations. The clothes will be brought to life with a multi-media exhibit that also incorporates the music of punk culture such as the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Suioxie Sioux and The Cure, via music videos and audio. Various galleries will be devoted to punk icons such as CBGB club, NYC, and its denizens such as Blondie, The Ramones and Patti Smith; or the London-based Seditionaries boutique on Kings Road owned by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood—the original rabble-rousers.

The exhibit will include A 1977 safety pin dress by Zandra Rhodes, a red parachute number by Westwood,  a 1994 Moschino ball gown made of garbage bags, deconstructed Chanel tweed suits with rips and holes from the 2011 collection, Gianni Versace’s safety pin dress made famous by Elizabeth Hurley, and punk or punk-inspired works, spanning from the 1970’s to the present, by major designers and design houses like Thom Browne, Balmain, John Galliano, Comme des Garcons, Helmut Lang, Rodarte, Rei Kawakubo, Alexander McQueen, Dior, Martin Margiela, Givenchy, Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander Wang, Vivienne Westwood and more. 

The exhibit “Punk Chaos to Couture” will run May 9 –Aug. 14 . A catalogue of the same name accompanies the exhibit, written by curator Andrew Colton with preface by Johnny Rotten, for $45. For more info visit www.metmuseum.org/punk

Vivienne Westwood's punk days; The Sex Pistols, The safety pin dress by Versace Vivienne Westwood's punk days; The Sex Pistols, The safety pin dress by Versace

 

The punk exhibit at the Met The punk exhibit at the Met

 

 

 

Fashion from Moda Operandi's Punk Collection Fashion from Moda Operandi's Punk Collection

Punk-Inspired Capsule Fashion Collection at Moda Operandi

In tribute to the sure-to-be-a-blockbuster museum exhibit, Moda Operandi introduced a special capsule collection of savage-chic Punk fashions created exclusively for the online network by designers like Eddie Borgo, Givenchy, Rodarte, Vivienne Westood, Prabal Gurun, Thom Browne, Preen, Balmain, Dolce & Gabbana and more. Our faves: a zipper kilt by Thom Browne, an “I Love NY” studded tee by Eddie Borgo, “Love Kills” gold stud earrings by House of Waris, a sequin Union Jack tank top by Ashish, Balmain lace-up leather boots,  a black leather and lace skirt by Givenchy,  a quartz crystal and pave diamond ring by Kimberly McDonald and graffiti splashed Dr. Martens.

And a day after the gala, Moda Operandi has arranged with designers to make several of the designs worn at the gala available for retail sale, such as pieces by Rodarte, Nina Ricci, Wes Gordon, and Anthony Vacarello.

For the full Moda Operandi punk collection visit:  modaoperandi.com/chaostocouture/exclusive/view-all

CLICK SLIDESHOW BELOW FOR PUNK FASHIONS FROM THE MODA OPERANDI COLLECTION

 

 

Images from the Met Gala red carpet Images from the Met Gala red carpet

Pretty in Punk: The Gala

The museum exhibit will kick off with a pretty-in-punk Costume Institute Gala May 6, with Co-Chairs Rooney Mara (Givenchy muse and Goth poster child for Girl with A Dragon Tattoo); Lauren Santo Domingo, the co-founder of Moda Operandi, one of the gala’s main sponsors, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, who is know for the dark

The Met Gala chairs: Anna Wintour, Riccardo Tisci, Lauren Santo Domingo The Met Gala chairs: Anna Wintour, Riccardo Tisci, Lauren Santo Domingo

glamour of his fashions, and Vogue magazine’s Anna Wintour.  Photographer Nick Knight is the creative consultant for the gala, so expect surprises like the re-creation of CBGB’s bathrooms for the gala guests! And we hear that Sex Pistol’s Johnny Rotten may also have the run of the museum for a gureilla punk concert. Often known as the Oscars of the fashion world, this year’s Gala is sure to unleash the style set’s inner wild childs. Click slideshow below to see which red carpet rebels brought the most punk attitude and outrageous attitude to their fashion ensembles. Expect lots of safety pin embellishments, faux-hawks, black lipstick and eye shadow, Goth black, plaids, and neon pink.

Among the punk, not-so-punk (some just did not get the punk memo like Hedi Klum in a princess gown), and punk-for-the-night crowd:  Debbie Harry, Karin Elson, Kristen Stewart, Katy Perry, Tom Brady and Gisele Bunchden, Pharrell Williams, Jennifer Lopez, David Byrne, Kate Bosworth, Chloe Sevigny, Marc Jacobs Gywneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Jessica Paré, Alexander Wang, Julianne Moore, Madonna, Colin and Livia Firth, Psy, Kerry Washington, Baz Luhrmann, January Jones, Vivienne Westwood, Jessica Alba, Sophia Coppoloa, Gwen Stefani and  Sarah Jessica Parker.

 

PUNK QUOTES FROM THE RED CARPET:

"I hope there's lots of madness and wonderful people all dresed up. I hope all the punks are still punking it up." Debbie Harry

"No I never went through a punk phase...I was a cheerleader."  Jennifer Lawrence

"My dog ate a safety pin during the [dress] fitting, which is very punk." Leah Durham

"I would like to be an original punk--a Joan of Arc of punk." Katy Perry

"I'm still in a punk phase." Chloe Sevigny

When Valentino offered Anne Hathaway a dress from his archives for the gala she asked, "But have you ever done anything punk darling?"

"We're doing Punk Gatsby tonight!"  Bahz Luhrmann

"My favorite punks are Patti Smith and Sid Vicious."  Madonna

"I guess it's punk because I've gone completely classic on punk night"  Gwyneth Paltrow, perhaps referencing her recent red carpet faux pas with the sheer sided dress

"I thought a tuxedo would be the most subversive thing I could wear but then i chose this Comme des Garcons polka-dot suit--it's festive and Rei Kawakubo is a punk in her own way." Marc Jacobs

 

The exhibit “Punk Chaos to Couture” will run May 9 –Aug. 14 . A catalogue of the same name accompanies the exhibit, written by curator Andrew Colton with preface by Johnny Rotten, for $45. For more info visit www.metmuseum.org/punk

CLICK THUMBNAILS BELOW FOR ALL THE RED CARPET FASHION FROM THE COSTUME INSTITUTE GALA WITH PUNK THEME

Images from the Met Gala red carpet Images from the Met Gala red carpet