PUNK: Chaos to Couture

Punk is forever, at least from as far back as I can remember, punk has been part of my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wearing Creepers and ripped jeans right now but I did grow up to music by Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash.  My brother was a fan and let’s just say he saw it as his duty to educate me.  This is therefore, the most important item on my 2013 calendar right now; the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition at The Met.

Organized by The Costume Institute, the exhibition will be on view from 9 May through 11 August 2013.  PUNK: Chaos to Couture will examine punk’s impact from its birth in the 1970s through its continuing influence on high fashion today.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the Met Ball will take place on 6 May 2013.  As we have seen over recent years, many high-flyers will be there in their full evening glory, including Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director of Givenchy; and Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue.

Left: Sid Vicious, 1977. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph © Dennis Morris

Right: Karl Lagerfeld for House of Chanel, 2011.  Vogue, March 2011. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by David Sims.

The exhibition will feature approximately 100 designs by established designers such as  Haider Ackermann, Azzedine Alaïa, Hussein Chalayan, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Christophe Decarnin (Balmain), Ann Demeulemeester, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga), Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (Viktor & Rolf), Martin Margiela, Thierry Mugler, Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Jun Takahashi (Undercover), Alexander Wang, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood and many many more.

Original punk garments from the mid-1970s will be displayed alongside recent haute couture and ready-to-wear pieces to illustrate how today’s fashion styles have borrowed elements from punk culture.  Expect safety pins, razor blades, spikes, chains, zippers, padlocks and lots of studs.  With the punk concept of DIY and the couture concept of made-to-measure, the exhibition focuses on the materials, techniques, and embellishments associated with the anti-establishment style.

Exhibition themes include Rebel Heroes (mid-1970s New York and London music scenes), Couturiers Situationists (Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s legacy), Pavilions of Anarchy and Elegance (punk designs with haute couture creations), Punk Couture (high fashion and punk hardware), D.I.Y. Style (punk’s bricolage ethos, recycled materials, trash culture) and finally, La Mode Destroy (punk’s rip-it-to-shreds attitude via torn and shredded garments associated with deconstructionist fashions).

This is an exhibition not to be missed.  Andrew Bolton is the curator and Nick Knight is the exhibition’s creative consultant.  Need I say more?

X Sybil

(Image from The Met)

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