When punk music emerged in the mid 1970s, a vibrant, cheeky subculture grew to amplify the message in art, literature, film, and most visibly fashion. To this day, punk and its many variations make up a large slice of popular culture and commerce. Punk's influence on fashion designers is the subject of the 2013 spring/summer exhibition at the Met's Costume Institute, which begs the question: Can an anti-fashion movement rooted in a DIY aesthetic retain its edge when co-opted by high fashion designers who function in the upper echelons? Featured designers include the legendary Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, John Galliano, and Christopher Bailey for Burberry.
Punk: Chaos to Couture at The Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, until 14 August 2013.
The Stylish Fruits of an Intriguing Challenge
Where fashion designers create from intricately entwined aesthetic and commercial motivations with a watchful eye on the bottom line, emotional and spiritual needs drive folk and self-taught artists.
Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s
With the explosive emergence of the London club scene in the 1980s came a new generation of fashion designers – notably John Galliano, Katharine Hamnett, Betty Jackson and Wendy Dagworthy – whose work brought the energy of their nighttimes and early mornings to an international audience.
Elsa Schiaparelli, the flamboyant fashion designer of the Art Deco period, is renowned for her fabulous eccentricity and innovation. She changed fashion and people's attitudes to it with her scandalous dresses and colourful personality. Her legacy of spectacular designs and an entirely innovative approach to fashion design has moulded contemporary fashion and inspired countless fashion designers, including Galliano, McQueen, Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent. In short, Elsa Schiaparelli was the woman who shaped fashion as we know it today - creating the pattern for all dresses to come.
Panic Attack! Art in the Punk Years
In Britain, punk rock coincided with serious economic recession, mass unemployment, the tail end of an unpopular Labour government, strikes and industrial disputes, a sense of national decline and a demand for change.