Punk Fashion

Art historians, writers, and costume designers alike commonly reference the past as a rite of passage. Visionaries in the art and fashion worlds, examine the past and they incorporate many subcultures and styles in their work of today. When those worlds collide, you have art as we know it and fashion on the street.

To celebrate the opening of the Punk Fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum on May 6th, today on the Fashion Hunter, I will illustrate how haute couture and read-to-wear have borrowed punk’s visual symbols, in my much abridged version. Although studs, spikes, and stilettos were not a huge part of my vocabulary in the 1970’s, (yet I was a bit rebellious with a capital R).  I mended the rips in my shirts with safety pins, listened to the Clash, attended shows at dark and seedy CBGB, (no, Sid Vicious was not my icon), and decorated my jeans with studs. For a visual snapshot, see Balmain’s runway show below from Spring 2011.


Photo: Style.com

Punk over the years has changed, but the core, it still has the sense of rebellion and controversy. Anna Sui presented punk looks on her runway this season, she actually lived the punk era, and claims that studs and chokers appearing in fashion doesn’t have the same shock value. If you didn’t live through it, she claims consumers today are appropriating the concept which gets lost and cheapens fashion. That bring said, the do-it-yourself impact of punk will never die. My take on punk goes like this: as an honorary member of that era, in the rip-to-shreds spirit, I can wear a choker without referencing rebelliousness, and romanticize the past with the wild crowd and the fierce energy that highlighted the times. Punk fashion is about mixing elements with other seasonal trends.


 Fenton Fallon choker, Rag & Bone Jefferson Blazer, VonZipper shades

Photo: Lydia Hudgens

With the sponsorship of Moda Operandi (the website is offering access to the upcoming creations and the upcoming fundraiser on May 6th) they will be live-streaming the show, and will feature designers like Vivienne Westwood and Givenchy on their site May 2nd. I am anticipating a use of recycled materials from trash and consumer culture, graffiti and razor blades to be a part of the exhibition. And, if you are one of the lucky few to attend this celebrity-studded event, I have curated my own outfit collage for your purchasing pleasure below, complete with studs, collars, spikes and the like for you to wear and celebrate with a punk-rock edge for 2013.

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Starting on the left, all links are clickable, likeable, and optimized.

 Alexander McQueen Long Knuckle studded leather box clutch, Givenchy Interwoven leather sandal, get a similar one here

Joomi Lim Crystal and spike necklaceAlice & Olivia Poppy embellished crepe gown

Tom Binns Safety Binns earrings, Asos Punk multipack rings — you can’t go wrong for $12.00 here! , and finally we all know your feet are going to hurt by night’s end, so  why not exchange those heels for these Miu Miu studded leather metallic sneakers? Huh?


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