With the recent Met Gala theme and the sneaky suspicion that punk is back in fashion, I have been a little confused as to the definition of punk, in a clothing sense.
Previously, whenever I had thought of punk, Vivienne Westwood, Malcom McLaren and their shop ‘Sex‘ had come to mind. After reviewing the Vivienne Westwood book that I purchased after seeing her retrospective at the V&A almost 10 years ago, I realised that while I was on the money, I didn’t have a true understanding of how their influence changing clothing and fashion itself.
I didn’t realise for example, that rubber hadn’t been used in clothing before. Neither had obscure straps and zips. It was Westwood who bought this to life. Ahh, the penny it would appear, was starting to drop.
To ensure that I hadn’t missed anything else, I thought I had best double check the definition of punk and I must admit I was surprised by some of the references.
punk n. 1. A youth movement of the late ’70s characterized by anti-establishment slogans and outrageous clothes and hairsytles. 2. An inferior, rotten or worthless person or thing. 3. Worthless articles collectively. 4. Short for punk rock. 5. Rotten or worthless.
Ahh, so that explains why the lead singer of the Sex Pistols changed his name from Johnny Lyon to be Johnny Rotten. But the rotten references do seem a bit harsh.
However, I digress. The initial cause of my confusion was due to a punk photo gallery retrospective by Vogue.
That said, as my first draft of this blog was completed last week, I have had the luxury of being able to view the clothes worn to the Met Gala, prior to finishing my post. As such, I have realised that while there were many people that were as confused as I was about the actual definition of punk, in all honesty, punk it is something which isn’t really definable. It’s as much about attitude as about clothing. As such, while all of these shots don’t necessarily fit my ‘classic’ interpretation of ‘punk‘, they are indeed ‘punk‘ in some way or form.
Do you agree?