A recreation of the bathroom at New York’s CBGB from 1975
Punk. The newest exhibit at the Met. Punk: Chaos to Couture has aroused a new sense
of rocker punk fashion and controversy surrounding the portrayal of edginess
and collections shown at the exhibit. Walking into the exhibit at first glance
is intriguing. Sex Pistols and Joan Jett jumps right to your mind with black spiked
hair, bright pinks that are daring and bold, and reminiscent of a time machine bringing
us back to the past. A very provocative exposure of the punk time period with
a mix of sex, drugs and high fashion. Blaring music is eery and creepy but
doesn’t take away from the exhibit and instead adds a sense of what
punk really is.
The exhibit is a timeline (an accurate one) of how bands and artists (Sex Pistols,
Ramones, Sid Vicious) have made a name for themselves in the era of punk
and rock and roll, and are now recognized for their efforts in establishing
a full decade of rebellion and anti-establishment that has been picked up and
introduced by Vivienne Westwood, McQueen, and Galliano, among others.
Designers are inspired by the concept of steering away from what the public
wants to see on the runways and has been pushed in the direction of going
towards giving the public the opportunity to embrace a new generation and
become something they may not have considered before.
Hardware, Bricolage, Graffiti and Agitprop, and Destroy are the topics of
the exhibition, which I believe was portrayed fairly well and on point.
Everything I imagined to be under the topic of “punk” like studs, holes,
rocker tank tops, and black was involved and featured. Many designers
aesthetics were inspired by the era, and that shows through in every look
on display. A few confusing pieces were ball gowns made out of black plastic
bags, which to me isn’t much of fashion but more like a waste of plastic
bags. Somewhat too juvenile and un-experienced (more college level)
than the other looks on display, which was disappointing to witness.
My thoughts? A fabulous exhibit. In depth, sophisticated, edgy, and a blank
portrait of the punk era. A little bit too commercialized and “glamorous”
but overall left little to be desired and much to be anticipated. The most
important aspect is how the person viewing it would relate to the looks.
Whether it be the newest generation of teenagers and their obsession with
social media and YouTube, or the older generation who used to take out
their radios and pierce each others ears while their parents fumed with
anger in the background, Punk: Chaos to Couture is an event no
fashionista should miss. Even if you’re more of a pink lace and fru-fru
girl, this will make you want to take out all your tops and cut holes in
them (or just buy a few new Brandy Melville tanks.)