Monday, July 22, 2013


Now, Let's Talk About Punk: MET's "Punk: Chaos to Couture"

Photo by Michelle Falzarano

Photo by Spencer Platt for Getty Images. 

Early in May of this year, The Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) celebrated a continued influence in the fashion industry to this day: punk.  When I heard about the exhibit "Punk: Chaos to Couture," an interest to see it sparked on me. And so, I went to see it.

Since the days that Vivienne Westwood brought into the high fashion world the Punk Subculture, punk has been reinterpreted throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  Most pieces featured in the exhibit are from those time periods. "Punk: Chaos to Couture" definitely shows these reinterpretations.  Every single room goes from dark to light, and then the exhibit ends in a very dark room, with a mannequin wearing a Maison Martin Margiela dress (it seems like a half dress by the way), pointing a middle finger to the top, which gives you a sense of, I guess, punk attitude.

Several written pieces are spread around the exhibit. Here's a quote I got from one of the statements:

"The ethos of do-it-yourself  [D.I.Y.] is Punk's Greatest and most enduring influence on 
haute couture and ready-to-wear, and this exhibition examines four expressions of this 
spirit as originally interpreted by punks in the mid-to late 1970s to the present."

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Section: “DIY: Bricolage”

Vivienne Westwood (of coure), Dolce & Gabbana, Gareth Pugh, Maison Martin Margiela, Comme Des Garçons, Givenchy, Versace, and Alexander McQueen are among the selective few of designers that are part in the exhibit.  In the last room of the exhibit, Commes Des Garçons has eight pieces: four black and four in beige.  The beige pieces are incredibly interesting since they are more artistic than pieces you can actually wear, although I am sure some people would wear them and have done so. These pieces have attached sleeves hanging as details from, let's say, a dress, and lots of details that shows all the hard work that went into creating these masterpieces.


Gareth Pugh's pieces might be very recent, but his used of "plastic black garbage bags" is amazing.  Every single square piece creates the shape of a dress, making a very distinctive pattern.  It is so well constructed that you cannot even tell at first that it is made out of plastic bags.

Gareth Pugh's dresses made of "plastic garbage bags"

The piece that I liked the most was Maison Martin Margiela's "Artisanal, Spring/Summer 2006" pearls jacket.  It looks so effortlessly and artistically constructed.  It is such a great interpretation of an actual jacket, and definitely follows the punk aesthetic.  This piece is in what I called "the recyclable materials" section of the exhibit.

Pieces by Maison Martin Margiela, from the Met's exhibit "Punk: Chaos to Couture." Photo © Lindsay Comstock - See more at:
Third piece to the right: the Maison Martin Margiela pearls jacket


The exhibit ends with a pop-up mini shop where you can buy some punk-inspired souvenirs including postcards, art prints, shirts and black decorative spike pumps designed by Vivienne Westwood, and even Charlotte Olympia's "Punk Clutch", the one designed in collaboration with Tom Binns.

Every mannequin has a big, crazy wig, unifying the whole exhibit and giving it the finishing touches.  Punk for sure!

PUNK: Chaos to Couture will be on view until August 14th, 2013.

For more on this great exhibit, visit

Also, check the MET's Pinterest Board, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, right this way.

For now, until next time. A+F by AM.

P.S.: You cannot take photos since it is "an special exhibition," as I was told by museum staff.

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