vogue.comBorn in basements and garages in the mid-seventies, the punk music movement (think The Ramones, The Clash) and its attendant fashion could probably be imagined almost anywhere except the halls of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But there it shall be this spring when the museum unveils “PUNK: Chaos to Couture.” The exhibition, organized by the Costume Institute’s curator Andrew Bolton, highlights more than 100 designs for men and women, and examines punk’s influence—from its inception to today—on high fashion. The exhibition, which will be made possible by Moda Operandi, will be feted during the museum’s annual opening gala on May 6, 2013, and cochaired by actress Rooney Mara, Moda Operandi cofounder Lauren Santo Domingo, Anna Wintour, and designer Riccardo Tisci. Photographer Nick Knight will serve as the exhibition’s creative consultant as well as spearhead the design of the gala with Raul Avila.
WWD 9/13/2012Punk to Play the Met Courtesy of the Costume Exhibit
NEW YORK — Break out the Mohawks, safety pins, torn fabrics and razor blades.
Next May, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute will stage “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” its big spring exhibition seeking to highlight the origins of the punk movement and draw direct connections to haute couture and ready-to-wear creations that it has inspired for the past three decades.
The show, which will be open to be public from May 9 to Aug. 11, will be inaugurated on May 6, when the annual Costume Institute benefit gala is scheduled to take place at the museum with Rooney Mara, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci, Lauren Santo Domingo and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour serving as cochairs.
Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton had been mulling a show about punk for quite some time. “Punk broke all rules when it came to fashion, and everything became possible after punk,” he said. “Its impact on high fashion became so enormous, and continues at the same time.”
Unlike the Met's 2006 “AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion” exhibition, which also featured elements of punk, this exhibition will draw a direct axis between the London and New York iterations of the movement and how they impacted fashion.
“The show will start off primarily with the origins of punk and the tale of two cities,” Bolton noted.
“It's generally accepted that punk was a musical movement that emerged in the early to mid-Seventies at CBGB and Max's Kansas City [in New York] with punk bands like The Ramones. When it emerged in London, it became a different phenomenon that was much more political and aesthetic. That look of punk was formulated in London primarily through Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.”
The exhibition, at the museum's Cantor galleries, will feature about 100 men's and women designs on display, juxtaposing original punk looks with the designer creations that were inspired by or incorporated punk elements, e.g., Gianni Versace's ultrasexy black safety pin dress that made Elizabeth Hurley an overnight star, though fashion's interest far predated the premiere of “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
“The first time it was adopted into high fashion was really with Zandra Rhodes in 1977,” Bolton said.
“Primarily the biggest legacy is DIY [do-it-yourself] and deconstruction,” he added. “Punk has had one of the biggest influences on fashion over the last 30 years, and sometimes people wear punk without even realizing it.”
The list of designers in the exhibition is extensive: Haider Ackermann, Miguel Adrover, Azzedine Alaïa, Boudicca, Ann Demeulemeester, Dolce & Gabbana, Andrew Groves, Marc Jacobs, Rei Kawakubo, Alexander McQueen, Rodarte, and Alexander Wang are just some of the names that will be incorporated in thematic galleries. These will be titled “Rebel Heroes,” “The Couturiers Situationists” (focusing on punk's godparents McLaren and Westwood); “Pavilions of Anarchy and Elegance,” “Punk Couture;” “DIY Style” and “La Mode Destroy.” Photographer Nick Knight, who is known to incorporate innovative technology into his images, will serve as the creative consultant and will create the gala's look with Raul Avila.
Moda Operandi, which launched in February 2011, will underwrite the show (it recently raised $36 million from such firms as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and IMG). Condé Nast will provide additional support.
Santo Domingo, Moda Operandi's cofounder and creative director, said, “History is one of the greatest sources of inspiration in fashion, and we are especially excited for this exhibit because of punk's long-lasting impact upon fashion today.”
Cofounder and chief executive officer Áslaug Magnúsdóttir added, “The Costume Institute celebrates fashion as an art form that inspires movements and resonates with individuals,” noting a kindred spirit between Moda Operandi and the Costume Institute, which is “to connect women worldwide to designers and provide them access to the most special pieces ever produced.”
Asked if he expects to see many Mohawks and other punk behavior at fashion's party of the year, Bolton laughed. “I think we will be seeing dresses with a slight tear or gaps, which is so punk but very subtle,” he said.
Whether or not The Sex Pistol's Johnny Rotten, whose irreverent behavior raised a few eyebrows at the gala for “AngloMania” will be invited back for an encore remains to be seen, but Bolton assured that his spirit will be there either way. As he put it, “He was so inventive in terms of his self-presentation, he will definitely be in the presentation.”
metmuseum.orgThe Costume Institute's next exhibition swerves to the streets and clubs of New York and London, then to ateliers and runways with PUNK: Chaos to Couture. The exhibition, on view from May 9 through August 11, 2013, will examine punk's impact from the 1970s to its continuing influence on high fashion now.
The exhibition will feature approximately one hundred designs for men and women. Original punk garments from the mid-1970s will be juxtaposed with recent fashion to show how haute couture and ready-to-wear borrow punk's symbols, with the traditional paillettes being replaced with safety pins, feathers with razor blades, and bugle beads with studs. Punk's "do-it-yourself" concepts will be contrasted with couture's "made-to-measure" mindset. Visitors will see the materials and techniques of PUNK in an immersive multimedia gallery experience where the clothes will be animated with music videos and soundscaping.
The six gallery sections will include "Rebel Heroes" (think mid-seventies New York and London, with The Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash), "Couturiers Situationists" (via Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's 430 King's Road boutique), "Pavilions of Anarchy and Elegance" (punk versus haute couture hand craftsmanship), "Punk Couture" (haute hardware including studs, spikes, chains, zippers, padlocks, safety pins, and razor blades), "D.I.Y. Style" (recycled materials from trash culture), and "La Mode Destroy" (rip-it-to-shreds and deconstructionist fashion).
The approximately fifty designers featured in the exhibition range from Miguel Adrover and Azzedine Alaïa to Yohji Yamamoto and Vivienne Westwood.
The exhibition is made possible by Moda Operandi.
Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.