New York's Met Museum celebrates punk's influence on fashion

Tue May 7, 2013 1:30am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With their black leather, studded jackets, ripped jeans, bondage trousers and messages of rebellion and anarchy, punks from the 1970s probably never envisioned that a major museum would be celebrating their influence on fashion 40 years later.

But the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art is doing just that with a new exhibition, "Punk: Chaos to Couture," that opens on May 9 and runs through August 14.

It includes 100 punk styles and ranges from the mid-70s at Vivienne Westwood's and Malcolm McLaren's London boutique and images of The Sex Pistols to examples of punk's impact on haute couture and designers such as Alexander McQueen, Helmut Lang, Miuccia Prada and John Galliano.

Films and music from the era and a re-creation of the graffiti-covered toilet at New York's CBGB punk rock club, where Blondie, the Ramones and Talking Heads played, add to the gritty authenticity of the exhibit.

"Punk was all about celebrating the individual, celebrating creativity and not being afraid - to be brave in your self-presentation and to be brave in your fashion statement," Andrew Bolton, the curator of the exhibit, said in an interview.

"Punk was all about challenging the status quo," he added. "I think all those elements very much impacted fashion."


Thomas P. Campbell, the director and chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, described punk as "a tale of two cities, New York and London."   Continued...

Singer Madonna arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of "PUNK: Chaos to Couture" in New York, May 6, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson