PUNK: Chaos to Couture  –  The Met’s 2013 Costume Institute exhibition, opening Thursday May 9, will examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the early 1970s through its continuing influence today. Featuring approximately one hundred designs for men and women, the exhibition will include original punk garments and recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear borrow punk’s visual symbols. Focusing on the relationship between the punk concept of “do-it-yourself” and the couture concept of “made-to-measure,” the seven galleries will be organized around the materials, techniques, and embellishments associated with the anti-establishment style. Themes will include New York and London, which will tell punk’s origin story as a tale of two cities, followed by Clothes for Heroes and four manifestations of the D.I.Y. aesthetic—HardwareBricolageGraffiti and Agitprop, and Destroy. Presented as an immersive multimedia, multisensory experience, the clothes will be animated with period music videos and soundscaping audio techniques.

5-7-2013 9-42-17 PMA gallery devoted to “DIY: Graffiti & Agitprop” is a mix of splashed and spray-painted designs by the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen alongside the bold statement tees of Katharine Hamnett and Moschino.

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5-6-2013 6-06-42 PM5-7-2013 9-42-35 PMA section devoted to “D.I.Y. Hardware” shows designers such as Gianni Versace and Viktor & Rolf substituting punk trappings such as studs and spikes for conventional couture trimmings.

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House of Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci (2007-8)

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Alexander McQueen paint-splatter dress from the Savage Beauty exhibit dedicated to the designer a couple years ago.

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Maison Martin Margiela designs (2006)

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5-8-2013 2-56-08 PMVivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, “God Save the Queen” shirt (1976-80)

5-7-2013 9-42-57 PMOne of the exhibition’s seven galleries replicates Seditionaries boutique, located at 430 Kings Road in London from 1976 through 1980.

5-7-2013 9-48-24 PMStanding sentry at the entrance to the exhibition are a John Galliano-designed fall 2006 Christian Dior haute couture ensemble, complete with red leather harness, and at left, a late 1970s “parachute” shirt and “bondage” trousers from Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s Seditionaries.

5-7-2013 9-43-30 PMIn the final “DIY: Destroy” gallery, a row of webby knitwear includes several patched and crocheted ensembles from the fall 2008 Rodarte collection. At far left is a cotton dress from Yohji Yamamoto’s spring 1993 collection.

5-7-2013 9-48-59 PMA historical reproduction of the toilets at CBGB, New York 1975

5-7-2013 9-50-40 PMThe LP case-shaped book cover of “PUNK: Chaos to Couture”

Check the video:

“Punk: Chaos to Couture” exhibition preview of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, May 6, 2013.


PUNK: Chaos to Couture will run from May 9, 2013 – August 14, 2013 at New York’s The Metropolitan Museum of Art.