The year 1975 will be marked as a year when one of the most important and influential subcultures started in Britain. Punk as a movement began as a revolt against British political values. It began as a working-class movement which decried the growing unemployment, lack of minimum-wage policies, failure of trade-union representations and capitalism. The undertone of punk was to oppose the idols of the middle class. Punk influenced not just the politics of England, but also fashion and music. Punk rock bands such as Sex Pistols were considered to be the biggest threat to the British value system. The divide was quite visible; those above 25 were shocked by the unconventional fashion choices the youth were making to express themselves.
Punks in London, Hoxton Square
So What is Punk Fashion?
Black leather jackets, spikes, worn-out jeans, military boots, piercings, black eyeliner and coloured hair became the symbols of punk subculture. Punk was characterised by ripped T-shirts with slogans and images signifying rebellion. Over a span of time, fishnet stockings and spiked jewellery also became a part of the movement. One of the major facets of punk fashion was to blur the lines between menswear and womenswear. So as a sign of revolt, women opted for ripped jeans, biker jackets and men opened up to the idea of applying makeup such as black eyeliner. Punks also incorporated everyday objects for aesthetic effect such as razor blades, chains, rubber, vinyl and leather to provoke and remind of bondage and S&M.
Punks in London, Shoreditch, London
A model in a statement spiked punk leather jacket
Contemporary Punk Fashion:
Vivienne Westwood is often referred to as the Mother of Punk and can be called one of the pioneers of the punk subculture. She started her first boutique in London in 1974 called ‘Sex’ which specialised in punk fashion. The boutique was closed in 1976 but became a cornerstone in punk fashion. Since then Westwood has dedicated her collection to political and environmental causes still living upto her punk status. Over time, a number of fashion designers such as Helmut Lang, Miuccia Prada, Alexander McQueen, Hedi Slimane for YSL and Jean Paul Gaultier have created collections inspired by and dedicated to punk and the punk era. Recently, Vogue magazine dedicated an entire exhibition to it called 'Punk: Chaos to Couture' at the Metropoliton Museum of Art, New York.
Models in Fendi Fall 2014
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