PUNK: Chaos to Couture Exhibition Revealed


From safety pins to studs, punk’s rebellious influence on fashion is undeniable. This year, The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art reveals how this 1970s movement continues to impact the creative process of designers today. The Thread sent New York-based Models Off Duty photographer Craig Arend to the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibit’s press preview, where he snapped some of the highlights.

Graffiti and text are signature punk elements that help spark confrontation, as exemplified by the British band the Clash.

All the mannequin head treatments and masks were designed by Guido Palau, who also created the treatments for Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and last year’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.

Designer Lee McQueen found inspiration in bubble wrap and trash bags for the look pictured at center, which was designed for the fall/winter 2009–10 Alexander McQueen collection.

The use of recycled materials is a key punk statement, and the exhibit explores how this idea of customization influences high fashion.

Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana, the Italian duo behind Dolce & Gabbana, crafted these paint-spattered gowns for spring/summer 2008 using silk organza and tulle.

Japanese designer Junya Watanabe presented this look on the runway for fall/winter 2006–07. This ensemble references the printed striped sweaters famously worn by Sex Pistols singer John Lydon in the ’70s.

These four T-shirt designs by Vivienne Westwood reflect punk’s rip-it-up spirit.

Like the world of couture, the language of punk is fueled by artistic expression.

Bonded beauty, a look from Gianni Versace, fall/winter 1992–93.

Looking for a keepsake? A book, Punk: Chaos to Couture, by curator Andrew Bolton with an introduction by Jon Savage and prefaces by Richard Hell and John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), will accompany the exhibition.

Be inspired to add a little chaos in your wardrobe. We have everything you need to create your own punked-out statement.

Qianna Smith