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“Punk: Chaos to Couture” at the Metropolitan Museum

Friday, August 09, 2013

Andrew Bolton, curator in the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, talks about the exhibition “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” on view at the Metropolitan through August 14. The show examines punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the 1970s through its continuing influence today.

Joe Strummer, late 1970s. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph © Pennie Smith

From "Punk: Chaos to Couture" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 9-August 14, 2013.

Gianni Versace (Italian, founded 1978), spring/summer 1994. Vogue Paris, February 1994. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph © Satoshi Saïkusa

From "Punk: Chaos to Couture" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 9-August 14, 2013.

Sid Vicious, 1977. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph © Dennis Morris - all rights reserved

From "Punk: Chaos to Couture" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 9-August 14, 2013.

Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913). Vogue, March 2011. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph David Sims

From "Punk: Chaos to Couture" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 9-August 14, 2013.

Rei Kawkubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969), 1982. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Peter Liondbergh

From "Punk: Chaos to Couture" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 9-August 14, 2013.

Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969), spring/summer 2006. by Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph © Nathalie Sanchez for Maison Martin Margiela

From "Punk: Chaos to Couture" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 9-August 14, 2013.

Richard Hell, late 1970s. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph © Kate Simon

From "Punk: Chaos to Couture" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 9-August 14, 2013.

Maison Martin Margiela (founded 1988), spring/summer 2011. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph

From "Punk: Chaos to Couture" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 9-August 14, 2013.

Guests:

Andrew Bolton

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Comments [4]

Em

There is no disagreement as to what Punk was in Britain, it was a brief and loud explosion there, but it was completely over once the Sex Pistols ended. You could only find punks afterwards on the King's Road, who were there to make money posing for photos for tourists and journalists. The American phenomena generated completely separately in the New York, and is entirely different. You just can't compare the two. Only the vacuous airheads of the Fashion Industry and today's corporate music machine believe otherwise, and that is solely who this exhibition was created for.

The true legacy of Punk wasn't the fashion, which was always viewed as just a laugh by the kids, it was the ETHOS. From the moment Punk imploded there was an explosion of INDEPENDENT record shops and companies. Bands came out of nowhere, thick and fast from all over Britain and Ireland and mostly working class, because they finally could get recorded when in the 70s only public and grammar school kids from the South were allowed to enter the game. Finally kids like me from inner city comprehensives saw people like us, male and female, taking the mick on TOTP, and it was just good fun, often with a message of social activism underlying it. It was a great time FOR MUSIC as a way to vent frustration about the misery of growing up in the UK in the 70s.

Your guest would never be able to appreciate that because it doesn't come with truffles and champagne. The "aesthetic of poverty"?? This man is an offense to the soul and he sounds like a creepy West End hairdresser too. And please Mr Lopate never, ever talk about Punk again, you made me cringe - unless you can get John Lydon, that could be really really funny.

Aug. 09 2013 05:36 PM

Rejecting the vicious, predatory economic system euphemistically called "Capitalism" is a most legitimate and noble cause. It is ill-served by being linked to the kind of narcisstic, immature, nihlistic and degenerate "punk culture" antics that were the subject of this segment.

To hear the posturing and pandering to such rubbish that we did, from someone of Mr. Lopate's intelligence, education and seniority was, frankly, pathetic.

(I am reminded of the grating, obnoxious, imposing "music", including punk, that Doug Henwood insisted upon assaulting the audience of his show with. This, despite how completely gratutious said cacophonies were to the actual _content_ that the show, called Behind The News, was _overwhelmingly_ dedicated-to: analysis of various issues in the news as they relate to economics.)

Aug. 09 2013 02:16 PM
Ron from Manhattan

It's my understanding from a documentary that the term "Punk' was given to the music by the media, and the bands just thought of their music as Rock and Roll. The Ramones said, in that documentary, that they just played their music fast because they had to get off stage for the next band CGBG's. Rock and Roll was a rebellious movement as well, so how different is it from Punk? Punk bands just played the music faster, and aggressively. Thus Punk is Rock-n-Roll, Rock-n-Roll is Punk.

Aug. 09 2013 12:52 PM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

I saw the exhibit, and thought the premise and the content was interesting and well-thought out. My one (major) complaint with the show, is that it felt antiseptic. I wished that it had been more of a sensory experience, that gave viewers a more authentic view of what living the punk lifestyle was like - the CBGB's bathroom behind the glass wall is a perfect example; in reality, the bathroom reeked, and part of going in there was being able to scribble graffiti on the wall.

I wished the rooms in the show were dirtier, louder, allowed for viewers to leave graffiti. I know a show like this at the Met is hampered by their high security, but the energy and disdain for rules and authority was very much a part of punk, and I felt that the vibe in the exhibit should have incorporated and honored that.

Aug. 09 2013 12:52 PM

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