From chaos to couture is the story of Punks evolution in the fashion industry. Birthed in the 1970’s on London’s Kings Road, working class youths sought to destroy the ideals of the bourgeoisie.
The punk culture was a battle between the anti-establishments, versus the upper society. The young punks were alienated so choose to look and dress alien. Ripped clothing, safety pins and provocative images printed on t-shirts, are the most recognisable visuals of this historic trend, on our catwalks today.
Most noticeably Balmain’s skin tight ripped jeans and studded leather bags, Jean Paul Gaultier’s use of PVC and tartan, and the skull scarves and bondage undertones of Alexander Mcqueen.
Provocative, angry, creative and rebellious all terms used to describe a punks attitude, now these are key words we use to critique fashion pieces on the runways today. It’s amazing how a look formed by angry working class youths managed to catapult itself on the runway, and birth some of fashions most memorable pieces, including the infamous Gianni Versace safety pinned dressed worn by actress Elizabeth Hurley.
Ironically punk started with the dismissal of brands and anti conformism. Fashion today has glorified and glamorised the style coining the term punk luxe described by Karl Lagerfeld as edgy, animated and extravagant. Designers such as Gianni Versace, Helmut Lang, Maison Martin Margeila to name a few have taken the trend, incorporated it within their brands, and have gained a wide range of commercial success.
It is humorous to call London one of the most fashionable cities, and most likely insulting to those punks that begun the trend, however, if it were not for these youths Britain would not have their best fashion designers that is Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Jon Galliano.
Punks were there to attract attention and they did just that, not only inspiring London fashion designers this trend travelled globally to France and even Japan. Our everyday outfits diverted by one or two punk style accessories.