Tonight's Costume Institute gala, fashion's version of the Oscars, heralds the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's spring exhibition, "PUNK: Chaos to Couture
," which endeavors to examine punk's impact of high fashion from its inception in the early 1970s through today.
Look at the impact that the punk movement has had over the course of fashion history: Vivienne Westwood's London shop was raided for "indecent exhibition." Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the Chanel jacket with shredding and studs. Rodarte burst onto the map with the Mulleavy sisters' collection of shredded knits and deadly spiked heels. Gianni Versace took the safety pin - traditionally worn in the earlobe - and fastened Elizabeth Hurley into a risque black dress for a red carpet premiere.
Curator Andrew Bolton estimates that since punk, no other pop culture aesthetic has come close to conveying the same shock value in fashion. But are the hallmarks of punk - safety pins, tattoos, mohawks, studs, and black eyeliner - even considered truly shocking, anymore? After all, even Oscar de la Renta, the chief dresser of ladies who lunch, sent models down the runway with color streaked through their bouffants. At The Cut
, Robin Givhan agrees that punk has lost its ability to shock; however, she proclaims
that, "the shock value is no longer in what designers suggest we wear, but in who they make us think we are."
Now that's provoking.
Below, our favorite stories relating to the exhibit - we especially love NYMag's coverage! We'll be back Wednesday AM with our regular weekly newsletter.