Punk’s “incendiary influence on fashion” – as described by Andrew Bolton, Curator of The Costume Institute – has never been more at the forefront of the couture conversations than on the runways of the Spring 2013 collections. And “although punk’s democracy stands in opposition to fashion’s autocracy” says Bolton, “it’s youthful and aggressive forcefulness,” has long been appropriated by countless designers, and this Spring will take center stage in yet another arena as two museum shows – one in London and one in New York – open in celebration of it’s revolutionary influence.
Beginning at the end of March, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London will play host to more than 300 objects from David Bowie’s personal collection as the first international retrospective of his creative processes as a musical innovator and cultural icon is unveiled in “David Bowie Is…”. From handwritten lyrics, to set designs for the Diamond Dogs tour, photography by Brian Duffy, album artwork by Guy Peellaert and Edward Bell and – our personal favorite – original costumes designed by Freddie Burretti, the exhibition will explore Bowie’s creative evolution.
Visitors will certainly be inspired to recreate the colorful, genre and gender bending styles seen within. But if you’re not prepared for an intergalactic bodysuit or radical fauxhawk, may we suggest a subversive diamond and pink sapphire butterfly pin, or vintage mother of pearl set gold pill pendant?
Following soon after in May will be the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute show “PUNK: Chaos to Couture”. Co-hosted by Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, Givenchy creative director Ricardo Tisci, and punk couture’s latest “it girl” Rooney Mara, the show will be organized thematically to explore the visual symbols, materials and techniques associated with anti-establishment style.
Paillettes replaced with safety pins, feathers with razor blades, and bugle beads with studs – traversing the antechambers of Rebel Heroes, Pavilions of Anarchy and Elegance, DIY Style and La Mode Destroy will leave attendees eager to mix it up and explore their own dark side. Mash-up our Victorian Black Onyx cross or Onyx pin pendant with the leather, studs, spikes, chains and zippers of the Spring runway and you will have a look destined for street style acclaim.