Tuesday, June 14, 2011

70's Fever: Punk Style

If you're not into all the girly, floral fashion that is in all the stores this summer, Punk will be the perfect antidote. Dirty, edgy and androgynous, Punk fashion is all about expressing yourself. Over the years there have been many variations, from the very basic Hardcore style, consisting of plain or band shirts, worker pants and Dr. Marten boots worn by people such as Henry Rollins from Black Flag , Deathrock, a more sexy look with fishnets, corsets and an alltogether more dark and gothic approach as seen on for example Siouxie Sioux and the Cure, to the classic Glam Punk and street styles that inspired fashion designers such as Vivien Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Early punk rock styles were more anti-materialistic. The focus was on the music and statements rather than the fashion, artists such as Patti Smith and the Ramones had a simple but iconic wardrobe of jeans, t-shirts and leather jackets. While musicians such as the New York Dolls and Iggy Pop brought a very dirty glamlook to their stage. Glitter, tight pants and a bratty attitude made a great mix of a glamrock with punk. Alice Cooper, the first glamrock band, was most likely the main inspiration, dangerous, androgynous and groundbraking they also influenced the Sex Pistols who in turn instigated the Punk scene in the U.K. They were managed by Malcolm McLaren (also the New York Dolls manager) who together with Vivienne Westwood opened up the shop "Let It Rock", which was later known under various other names, with "SEX" being the most famous. Westwood created the clothes that McLaren designed. He took inspiration from the fetish scene, bikers and prostitutes. Their designs got more and more attention as the Sex Pistols wore them on stage. Vivien Westwood continued on to design more punk-inspired fashion, combining tartan, everyday objects such as safety pins and razor blades, bondage elements and classic 17th/18th century cuts. She is also still known as a political activist, designing exclusive T-Shirts and baby wear for civil rights group Liberty with which she supported their campaigns to protect civil liberties and promote human rights, showing that she is not just interested in punk on a superficial level.

Meanwhile, punk developed more and more as a streetstyle. A unique look was easily created, because of the styles' initial DIY nature. Ripped clothes, brightly dyed hair cut and styled into outrageous mowhawks, bangs and other 'dos, a mix of leather, bold tartan prints, metal decorations, even self-inflicted body mods. Although ill-advised, all you needed was a cork, needle and determination to give yourself all the extra holes you desired. Punk is a look you can go wild with, anything goes. Mud-encrusted Dr. Martens worn underneath a foofy pink tutu, fishnet stockings with cut-offs, a dog collar around your neck. You could get storebought tops with tears and chains, but with a bit of creativity and a tiny budget you can easily make your own.

Punk is still very much alive, bands like Rancid, Green Day and the Dead Kennedys still have a die-hard following and online there are so many DIY fashion sites from which to draw inspiration. Even if you don't like the look, you can take the creativity and simple techniques to update and personalise your own clothes without giving your money to "the man"!

For DIY tips and inspiration take a look at:




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