Friday, 21 June 2013


I am so excited! Just one week and I will go to... can you guess it??? Yes, it's Italy!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lana Del Rey - Ride

Another modern diva and another beautiful song, this time by Lana del Rey. 

I got curious about her music after seeing those amazing pictures in L'Officiel where she is styled in a romantic hispanic look, though my favorite dress on her is very Italian.

April 2013

Thursday, 6 June 2013

from the sidewalk to the catwalk: the decay of rebellion

The first pre-fall collections are already in the stores while we are finaly enjoying the summer here. But while having a short look at the collections, I realized that Punk and Grunge are again a topic for the fall and winter.

I find the influence of music and street style into high fashion very interesting and was also curious about the exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art called "PUNK: Chaos to Couture". It reminded me of one of the first posts I published on this blog: fashion between protest and mainstream
One might think that the do-it-yourself attitude of the punk movement and the made-to-measures concept of the couture don't match, but on the other hand both ideas are based on the drive of originality and individuality.

patti smith - gloria

The exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute, examines the impact of the punk movement on high fashion from the 1970s till today and illustrates how the punk's visual symbols became fashionable. But more interesting than the symbols for me are the ideas of eclecticism, deconstructionism and the mixing of different stylistic references into one ensemble which actually evolved from the punk aesthetic of the nineteen-seventies.

PUNK: Chaos to Couture - clothes for heroes
Another big question which the exhibition in my opinion doesn't cover is what happens to the underground culture once robbed of their symbols and style language. But first let's have a look at the for main topics of the exhibition.

_D.I.Y. Hardware
Thinking of the hardware of the punk movement, one immediately must think of spikes, safety-pins, studs and chains. The punk movement originally adopted this rather brutish hardware as a symbol of destruction and in awareness of its sexual connotations. Those symbols are used as a sign of rebellion.

PUNK: Chaos to Couture - hardware
With designers like Versace and Givenchy, these symbols conquered the high fashion too to give the collections a youthful rebelliousness. But as the curator of the exhibition, Andrew Bolton, quite rightfully stated: "Whenever fashion coopts street style, it inevitably sanitizes the origins and the meanings of its original manifestation."

The Ramones - I don't wanna grow up

_D.I.Y. Bricolage
The word bricoleur describes an amateur who found objects from everyday life and created something new from them. It is something essential to the punk movement as it appropriated objects from their mainly domestic contexts and creates looks from trash and consumer culture to express on opposing attitude. 

PUNK: Chaos to Couture - bricolage
Also designer Martin Margiela could be described as a bricoleur in terms of using objects like broken plates, found posters or cheap necklaces to create extraordinary fashion out of them, which in a way also criticizes the excesses and abundance of fashion.

_D.I.Y. Graffiti and Agitprop
the graffiti and agitprop department looks at the images and slogans that punks incorporated into their fashions, which in a way is the most self-evident expression of do-it-yourself.

PUNK: Chaos to Couture - Graffiti and Agitprop
The gallery itself is like a bombed-out building. In terms of the whole suite of galleries it looks the most like a club. In the center of the gallery are four ball gowns by Dolce & Gabbana which were actually inspired by the Julian Schnabel's paintings. In terms of the
manifestation of the do-it-yourself aesthetic, graffiti was certainly in a way the most political and is still used by Vivienne Westwood today as a messenger for her political ideas.

Dolce & Gabbana
spring/ summer 2008

Also Alexander McQueen adopted the idea of graffiti into a dress that was worn by Shalom Harlow in the collection called No. 13 in which she rotated like a doll and she was sprayed with acid green and black paint by a Fiat car-sprayer.

PUNK: Chaos to Couture - Graffiti and Agitprop
There are also designers who have used the T-shirt as a vehicle for propaganda like for example Vivienne Westwood and Moschino. Punks often used t-shirts and their clothing as banners, and designers have continued that tradition, often for political and environmental purposes.

The Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK

_D.I.Y. Destroy
destroy or deconstruction had probably the greatest impact on fashion. And for punks this practice manifested itself in rips and tears. These slashes became the ultimate emblems of urban dereliction or disaffection. And there are designers—Hussein Chalayan, Martin Margiela—who have taken on the political underpinnings of rips and tears, where it is a political statement about poverty, about disaffection.

PUNK: Chaos to Couture - destroy
On the whole the designers in the exhibition, it's more about an aesthetic than poverty like the Chanel suit by Karl Lagerfeld which can be considered in a way the ultimate symbol of bourgeoisie fashionability. 

Sid Vicious, 1977
Chanel, Vogue March 2011 

But one of the strongest deconstructionist is Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons. She constantly changes your eye in terms of her collections by criticizing the platonic ideals of beauty. She turns them around to present new definitions of beauty, new definitions of fashion, and that really is what punk was all about—to expand the parameters of fashion and to question fashion in general. 

Comme des Garçons
spring/ summer 2011

In a way nothing has come since then that is as radical as the punk movement was, which is probably why designers still look to punk, because of its innovation. But what happens when the street style becomes fashionable? I have read an interview with Vivienne Westwood who could be considered as the mother of the punk style, for her punk was so much more than just fashion. Especially the word destroy had a strong meaning for her.

Vivienne Westwood, 1976

The anarchy sign—this idea of "Destroy." 
The hippies had politicized my generation, and I was so upset with the death, destruction, and corruption in this world. 
That's what I wanted to destroy, that's what it meant to me. 
At the time, the movement was just iconoclastic, 
but for me it meant more. 

You've got to have ideas. 
For me, punk lost its interest because it ran out of ideas. 
It's about trying to change the world, not just jumping around and spitting. 
You've got to have ideas, which don't just fall into your lap

-Vivienne Westwood, interview in