Photo by Alexander Wagner
First it was superheroes; now the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is shifting its focus to the fashion side of punk. Dubbed PUNK: Chaos to Couture, the wing’s upcoming exhibition will feature around 100 designs, “from Miguel Adrover and Azzedine AlaÃ¯a to Yohji Yamamoto and Vivienne Westwood.” Here’s how the Met describes it in detail…
Original punk garments from the mid-1970s will be juxtaposed with recent fashion to show how haute couture and ready-to-wear borrow punk’s symbols, with the traditional paillettes being replaced with safety pins, feathers with razor blades, and bugle beads with studs. Punk’s “do-it-yourself” concepts will be contrasted with couture’s “made-to-measure” mindset. Visitors will see the materials and techniques of PUNK in an immersive multimedia gallery experience where the clothes will be animated with music videos and soundscaping.
The six gallery sections will include “Rebel Heroes” (think mid-seventies New York and London, with The Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash), “Couturiers Situationists” (via Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s 430 King’s Road boutique), “Pavilions of Anarchy and Elegance” (punk versus haute couture hand craftsmanship), “Punk Couture” (haute hardware including studs, spikes, chains, zippers, padlocks, safety pins, and razor blades), “D.I.Y. Style” (recycled materials from trash culture), and “La Mode Destroy” (rip-it-to-shreds and deconstructionist fashion).
PUNK is set to run from May 9th through August 11th. In related, kinda awesome news, Liars have been tapped for a “multimedia, site-specific performance in the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing” on Saturday, May 18th. Much like William Basinski’s special Disintegration Loops performance in 2011, the event will be presented by Wordless Music. Tickets will be available here, and the band will also play Brooklyn’s Masonic Temple the following night. Check out our cover story with Liars from self-titled‘s early days here: