Punk fashion is a trend that emerged in the 1970s and burned bright right from King’s Road in London to CBGB’s in Lower Manhattan. Touted as the ‘undisputed birthplace of punk’, CBGB has supported the punk movement in its own way. In fact, it is said that its owner, Hilly Crystal, used to let his dog Jonathan answer nature’s call all over the club. Punk fashion involves not only the clothes but also hairstyles, cosmetics, jewelry and body modifications. Moguls of designing such as Vivienne Westwood, Anna Sui and Jean Paul Gaultier have all lent their hands in the punk fashion movement by using punk elements in their production. Initially handmade, punk fashion started being mass produced by the 1980s. Many fashion magazines and other glamor oriented media have featured classic punk hairstyles and punk influenced clothing. Preferred footwear includes military boots, motorcycle boots, brothel creepers, Puma Clydes, and Chuck Taylor All-Stars among others.
Punk rock is a sign of rebuttal of the perceived excess and pretension found in mainstream music and culture in general. The specialty of this fashion is its essence of being essentially anti-materialistic, for example, sporting an unkempt hairstyle as opposed to long hippie like hair
, replacing expensive and colorful clothes with dirty, simple, low class, second hand looking jeans, T-shirt, and leather jacket. Tartan and leather skirts are staples for women. Punk style costume used by Patti Smith is a good example. Her designs for the Rocky Horror Show
and Rocky Horror Picture Show served as a template for punk rock fashion.
In the United Kingdom, mainstream punk style was influenced by clothes sold in Malcolm McLaren’s shop, ‘artdesigncafe’. McLaren deliberately designed offensive T-shirts such as the DESTROY T-shirt sold at SEX, which featured an inverted crucifix and a Nazi Swastika. Other items in early British punk fashion included leather jackets, customized blazers, and dress shirts covered in slogans, blood, or controversial images. Punk fashion broadly follows the DIY policy, and that is, pairing old clothes with shoes and accessories to make it look remodeled and innovative.
Dressing up punk style is actually easy. Try wearing plaid or neutral button shirts with boyfriend jeans or even skinny jeans. Pair it with Converse or Vans shoes or even black and brown combat boots. If you’re planning to go all black, add a dash of color in it, say, a colored tie or brightly colored socks. Finally, don’t forget to accessorize it with a choker around the neck or studded earrings to complete the look.
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