Some say punk is dead, but given the subculture’s enduring contributions to high fashion, we’d have to argue otherwise. The anti-establishment/DIY attitude that was once spearheaded by the Sex Pistols and Vivienne Westwood can still be seen on the runways today, and as the subject of this year’s Costume Institute exhibition--Chaos to Couture--at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 9th, the influence of punk has never been more prevalent. As we consider how today’s designers, including Anna Sui and Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, have appropriated this ripped-and-torn look for S/S 13, we couldn’t think of a more fitting subject for today’s Currently Channeling.
Punk icons such as Sid Vicious and Joey Ramone may have made all the noise back in the day, but it was the subculture’s leading ladies that were the forces to be reckoned with. From Debbie Harry’s subversively sexy outfits and peroxide blonde locks to Siouxsie Sioux’s fetish-influenced sensibilities and extreme cat-eye makeup, the women of punk paved the way for rebellious youth. Their sartorial influences are still present today, as evidenced by current punk princess Agyness Deyn, who embraces the aesthetic in a modern way. You can even see hints of Harry and Sioux on the spring runways, especially in Rodarte's Black Leather Grommeted and Laced Up Pants (price upon request) and Anna Sui's Punk Rock Mesh Dress ($323, 212.941.8406) and Fishnet Top ($103, 212.941.8406). With these references fresh in our minds, we culled a selection of fashionable pieces that are perfect for helping you put a little punk in your everyday look.
OPI Nail Lacquer ($9) in Black Shatter
If OPI’s Black Shatter Nail Lacquer was available back in the ‘70s, we have a feeling it would have been a go-to for our punk princesses. Here’s how it works: first apply a base coat of your favourite nail colour, then, when completely dry, add a single coat of the Shatter polish, and voila! The cracked effect will give you instant cool-girl cred.
Obesity and Speed Red X Crew Neck Tee ($48)
Nobody looked better in a graphic tee than Debbie Harry, so this next pick is our ode to the stylish singer. Pair this soft crewneck with a black denim jacket or tuck it into a leather mini.
Friends & Associates Ally Pleated Wrap Skirt ($105)
Though today’s muses often took style cues from the boys, there was an element of femininity to their looks as well. We imagine they would toughen up this pleated mini skirt from Friends & Associates with a ripped tee and leather boots.
Eddie Borgo Lotus Ionized Cone Bracelet ($375)
For a subtle nod at today’s trend, pick up Eddie Borgo’s Lotus Ionized Cone Bracelet. Equal parts tough and glam, the iridescent bauble will be a luxe addition to an armful of statement bangles.
Pixie Market Raider Pointed Loafers ($116)
If combat boots and Chuck Taylors are out of the question, try these menswear-inspired loafers instead. Cutout details and patent leather lend an of-the-moment rock-chic vibe, while a pointed toe keeps them feeling feminine.
Each X Other Printed Leather Biker Jacket ($1632)
This leather biker jacket offers the perfect punk-inspired union of fashion and art with its paint-effect print created by London-based artist Robert Montgomery. We’d throw it over an evening dress for a cool contrast.
Zara Coloured Sequined Evening Bag ($90)
In keeping with the do-it-yourself spirit of punk, this clutch by Zara was a no-brainer. Mimicking tiny grommets, yellow, black, and white sequins lend the bag its visually interesting, industrial look.
Paige Verdugo Ultra Skinny Jeans ($199) in Black Destructed
No punk princess wardrobe would be complete without some ripped denim, which is why we’ve included Paige’s black distressed Verdugo Ultra Skinny Jeans. Take a page out of Deyn’s playbook and wear them with a flannel shirt and creepers.
Rodarte runway photo, courtesy of Rodarte; Photos of Agyness Deyn, Joan Jett, Siouxsie Soux, and Debbie Harry, courtesy of Getty Images.