Blitzkrieg Pop: Punk Fashion Comes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New Exhibit
Blitzkrieg Pop: Punk Comes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New Show
Exhibition dates: May 9–August 14, 2013.
Click for more images
PUNK: Chaos to Couture, organized by The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, examines punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in
the 1970s through its continuing influence today. The exhibition is on view from May 9
through August 14.
“Punk’s signature mixing of references was fueled by artistic developments such as Dada
and postmodernism,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, “so it makes sense to present this exhibition in a museum that also shows
the broader output of those movements. Read More
The exhibition, in the Museum’s second-floor Cantor galleries, features approximately
100 designs for men and women. A few iconic punk garments from the mid-1970s are
juxtaposed with recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear
have borrowed punk’s visual symbols, with paillettes being replaced with safety
pins, feathers with razor blades, and bugle beads with studs. Focusing on the relationship
between the punk concept of ‘do-it-yourself’ and the couture concept of ‘made-to-measure,’
the exhibition is organized around the materials, techniques, and embellishments associated with the anti-establishment style. Presented as an immersive
multimedia experience, the clothes are animated with vintage videos and soundscaping
Organized thematically, each of the seven galleries has footage of designated punk
‘heroes’ who embody the broader concepts behind the fashions on view. The first gallery
is devoted to CBGB in New York City, represented by Blondie, Richard Hell, The
Ramones, and Patti Smith. Opposite is a gallery inspired by Malcolm McClaren and
Vivienne Westwood’s Seditionaries boutique at 430 King’s Road in London, and between
the two is Clothes for Heroes, embodied by a slow motion video of Jordan. This gallery
examines designers who extend the visual language of punk, as it was originally
articulated by McLaren and Westwood, by merging social realism with artistic
Do-it-yourself, punk’s enduring contribution to high fashion, is explored in the four final
galleries: D.I.Y. Hardware, focusing on couture’s use of studs, spikes, chains, zippers,
padlocks, safety pins, and razor blades, with Sid Vicious as its icon; D.I.Y. Bricolage,
highlighting the impact of punk’s ethos of customization on high fashion, including the
use of recycled materials from trash and consumer culture, as epitomized by Wayne
County; D.I.Y. Graffiti and Agitprop, exploring punk’s tradition of provocation and
confrontation through images and text exemplified by The Clash; and D.I.Y. Destroy,
examining the effect of punk’s rip-it-to-shreds spirit, typified by Johnny Rotten, via torn
and shredded garments associated with deconstructionism.
Designers in the exhibition include Miguel Adrover, Thom Browne, Christopher Bailey
(Burberry), Hussein Chalayan, Francisco Costa (Calvin Klein), Christophe Decarnin
(Balmain), Ann Demeulemeester, Dior, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (Dolce and
Gabbana), John Galliano, Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga), Katharine Hamnett, Viktor
Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (Viktor & Rolf), Christopher Kane, Rei Kawakubo (Comme
des Garçons), Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel), Helmut Lang, Martin Margiela, Malcolm
McLaren, Alexander McQueen, Franco Moschino and Rossella Jardini (Moschino), Kate
and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte), Miuccia Prada, Gareth Pugh, Zandra Rhodes, Hedi
Slimane (Saint Laurent), Stephen Sprouse, Jun Takahashi (Undercover), Riccardo Tisci
(Givenchy), Gianni Versace, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto, and Vivienne
Westwood. The exhibition is organized by Andrew Bolton, Curator, in the Met’s Costume InstitutePhotographer Nick Knight is the exhibition’s creative consultant working with exhibition design consultant Sam Gainsbury (who was creative director for the Met’s AlexanderMcQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition in 2011) and production designer Gideon Ponte (set and production designer for photo shoots and feature films including Buffalo 66 and American Psycho). All mannequin head treatments and masks are designed by Guido
Palau, who also created treatments for Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and last
year’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.
The design for the 2013 Costume Institute gala benefit is created by Nick Knight, Sam
Gainsbury, and Gideon Ponte with Raul Avila, who has produced the benefit décor since
2007. Additional funding for the gala benefit is provided by Givenchy.
The Museum’s website, www.metmuseum.org/punk, features special, in-depth features on
Fridays and Saturdays 9:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sundays, Tuesdays–Thursdays 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.