The Met Goes Punk

by: Emily Kirkpatrick

September 20, 2012

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute has enjoyed great success from their exhibits over the past few years. With the incredible record-breaking Alexander McQueen show and then the imaginative pairing of Schiaparelli and Prada, it’s no wonder the internet is already abuzz over the announcement of the museum’s next exhibit.

In May of 2013, the Met will put on “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” it’s tribute to the origins of punk music, examining how it has shaped and transformed fashion as it transitioned from street wear to haute couture over the past three decades. Unlike the Met’s previous exhibit “AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion,” the exhibit will take a two-pronged approach to the subject, looking at punk culture in both London and New York and discussing the cities impact on each other and their fashionable contemporaries.

Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Costume Institute told Women’s Wear Daily, “punk broke all rules when it came to fashion, and everything became possible after punk. Its impact on high fashion became so enormous, and continues at the same time.”

As in the past, the exhibit will be open to the public from May 9 to August 11 with the inaugural gala set for May 6, which will be cochaired this year by Rooney Mara, Riccardo Tisci, Lauren Santo Domingo, and, of course, Anna Wintour.

The exhibit will feature around 100 men’s and women’s pieces, with original punk looks placed side-by-side with the designer outfits that they inspired. For the sake of accesability, the galleries will be broken into a set of themes, including “Rebel Heroes,” “The Coturiers Situationists” (dedicated to McLaren and Westwood), “Pavilions of Anarchy and Elegance,” “Punk Couture,” “DIY Style,” and “La Mode Destroy.”

The full reach of punk’s influence on fashion is best demonstrated by the extensive list of designers included in the exhibit, with names such as Haider Ackermann, Azzedine Alaïa, Ann Demeulemeester, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Rei Kawakubo, Alexander McQueen, Rodarte, and Alexander Wang, just for starters. Photograph Nick Knight of SHOWstudio will serve as this year’s creative consultant to help design the overall look of both the exhibit along with the Met Gala. The “Punk: Chaos to Couture” exhibit is poised to be another of the Met’s smash hit successes, bringing together fans of the music, street culture, and high fashion all under one roof.


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