Punk is in Fashion at New York’s Costume Institute
Coming up at The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be PUNK: Chaos to Couture. The exhibition, on view from May 9 through August 14, 2013,will examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the 1970s through its continuing influence today.
“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. Indeed, that dialogue between art and fashion is what makes The Costume Institute so singular.”
“Since its origins, punk has had an incendiary influence on fashion,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute. “Although punk’s democracy stands in opposition to fashion’s autocracy, designers continue to appropriate punk’s aesthetic vocabulary to capture its youthful rebelliousness and aggressive forcefulness.”
The exhibition, in the Museum’s second-floor Cantor galleries, will feature approximately 100 designs for men and women. Original punk garments from the mid-1970s will be juxtaposed with recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear have borrowed punk’s visual symbols, with paillettes (small, metallic embellishments) 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 will be organized around the materials, techniques, and embellishments associated with the anti-establishment style. Presented as an immersive multimedia, multi-sensory experience, the clothes will be animated with period music videos and soundscaping audio techniques.
Organized thematically, each of the seven galleries will have designated punk “heroes” who embody the broader concepts behind the fashions on view. The first gallery will be devoted to CBGB in New York City, represented by Richard Hell. Next will be a gallery inspired by Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood and their Seditionaries boutique at 430 King’s Road in London. The Clothes for Heroes gallery will examine designers who extend the visual language of punk, as it was originally articulated by McLaren and Westwood, by merging social realism with artistic expression.
Do-it-yourself, punk’s enduring contribution to high fashion, will be 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 Debbie Harry; 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 shredded garments associated with deconstructionism.
Designers in the exhibition will include Miguel Adrover, Thom Browne, Hussein Chalayan, Giles Deacon, Christophe Decarnin (Balmain), Dior, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (Dolce and Gabbana), John Galliano, Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga), Alexandre Herchcovitch, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (Viktor & Rolf), Marc Jacobs, Christopher Kane, Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel), Helmut Lang, Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Moschino, Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte), Miuccia Prada, Gareth Pugh, Zandra Rhodes, Jeremy Scott, Stephen Sprouse, Jun Takahashi (Undercover), Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy), Gianni Versace, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto, and Vivienne Westwood.
All mannequin head treatments and masks will be designed by Guido Palau, who also created treatments for Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and last year’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.
A book, Punk: Chaos to Couture, by Andrew Bolton, with an introduction by Jon Savage, and prefaces by Richard Hell and John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), will accompany the exhibition. This publication will be illustrated with photographs of vintage punks and high fashion
The exhibit will focus on couture’s use of studs, spikes, chains, zippers, padlocks, safety pins, and razor blades, with Sid Vicious as its icon. Sid Vicious by Dennis Morris. 1977
Punk redux by Chanel 2011. By David Sims
Just the Fashionable Facts
PUNK: Chaos to Couture. Exhibition dates: May 9–August 14, 2013. The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hours: Fridays and Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sundays, Tuesdays-Thursdays 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Recommended Admission: Adults $25, seniors (65 and over) $17, students $12. Information: www.metmuseum.org/punk.
Deborah Harry of “Blondie” — a punk icon.
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands created fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produced recordings and distributed them through informal channels.
The term "punk" was first used in relation to rock music by some American critics in the early 1970s, to describe garage bands and their devotees. By late 1976, bands such as the Ramones in New York and the Sex Pistols and The Clash in London were recognized as the vanguard of a new musical movement. The following year saw punk rock spreading around the world, and it became a major cultural phenomenon in the United Kingdom. For the most part, punk took root in local scenes that tended to reject association with the mainstream. An associated punk subculture emerged, expressing youthful rebellion and characterized by distinctive styles of clothing and adornment and a variety of anti-authoritarian ideologies.
The classic punk rock look among male American musicians harkens back to the T-shirt, motorcycle jacket, and jeans ensemble favored by American greasers of the 1950s associated with the rockabilly scene and by British rockers of the 1960s. The cover of the Ramones' 1976 debut album, featuring a shot of the band by Punk photographer Roberta Bayley, set forth the basic elements of a style that was soon widely emulated by rock musicians both punk and nonpunk. Richard Hell's more androgynous, ragamuffin look—and reputed invention of the safety-pin aesthetic—was a major influence on Sex Pistols impresario Malcolm McLaren and, in turn, British punk style.
McLaren's partner, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, credits Johnny Rotten as the first British punk to rip his shirt, and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious as the first to use safety pins. Early female punk musicians displayed styles ranging from Siouxsie Sioux's bondage gear to Patti Smith's "straight-from-the-gutter androgyny".
The former proved much more influential on female fan styles. Over time, tattoos, piercings, and metal-studded and -spiked accessories became increasingly common elements of punk fashion among both musicians and fans, a "style of adornment calculated to disturb and outrage". The typical male punk haircut was originally short and choppy; the Mohawk later emerged as a characteristic style.
Some Funk to go with the Punk
YOTEL Hotel, Times Square, New York
So, if you’re heading to see the Punk Fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute at the Met, maybe you’ll want to stay in an anti-establishment, non-conformist hotel. But, maybe you don’t exactly want to sleep in a cardboard box in a dodgy neighborhood. But then it is New York and you don’t want to spend a fortune. If you’re all of the above then a newish place called YOTEL fits the bill.
YOTEL is a concept hotel, but not the typical Times Square, tourist-centric hotel. I had the pleasure of staying at the first YOTEL which is located at Gatwick Airport. I was scheduled to land early, London-time (which is typical for travelers heading to Europe), but had an annoying 6-hour wait until I caught my afternoon flight to Venice, Italy. I dreaded sitting around in a jet-lagged stupor, flying again and starting my vacay sleep-deprived.
Putting aside kinky preconceptions, I found a hotel I could book for a few hours and it was right in the actual airport – not a shlump a few miles away. The price was right: up to 8 hours cost around $40. Hmm, you might say, another expense to add on to everything else. Well, I can’t put a price on starting my vacation refreshed. Many Americans venturing to Europe, Asia and Africa lose the first day to exhaustion. To me, that’s a waste.
I didn’t know what to expect – which is sometimes a good thing on vacation — and booked the room for a third of a day. The Gatwick YOTEL is all soft lights – a kind of red/purple kept at a low level — warmth and quiet. I checked myself in (I had reserved online from Florida) and was shown my “pod” away from home, as I called it. I wondered if it would be a bunk bed or a capsule I would step into and then some guy all dressed in white would close the lid. Nope. It was more like a cruise ship cabin but tricked out with every possible modern convenience we modern-age people can’t live without: flat-screen TV, large, adjustable bed, reliable internet connection, lots of storage space and a modern bathroom.
Fast forward and YOTEL has taken the plunge and opened their first non-airport hotel in New York but made everything bigger though the rooms are still smaller than those at most hotels. It’s not so much the smaller scale of the rooms, however, it’s the unique interpretation of a hotel experience—which is large. YOTEL New York has reinvented the hotel just as it banished jet lag.
You check yourself in at a terminal downstairs. While it seems a bit impersonal at first to not make human contact, it works if you want to get on with your stay and skip the visit with the desk. Across from the check-in terminals is a robot, here called YOBOT. You place your belongings in one of the 150 available bins, enter a PIN number and your last name, and watch YOBOT store your bags safely. YOBOT will print a receipt, which you can take with you and bring back to recover your belongings. YOBOT will scan the bar code on your receipt, using your PIN number and last name to locate the correct baggage.
You then take an elevator upstairs and the hotel turns more traditional (sort of) with a sort of reception area called Mission Control, business center, restaurant, four bars and lounge areas – lots of lounge areas. As with a number of NY hotels, there are meetings rooms for private parties or business meetings and, for the tycoons among us, rooms with theatres that can also provide full video-conferencing or HD versions of your wedding reception or bar mitzvah
After your speedy check-in, you can, if you wish, have someone take your bags up and show you the lay of the land. He or she is casually dressed in a non-uniform – just so you know. YOTEL’s rooms some in three sizes: Premium (double), Twin (2 large singles, bunk style) and Standard (large single). Each features en suite bathrooms, flat screen televisions, Wi-Fi, and yes, your room is made up each day. Everything in the room is compact and designed to maximize space — and it’s not a lot that you get. But if you’re going to be out a lot, who cares? You do get floor to ceiling windows so consider that a great swap.
Prices are kept low because certain typical amenities have been eliminated. YOTEL has no mini bars and no traditional check-in, etc. But it’s hardly deprivation; they have a small, but more than adequate gym and full room service. There’s a business center for checking messages or printing boarding passes, four bars, a restaurant and loads of outdoor spaces where you can enjoy the gorgeous New York skyline. So much lounge area and outdoor space make you feel connected to the outdoors – a great sensation. A Premium Cabin booked for a hypothetical two-night stay May 3-5 costs $349 per night (tax extra) and this rooms sleeps two. Trip Advisor gives it good reviews.
As mentioned, there’s no mini bar, but who’s complaining - especially when a hotel can look you in the face and still charge you $3.50 for a Snickers Bar. Instead YOTEL is the opposite of stingy and price-stinging. Each floor has a mini-galley with the usual ice but also offers a jazzy coffeemaker that kicks out every froo froo drink popular at present and is accessible 24/7 on each floor. Get to the machines early because unfortunately they run out by the afternoon,
If it works for your schedule, try to catch their happy hour if you’re heading out to catch a play on Broadway. It was astonishing to pay under $10 for a decent Pinot in a major city,
For dinner you can dine at DohYO Restaurant and enjoy small plates of Latin-Asian origin such as sushi, ceviche, tempura, wings, ribs, empanadas, noodles, rice, dumplings and seafood. Small plates in this place also meant small prices and all the dishes I enjoyed were really tasty.
The hotel offers a complimentary breakfast of muffins, coffee and tea. Really, that’s all I need and the muffins were fresh-baked. I strongly recommend coming back when the weather is nice and enjoy drinks at one of their many patios. The view of the city is gorgeous and, if you have any doubts as to why you chose a place with small rooms this more than makes up for it.
Quirky would be the first word I'd use to describe YOTEL. As for location and getting around, it's fast from La Guardia (where I landed, nonstop on Delta from Tampa) You’re right on 42nd Street and in a few short blocks you are smack dab in Times Square in all its gaudy, ad-infused “splendor”. Three quarters of the YOTEL’s periphery is not attractive so think of the hotel as your launch pad and, if you love theatre, it’s a super location.
A few blocks off Times Square you can hop on the subway and be uptown for the museums and shopping. If you like to walk, you can walk on historic 42nd Street and eventually arrive at the New York Public Library (the one with the lions) and keep going and enjoy Grand Central Station. The former is in the process of its first-ever (and slightly controversial) redo while the latter has been transformed into a mini city of shopping and dining. Both are beautiful places to photograph and sit and absorb (at no cost) their majesty.
YOTEL seems odd at first because it is so unlike the typical hotel experience. When I stood and temporarily froze in front of a screen instead of a receptionist, a staff member helped me out and also took my bags upstairs to the main floor. Once you get your bearings it’s great fun. Unusual for a hotel, it is also bathed in soft purple light and the lobby is scented with the most irresistible, but unobtrusive incense that I couldn’t inhale enough of.
If you want a hotel that's playful and far-removed from the stuffed sofas and heavy drapes or the cookie cutter chains, YOTEL is quirky fun. Take your college-age children or grandchildren and don't forget to pack a go-with-the -flow attitude. s Louise Bruderle
YOTEL New York
570 Tenth Avenue (west 42nd Street)
- Has the largest hotel terrace in the city
- Automated check-in and -out
- Complimentary tea, coffee and muffins at 7-10 a.m.
- Beds with hand-made organic mattresses
- Techno wall with flat screen has the ability to stream audio
- Work desk with a flat screen TV with iPod/ MP3 connectivity and
- work desk with multi power point sockets
- Free super strength WiFi and free calls within North America
- Monsoon shower and heated towel rack
- Galley on every floor with complimentary hot drinks, purified
- water and ice
- Super silent heating and cooling unit
- And, for the traditionalists: laptop safe, iron and ironing board and hairdryer