The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is currently hosting a “punk” themed couture fashion exhibit now through Aug. 14th titled “Punk Chaos to Couture”.
The exhibit opens with a rendering of the graffiti’d bathroom from CBGB’s, the famous NYC nightclub whom was home to resident punk and rock artists such as The Ramones and Patti Smith in the 70’s and 80’s.
The exhibit leads down a corridor of white archways and faceless forms wearing the labels of Givenchy, Balenciaga and Thom Browne with black Afro-spiked wigs.
The following room opened up into a neon pink Barbarella space-age lighting effect that cast the spiked-haired shadows on walls that looked to be made into a white plaster rubbish collage. The costumes were like mixed media artwork consisting of recycled materials such as paper envelopes, plastic shopping bags, scotch tape, newspaper and black trash fringe. Designers included Hussein Chalyan, Maison Martin Margiela, John Galliano, Gareth Pugh and Moschino.
Next came a contradictory room of darkness, splatter paint, graffiti and the DIY fashion statements of safety pins, patches and ripped up apparel. An island in the center of the room had ballroom style gowns only worthy of a Cyndi Lauper album cover.
Finally we walk through more darkness and into a more clean-line space where the center catwalk is a marching line of mannequins wearing Commes De Garçon deconstructed black and white couture exploding with rips, frays, frills and sleeves misplaced throughout the piece.
And last, the classics white t-shirts of anarchy, slogans and slang in black and red fonts hanging loose and loud.