‘PUNK: Chaos to Couture’: A Virtual Tour Through the Met’s Hot New Exhibition

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First Glimpse
First Glimpse
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Opening the main part of the exhibit are a handful of mannequins in the traditional plaid and patches, ripped apart and sewn back together. A little Sid Vicious, a little Hot Topic, this first glimpse readies you for all that the punk movement had to offer fashion: rebellion and, eventually, commercialism.
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From Chaos to Couture
From Chaos to Couture
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One of the main themes of the show is the rise of punk from the street (chaos) to it's current place as high art in fashion (couture). So, where else is better to start than the bathroom of CBGB's, New York's home base for punk rock in America?
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Pins and Needles
Pins and Needles
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Early on, punk fashion was made with pins and studs by the hands of the people wearing the clothes, not the high-end designers like Balmain, shown here. The attention to detail on this skirt, however, make it one of the stand out pieces on display.
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Safety First
Safety First
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Though no one would ever call Elizabeth Hurley a punk, wearing this Versace dress made a statement. Most recently worn by Lady Gaga, the dress made use of the most basic punk fashion element: the safety pin (and very little else), and took punk from dirty streets to the red carpet.
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Hail to McQueen
Hail to McQueen
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Walking further into the exhibit, you'll find these haunting looks by British designer Alexander McQueen in a room filled with looks made from trash bags and candy wrappers. Throwing away the rules and not using typical fabrics, before his death McQueen brought punk looks to the forefront and the palace, literally. Talk about range, designs from McQueen are worn by everyone from the Debbie Harrys of the world all the way to Kate Middleton.
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Pretty in Punk
Pretty in Punk
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Luckily, no one said all fashion inspired by the punk movement need to be ripped, dirty, and covered in pins and studs. In one of the last rooms of the exhibit, Dolce and Gabbana gowns fill the large black space with bold colors and a touch of femininity. The gowns feature corset bodices and hand painted floral skirts.
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T-Shirt Chic
T-Shirt Chic
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Throughout the exhibit, hiding in the shadows of all the gowns and studs, are the t-shirts and ripped jeans. The punk rock movement was laced with band shirts and any graphic or words that shouted "F**k off!," and many are included here. There are shirts with Mickey Mouse, photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, Queen Elizabeth II, and, in the last room, even ones with faded American flags and "I ♥ NY."
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Exit Through the Gift Shop
Exit Through the Gift Shop
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Ending in the gift shop, along the back wall is an image anyone familiar with punk fashion or music is familiar with. The sceenprinted, flyer-covered wall.

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