Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s 2013 exhibit revealed – PUNK: Chaos to Couture

February 17, 2013
By Sheryl Blasnik

Costume Institute 2013 PUNK: Chaos to Couture

The spring 2013 exhibition organized by 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 (preceded on May 6 by The Costume Institute Benefit), will examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the 1970s through its continuing influence today.

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 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, multisensory experience, the clothes will be animated with period music videos and soundscaping audio techniques.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute's 2013 exhibit revealed - PUNK: Chaos to Couture

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, embodied by Jordan, 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 torn and 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.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the Museum’s Costume Institute Benefit will take place on Monday, May 6, 2013. The evening’s Co-Chairs will be Academy Award© nominated actress Rooney Mara; Lauren Santo Domingo, Co-Founder of Moda Operandi; Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director of Givenchy; and Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. This fundraising event is The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, acquisitions, and capital improvements.

Photos: Met Museum

Sheryl Blasnik

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RT @vonch MET Gala 2013 ” PUNK: Chaos to Couture” Designers in the exhibition will include Nicolas Ghesquière http://t.co/vEX2bY5c

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