Punk: Chaos to Couture - the exhibition catalogue from The Metropolitan Museum of Art available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Punk: Chaos to Couture

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'No linear study, the book offers a wide-ranging overview of the persistence of punk's influence . . . The big coup of the book is its introductory essay by both Richard Hell and John Lydon, he who previously went by the name of Johnny Rotten' V&A Magazine

The story of how high fashion embraced punk

As a style, punk is about chaos, anarchy, and rebellion. An aesthetic of violence - even of cruelty - was intrinsic to the clothes themselves, which were often customised with rips, tears, and slashes, as well as studs, spikes and zippers. 

This beautiful publication, that accompanied an exhibition in 2013 at the Met, tells the story of how high fashion embraced punk and how designers including Gianni Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, and Alexander McQueen appropriated the visual and symbolic language of punk. 

The catalogue opens with essays by the punk musicians Richard Hell and John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), as well as a cultural history by the music journalist Jon Savage. Throughout the book, large-format photography recreates the juxtapositions of the exhibition, placing historical photos of the punk movement side by side with their fashion descendants.

Details
  • Authors: Andrew Bolton, Curator, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Hardcover: 224 pages | 219 colour illustrations
  • Date published:  April 2013
  • Language: English
  • Delivery: Allow 1-2 weeks
  • ISBN: 978-0300191851
  • Product Dimensions: 32.2 x 32.2 x 2.6 cm
Reviews
'This striking catalogue, published to accompany the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute show of the same name, claims that “no other countercultural movement has had a greater or more enduring influence on high fashion.” Curator Bolton (Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty) defines punk as the “questioning of traditional representations. . . through its ethos of do-it-yourself' — Publishers Weekly
'Curator Andrew Bolton shows great calm and patience in the scope of his research into punk’s frenetic effects. His underlying aim is to prove that punk was more than just the cliché of mohicans and bad skin, but was a swirling, chaotic period of great experimentation in style. No linear study, the book offers a wide-ranging overview of the persistence of punk’s influence . . . The big coup of the book is its introductory essay by both Richard Hell and John Lydon, he who previously went by the name of Johnny Rotton.'—Charlie Porter, V&A Magazine

'the ultimate confirmation that, despite attempts to be as unpalatable as possible, punk was absorbed by the culture around it, not least by blue-chip fashion designers on the prowl for new ideas' - New York Times

'an entertaining, visceral cheat sheet of fashion's more memorable shocking moments' - Disegno

'vivid and ... fun' - The Economist


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