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NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Unveils Punk Fashion Exhibit

Sid Vicious (Photo by Dennis Morris, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art) / Karl Lagerfeld for House of Chanel (Photo by David Sims, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Ever since Dame Vivienne Westwood opened up shop on King’s Road, selling ripped-up frocks to the neighborhood miscreants, punk fashion’s march from marginalized kids to the runway was inevitable, if slow. Her designs, drawn from freaks and ne’er-do-wells, have resonated with disaffected youth culture for 40 years, yet the original concept of fetish wear and shredded basics has evolved so much that on the right society moll, their origins are barely recognizable. Next Spring, the Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art aims to explore this chasm in “Punk: From Chaos to Couture,” a show that shines the light on the genre’s long haul from Piccadilly Circus to Via Monte Napoleone.

The Met’s done full-bore tributes to Westwood and Alexander McQueen in recent years, so those designers will assuredly be represented, sharing the spotlight with avant names like Ann Demeulemeester, Rei Kawakubo, and Alexander Wang. And anyone who visited the overly stoic Prada/Schiaparelli exhibit this year will be excited to know they’re dividing the punk looks into several sections, including one dedicated to ’70s bands like The Ramones, The Clash, and Sex Pistols, and another looking entirely at how “punk hardware” like chains, safety pins, and razor blades have impacted high fashion. (Also, fetish gear in the Met = amazing.) The god Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy) will co-chair along with Rooney Mara (Dragon Tattoo lady), so we’re betting the hyper-exclusive, hyper-bougie Gala — chaired by Vogue’s Anna Wintour — will be stacked with more musicians than ever. More details over at Women’s Wear Daily.