Tuesday, May 31, 2011


                                                                                                     A previous comment to one of our posts brought up the subject of appropriation. As this is a large issue in fashion (ahem, Mugatu’s Derelict?), I think it’s an important issue to address.

    Indeed, fashion is fueled by inspiration, but what happens when the inspiration is class-based? There’s no doubt that there’s a cycle in fashion: street style is inspired by designer fashion from a trickle down of course, yet high fashion is often inspired by street fashion--punk fashion in particular.

    This is by no means a new phenomenon, as many big-name designers were out there going to punk shows back in the 70s (I’m looking at you, Westwood and Gaultier), but lately it’s been a growing trend to sport what is known as a “rocker” look.

    The Avengers

    Yes, it may look tough and “edgy” (more intended to look threatening), which is precisely the point, but this particular case of inspiration may come off to punk rockers as an exploitive, almost watered down, version of a hard-boiled subculture that grew from working-class, disaffected youth—a time when  fresh revolt and change against conventionality and consumerism in music and fashion was imperative to creative regeneration.

    The Ramones

    Mary Kate Olson in Givenchy
    Source: StyleBakeryTeen.com
    Just as punk music has been hugely influential in musical genres that followed, it has been hugely influential in fashion. During the past few years, “punk” style has been worn by practically everyone, most likely because of the recent demands of studs and spikes popularized by houses such as Christian Louboutin, Burberry, Balmain.

    Pharrell Williams x Christian Louboutin
    Source: Materialist.com

    Haven’t you seen those friendly looking studs on your mother’s purse, or the vinyl motorcycle jackets from Forever 21 that have recently become a huge hit? Perhaps this is something that’s fueled by celebrities, since it’s a known fact that many people look up to the rich and famous for inspiration.

    Britney’s recent music video featured her dancing like it was the end of the world wearing a  Burberry studded Burberry jacket that's going for $5,995 on Net-a-Porter.com. Tough-looking? Of course. Attractive? To some. But as many punks know, punk fashion is all about DIY. Why would anyone want to spend that much money when a studded jacket is a piece to be cherished, something many adolescents spend their allowances on, to carefully stud, design, patch, and paint to their liking? Britney, you may look great, but it’s obvious that Burberry loaned you a pre-studded jacket to entice others into the trend as well.

    Then there’s Gaga. Oh Gaga. Who else would be as daring to wear something as controversial as a studded moto jacket? Here she is, in the Telephone video, showing off what actually looks like a hand studded jacket. Go Gaga! Oh, one thing. There’s a G.I.S.M. patch? Strangely, as a pop artist, it’s highly doubtful that Gaga’s mainstream appeal could be inspired by one of the most intimidating Japanese hardcore punk bands whose usual stage antics included a flame thrower. 

    Let's take another look--
    G.I.S.M. VS. GAGA

    Yeah, I can't either.

    So, I say to my readers. Being on trend is fun, but it’s not quite the same when it’s not you. If you do like punk fashion, it might be a good idea to keep in mind that the studs you see on that belt may not be the best of quality, and that it looks way cooler if you make it yourself. Plus, it’s way more fun.

    Also, it might be a good idea to listen to some punk while you’re at it. Just so you can get a taste of the DIY experience.

    Here’s a link to some online stores for quality studs-

    And a link to Ke$ha Void--

    Screaming Sneakers-Violent Days and my personal favorites, The Cramps', rockabilly-inspired Hot Pool of Womanneed


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