It's two days after the Met Gala, the Costume Institute’s annual Vogue magazine-sponsored fundraiser, and the “Punk: Chaos to Couture” exhibition opening, and people are still buzzing about the red carpet parade — Miley Cyrus’ spikey hair, Nicole Richie’s grayed-out pompadour and pregnant Kim Kardashian’s gloved Givenchy getup.
Of course, there’s much irony to the whole thing — the fashion world’s most exclusive evening with every entitled celebrity on the planet gathered in the name of punk, an anti-fashion, anti-establishment movement of working-class heroes. And Miley, Nicole and Kim trying to mimic the spirit of a DIY-based movement about subversiveness by wearing priceless designer gowns, kooky hairstyles and black eye shadow.
But let’s face it, punk was appropriated by the establishment long ago. That includes the luxury fashion industry, which has been using safety pins and slashes to sell cool for decades.
The exhibition curator Andrew Bolton explains it this way in the "Punk: Chaos to Couture" catalog: “Punk has had an incendiary influence on fashion. Although punk’s democracy stands in opposition to fashion’s autocracy, designers continue to appropriate punk’s visual vocabulary to capture its youthful rebelliousness and aggressive forcefulness,” he writes. "Rather than looking at punk as an attitude, [the exhibition] looks at it as an aesthetic."