Music, fashion and art: a punk exhibition in New York


Contemporary Art

People of my generation will always remember the first images of the punks who congregated in Piccadilly Circus. It was the mid 70s and groups of young people in England gave life to a completely new subculture of rupture and total rejection, represented by a musical genre that was deliberately crude, and lacking complexity and a very recognisable style: safety pins, spiked hair, chains and ripped trousers.

Many years later, punk has gained its place in the annals of culture and fashion, to the point that the Metropolitan Museum in New York has recently inaugurated Punk: from Chaos to Couture, an exhibition that – through brands like Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Moschino – mainly investigates the impact of this subculture on style and haute couture.

As I’ve already said, I am convinced that a meeting point between art, fashion and style is inevitable. It is perhaps the first time that an exhibition of this kind is devoted to punk. And what attracts me and intrigues the most about this whole thing – beyond the obvious paradox (punk in a museum?) – is the role of fashion in recent decades, its ability to grasp new trends wherever they come up and contaminate itself with the most diverse forms of expression, but also its capacity to interpret the times, with all its contradictions and frustrations, and transform these into style and design.