Punk fashion first began in the 1970s, where groups of young people defined themselves as the “anti-fashion urban youth.” These youths were referred to as Punks. There are various factions of the punk subculture and these all have their own unique style, although there is often crossover between the subgroups. In the early days of punk fashion, fabrics were redesigned to include torn, defaced prints and frayed edges, shirts were ripped and held together by safety pins or wrapped with tape and jewellery, tartan kilt skirts and Doc Marten boots became increasingly popular. Unlike in the 70s, where people were shocked at the emergence of punk fashion, it’s cemented its place in everyday fashion now.
In more recent times, the fashion industry has re-branded the trend, taking it off from the streets and onto the runway.
Vivienne Westwood uses colourful plaid to design skirts, trousers and jackets. In Vivienne’s SS21 presentation, we can see kilts plaited on garments that seem to be passé yet au courant. Vivienne Westwood viewed punk as a way of speaking out and using one’s voice.
KIDILL gave punk an apocalyptic spin. The Japanese brand revamped punk imagery and motifs in a series of dynamic collections which specialises in traditional craftsmanship – where fabrics are made into woven graphics in elegant tailoring. KIDILL presented this look again at the SS21 and FW21 shows at Paris Fashion Week.
Chanel’s FW21 collection is a small but fierce one. Here, the 111-year-old brand revisits history in a fresh and appealing way. The FW21 haute couture presentation included high jewellery, tweeds embellished with sequins, rhinestones, stones and beads. During the presentation, the models portrayed strength, personality and the will to live and live boldly – and that is something that has reflected the spirit behind punk fashion.
Jamaican designer, Jawara Alleyne displayed pieces encapsulated with a punk cadence at Arise Fashion Week 2020. The sensual designs define a new perspective on masculinity and the designer gave meaning to each piece during his presentation, expressing the importance of freedom in modern fashion.