Jul. 28th, 2013

anotheranon: (cool)
In my latest round of doing instead of just wishing, I made a day trip to NYC yesterday for the Chaos to Couture exhibit.

Logistics: it is possible to do a day trip from here to NYC if one is willing to get up early enough. D. and I rose at 4:30, had an early breakfast at 6, caught our bus at 7:30. The 5:45 bus back landed us home at 10 pm without feeling rushed, and any lost sleep can be made up in transit.

The exhibit itself: I liked it, despite my earlier venting that couture "punk" is at drastic odds with what real punks wore, I recognize that the Met is an art, not a history, museum, and therefore their focus is going to be on fine art (designer) pieces.

And they did not disappoint. There was a LOT of 70s-early 80s Westwood (of course. And isn't it funny that what has come down to us as the quintessential punk look/band was largely contrived?) displayed alongside garments from more recent collections that were clearly paying homage - sometimes so exactly it was hard to tell a difference.

It's very telling how pervasive the 70s Westwood aesthetic is now that it doesn't read as shocking to modern eyes - skinny jeans, Doc Martens and ripped t shirts are standard teen/rocker wear now. It's as though punk was as extreme as subcultural style could get, and what came after has been variants.

But man, I liked some of those variants VERY much. As ever, the Japanese designers do the wildest things, largely with deconstruction: skirts with sleeves hanging off, a suit jacket wrapped around like a stole/draped off the back like a train. The latter was my favorite, it was one of the pieces from Undercover's fall 2006 collection, a Japanese label by way of Paris, and the (de)construction of menswear intrigues me endlessly.

After a nice messy lunch of New York style pizza D. pulled his ankle but we still had time to kill, so he sat in the shade and took in the sights while I went to one of the last days of Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced for another side of 70s fashion. Again, his flowing jersey/polyester silhouettes don't seem all that challenging now but clothing that was comfortable and moved with the body was cherished in the club/disco scene. A much smaller exhibit, but put a lot of slinky club gear into context: in a hot sweaty club with strobe lights you want something that moves with the body and reflects the light, and what reads as cheesy in the light of day often isn't at night (like I shouldn't know better).

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