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November 1, 2013updated Mar 06, 2014

Punk Redux

By Chris Boyle

014_Punk and grunge are back, but on a completely different stage… from the influential halls of the met to the hottest runways to your stylish winter wardrobe.

The music industry has long had a major influence on the direction of fashion, but this season, is it not so much the sartorial choices being made by the current crop of music industry stars that has gotten the fashion industry’s creative juices flowing.

Instead, the past musical movements of the ‘80s and ‘90s have bubbled back up to the surface of style. The rebellious spirit of punk, the disgruntled and disheveled grunge movement, and the androgynous aesthetic of singers like Patti Smith have flooded the catwalks with their distinctive attitude.

The Met’s Costume Institute’s “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” exhibition, which closed on August 14 and whose theme was announced way back in September of last year, obviously played a role in inspiring the trend.

The gala opening of the exhibition each May is now considered a “Fashion Oscars” of sorts, and a number of designers used their fall runways to propose to industry insiders their take on the highly original form of dress.

25_Donatella Versace went with a very literal interpretation of the style, cutting her second-skin dresses in vinyl; tricking them out with studs, spikes, and zippers; and then covering them up with optional tartan print coats.

Junya Watanabe’s take was a bit more of a mash-up, blending a red perfecto jacket with tartan fabrics and denim blue jean accents on a dress, or slicing a double-breasted jacket through with a smattering of industrial zippers.

A seriously sexy version of the trend came from red-hot designer Anthony Vaccarello, whose metal-eyelet-embellished outfits had a cool handicraft feel.

Fashion’s grunge movement was led by Hedi Slimane and his creations for Saint Laurent. The collection could have been mistaken for vintage were it not for the crystal embellishments. Other big players in the new grunge were the dark and sporty visions from Givenchy and Rodarte’s California-cool (read tie-dye) renditions.

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As for those androgynous options, the best way to pull the look off (besides having a stick-figure frame) is to go for something that envelops the body.

Designer Ennio Capasa of Costume National has made it his life’s work to figure out a way to dress women sexily in traditionally male attire. Other leaders in this particular look are Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens, two designers who revel in ambiguity.

This winter let your musical muses lead you in a new sartorial direction—you might just like dressing to a new rhythm.

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