Hooray. Hallelujah! We have something quintessentially British that does not involve please, thank you or excuse me do you mind kindly if I sneeze. The national sport of over politeness we excel in reduces us to silence when faced with any disruption to our personal space or sound waves. We merely tut, for anything more would cause a scene.
But here it is Brits [with volume]: Punk. Its unapologetic roots and coming of age and era from the recessions of the 1970's and 80's, its working class anarchistic uprising against Thatcher and the materialistic needs of the masses rebelled like a petulant teenager with remarkable longevity that reverberates even into fashion and society today.
And It's British born and bred.
Icons of the London Fashion scene such as Vivienne Westwood and the late, great Alexander McQueen epitomise this. Even the chic French want in on it, enter: Jean Paul Gautier. So what a thing to be known for for this country. A celebration worthy of a coronation. The look: incorporates slogans, deconstructed/reconstructed checks, of course the familiar Union Jack, raw asymmetrical edges, metal dripping and clinging to anything and everything. Along with 'God Save The Queen' satirical spirits, thank you Sex Pistols of 1975. It rebelled against the establishment and the cultural landscape of the time.
What I can relate to about this movement, being in a recession ourselves, is the need to express yourself vocally and visually. To separate yourself from the negativity and downbeat ness by going against the grain. This is why Punk exploded and did to Fashion what Nigel Kennedy has done to Classical Music, or Amy Winehouse to Motown. Stripping it down, ripping it up and sewing it back together to fit anyone who kindly wants it or their individuality back. The irony is the bigger the movement the less individual you can be. But in essence it was at least heartily original.
However, today's recession is absconding from recent throw away fashion. As we hear people are actually dressing up, to keep jobs, get better ones or just desperate to separate themselves from the pitfall of the economy. As is regularly stated in the press. Luxury goods brand LVMH even posted ‘exceptional results’ for 2010, 2011 to be even better.
And this means what Punk started with the dismissal of brands, anti-conformism and signature raw street style. Fashion today has glorified and glamorised into Punk Luxe. A tremendous Oxymoron for the origins of punk was never intended to be luxurious. But where designer now meets attitude. And Punk Luxe is edgy, animated and extravagant. And without doubt the coolest movement to ever gain momentum and crash onto the fashion scene ever. Designer or street.