Wednesday, July 24, 2013

chaos and COUTURE

Lots of Couture.  Very little Chaos.   There was a lot said about this exhibit at the MET before it even opened.  The costume gala was dedicated to it. There were very few in attendance that got the memo. Madonna did wear her Tartan.  

Bricolage (Garbage Bag Clothing)
Without Vivian Westwood and her shops, there would have been no chaos at all.  Granted, as Deborah Harry said, these clothes were old when they wore them.  They recycled and reused.  Nothing survived.  Something had to, but if it did, the curators didn’t find it.  They recreated the bathroom at CBGB’s (which looked much cleaner than I remember it) but couldn’t get their hands on one of Joey Ramone’s leather jackets?  (Not enough chaos in a leather jacket?) They couldn’t exhibit photos of Deborah Harry in all her garbage bag glory?  She was genius at making anything look good on her.  I saw Blondie several times in the 1970’s and she was the coolest person on the planet.  Nobody came close. Except for a magnet in the gift shop, there wasn’t any representation of her.  There is a whole runway (it does look like a runway) of clothes constructed of garbage bags, but they were all done recently, none worn by Ms Harry.  They totally ignored Siouxsie Sioux. 

Moth Eaten Chanel

The London punks were way more colorful than those in NY and that’s basically what commandeers the chaos part of the show.  Tartan prints and lots of T Shirts with writing and pop culture images compromise Westwood’s contribution.   What looks like a moth eaten Chanel suit is donned by the model in the exhibit posters. In person, the outfit looks plain stupid.  It was dated this year, which might mean it was created especially for the  MET.

Only one Stephen Sprouse piece exhibited?  Granted his first collection didn’t come out until 1983/84, which by that time Punk was evolving into New Wave and the look was evolving from what it had been in 1976.   Sprouse was a big influence on the pop, fashion and the music scene. His first runway show was at the Ritz, a downtown nightclub now Webster Hall and it was set to the music of Siouxsie and the Banshees.  Andy Warhol was a fan and Keith Haring became a collaborator. 

I had great expectations for the exhibit, which were lessened by friends who had seen the show prior to my viewing.  It didn’t meet the lowered expectations. It was a disappointment.   The video is so large and grainy that you’d have to be a football field away to actually see it.  Did we really need to see video footage of a shirtless Sid Vicious? No clothes, but he was wearing the padlock around his neck and the gallery was labeled hardware. It's a stretch.   I can’t recall who was quoted, but he said that Sid could not remove it, because he lost the key. Now that is punk. 
Hardware + The Shirtless Sid

Punk:  Chaos to Couture is at the MET until August 14th. 

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