A/W 2013 Trend Special: Dame Vivienne Westwood — The Queen of Punk

The high-street have begun revamping their salesfloors for the upcoming Autumn/Winter season and one of the headlining trends this year is punk. Obviously, each fashion store reedits the main trends from the catwalks to suit their target consumer. Nevertheless, with Autumn/Winter 13/14 bringing out the rebellion in the commonly sophisticated female, I think the person we should give gratitude to is Dame Vivienne Westwood, the queen of the punk movement.

If you think of the kilts, the violent, controversial images, biker boots, masculine cuts, DIY tailoring of distressed jeans, zips, spikes etc…she was the originator. She broke the mold by using tailoring principles used in the 18th and 19th centuries. She introduced the use of leather jackets, customized blazers, dress T-shirts and patches.  Many would argue that she was the among the fashion founders of  British fashion. The rise of youths with a flamboyant, unkept look and outrageous make-up caused a stir  among the older generations, with some condemning as ‘devilish’. Nevertheless, many teens from the United Kingdom and around the world used that opportunity to truly rebel with shaved hairs, spiked up mohawks, feminine-meets-masculine styling, body piercing and of course aggressive behaviour. It’s foundation has lead to contemporary descendants of the punk fashion movement: grunge, glam punk, pretty punk, crust punk and pop punk. Over the years the trend has been reedited and renewed, with new materials, fabrics and colours added in. Designers have added elements of camouflage and military elements to the look; taking inspiration from the crust and anarcho-punks. Studs and flight jackets have also crept in, creating the look to be more of a street-fashion style thanks to the street punks. Either way, there’s plenty of punk styles to choose from.

This trend has returned with the woman returning as the rebel. Versace’s ‘Vunk’ is a mash-up of what I call punk-futurism. Punk has turned sexy, with the designer’s clash of animal prints with tartan, studs, PVC and leather with a touch of strong pallets of red and yellow alongside the subtle tonnes of common colours black, white and dark purple. The bright red and yellow was a risk that actually worked. It’s almost as if you can take your extreme punk side with you to an evening party with her laser-cut-applique dresses. She definitely made the look very sleek.

Fendi continues the mashup of adding animal fur to the whole punk silhouette (ghetto fabolous). However, Fendi’s collection is flamboyant with the fur as the designer clashes different furs together (through dying animal fur) as well as adding pop colours of bright pink and blue with grey and navy blue. The model’s hair and make-up is heavily inspired by the street punk of bright dyed mohawks. Plus, skills of detail tailoring, applique and fringe layering is widely seen. Minimal yet flamboyant with those simple-strong cuts. All you need is just a bag and glasses.

The fabric mash-up takes a creative turn with Junya Watanabe. You name it, animal print, leather denim, tweed, checks and tartan all goes down. Although, Britain has a past history of making tweed fabric; so a sense of heritage returns with Watanabe’s collection. The most wanted fashion piece is the biker jacket Wantanabe has definitely created the piece to be more of a ‘fashion treasure’ than just a jacket you just wear and dump. I love the zip detail that he’s added to the popular British trenchcoat. Colours are more of neutral tonnes of grey, brown and pastel orange.

Many countries will have their own fashion sense of punk. I suggest that you check out the Japanese definition of a rebel; they are the leaders.

What are we seeing with our fashionista female this season? Well she taking risks with fabrics. She may be still feminine but she’s bringing in also some masculine elements and heritage to her wardrobe. What was considered sophisticated such as tweed and fur have been revamped with certain street fashion elements like denim, leather and the traditional tartan. Teaming her look with heels she’s a sexy rebel indeed (although the military boots still apply).


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