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Five Hints About the Met's Punk: From Chaos to Couture Exhibit

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In anticipation of this year's Costume Institute exhibit at the Met, Punk: From Chaos to Couture, Calvin Tompkins of The New Yorker has taken it upon himself to preview the fashion industry's three decade long fascination with a time that—if we're taking notes from the Clash's Mick Jones—only lasted one-hundred days. Thanks to generous access to the show's curator Andrew Bolton, we get a hefty preview of all the safety-pin and trash-bagged goodness slated to open May 9.

Keep in mind that many of the interviews for the piece were taken about five months out from the exhibit's debut, so expect some changes and new surprises. Plus this is punk. It doesn't go right unless it goes awry. Hop over the jump for a digestible chunk of what you can expect to see of the wide-world of crass couture come May.

1. Expect a compare/contrast of "authentic" punk gear to their couture interpretations. That means safety pins and Dr. Martens next to fancy safety pins and boots by the likes of John Galliano, Rei Kawakubo, and Karl Lagerfeld.

2. A somewhat Wintour-ized show: Anna Wintour isn't just the sounding-board-in-charge at Condé Nast; She's a go-to for the Costume Institute, where she's a board member. What did the editrix have to say about the mock-up? "Another black, another black," according to Bolton. "She likes color. But she had a smile on her face, which is a good sign." Co-curator Harold Koda added that the team doesn't, "necessarily take her direction, but we always take note. And very often she is spot-on."

3. Noise: Bolton explains, "In the ?rst gallery here we'll try to evoke CBGB, with loudspeakers blasting the Ramones." What did you expect? This isn't your grandmother's Met exhibit.

4. These items: Zandra Rhodes's 1977 black rayon dress with beaded safety pins; Gianni Versace's 1994 safety pin dress dress, which Elizabeth Hurley wore to the première of "Four Weddings and a Funeral"; Lagerfeld's holy suit for Chanel's Spring 2011 collection; and a lot of stuff by Vivienne Westwood, naturally, including a red parachute look and that "God Save the Queen" tee featuring more safety pins.

5. These are maybes: A forty-foot-long, nude styrofoam statue of Vivienne Westwood open for cell-phone generated graffiti. But fingers crossed.
· Anarchy Unleashed [The New Yorker]
· The Met's Next Costume Institute Exhibit Will Be About Punk [Racked NY]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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