A Brief History of Punk in Honor of Vivienne Westwood


This May, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will play host to Dame Vivienne Westwood and her treasure trove of punk fashion. It's certainly going to be a change for the museum which featured Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada last year and Alexander McQueen the year before. But, if the 2006 Anglomania exhibition of British fashion can serve as any indication as to what's in store, this is something you can't miss.

The Dame is legendary for her ability to scour history for her creations and punk was one of her earliest (and most enduring) inspirations. Nowadays, a lot of people will hear punk and think of Avril Lavigne, The Warped Tour and maybe Good Charlotte? They're not entirely incorrect in thinking that, but it goes way back and gets way (way) better. To help you better understand Dame Westwood and her style, here is a brief overview of the Punk movement.

1974: Patti Smith, "Godmother of Punk" and the Patti Smith Group

Patti Smith is no stranger to the fashion world. She's been a long standing inspiration for many in fashion and countless more in music. Long before releasing their album, Horses, Patti was already a strong artistic force in New York. She had found a home with other artists and notables at The Chelsea Hotel and her poetry was read all over the lit scene. Today, she is considered one of the most iconic and influential artists of all time.