Loud, fast and furious, punk erupted into the London fashion scene in the 1970s – punk began as an anarchistic movement against mainstream ideologies and combined alternative fashion and music tastes.
The earlier days had an anti-materialistic aura, clothes from charity shops became heavily customised to create unique statement pieces – a template inspired by punk bands such as The New York Dolls and films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The main facilitators of the high-end punk fashion movement included Vivienne Westwood and then boyfriend Malcolm McLaren (manager of The Sex Pistols) – many of their original designs were highly offensive and provocative.
Quickly the style developed statement materials and characteristics including camouflage, denim, leather and plaid – although the overall concept implied anything could become punk with customisation.
The D.I.Y element influenced punks to incorporate everyday objects including safety pins, chains and tape into their outfits and expensive pieces were coupled with thrift shop finds.
Punk Menswear Products:
Camouflage became a punk favourite after veterans protested the war in their camo uniforms – they used this as a way of protesting their anti-authoritarian views.
Although plaid resides in many wardrobes, it has become a staple of the punk look, with the popular subculture Grunge adopting plaid shirts as an unofficial style symbol.
Originally donned in the 1950s by celebrities such as James Dean and Elvis Presley, skinny jeans made a return (and even tighter) in the 1970s alongside punk culture.
Punk skinny jeans are usually covered in patches and rips and matched with a denim jacket – double denim was style statement (or faux par in mainstream fashion).