Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: Could Someone Please Define Punk?!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Could Someone Please Define Punk?!

Last night was the annual Met Gala.  I grew up thinking it was an evening when people wore couture and were really there just to be seen, photographed and generally look pretty - in stunning couture.  I still don't know what the gala's purpose is specifically.  I know it kicks off the season, but does it raise money?  Awareness maybe?  Up until this year, I didn't even realize attendees were matching their looks to any art themes! How does one dress for Punk and the Met Gala?  The two ideas are complete contradictions.  You can take the literal definition of the term punk (which leads you nowhere I assure you,) or you can take it to reference the punk culture.  Unfortunately for couture, punk culture was generally about eschewing excess and pretension, and often took on a "rub it in your face" sentimentality.  In other words, you can't wear couture - even if it's created in a "punk" fashion - simply because couture, even all safety-pinned (think Versace and Elizabeth Hurley) is the anti-thesis of what punk represents.

Why the long speech?  I was dying to see how stylists would style their clients to achieve punk, while still maintaining the ballgown/couture stigma of the Met!

Technically, most of the people on the worst-dressed list actually hit closest to home on the punk part.  Sadly.  Then there was Madonna, who just. won't. go. away.   Seriously - she looked like she was just trying to re-live her glory days (although I don't know why she would want to do that......)

There was lots of excessive black eye liner, a few very strange looking and in my opinion always awful mohawks, and edgy hairdos.  It was almost as if people didn't know where to find a Met-Punk dress, so they tried to use hair and make-up to get the Punk across.  It didn't really make sense for most of them.....

Alien meets Cleopatra meets Sid the worst way possible.
Then there were a few who seemed to make understated statements (which is really what Punk was about, right?  Sending a message?)  My favorite (because I would wear this, in its' understated elegance) is Cameron Diaz.  Amazing color and understated elegance with just a touch of something different.  She didn't look like they were trying to hard; she didn't look like she was trying to own "Punk" as if it were her own (ahem, Madonna.)  Kudos to Cameron (or is it kudos to her stylists?!)

Who's on your best-dressed list?

 all images courtesy of

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At May 7, 2013 at 6:06 PM , Anonymous Charity Whan Jackson said...

LOL! I love this, thanks for pointing out the irony in this one! I was really underwhelmed by what was happening at the Met Gala last night...lots of spikes, terrible eye makeup, and somewhere along the line someone decided to tell Kim Kardashian it was alright to look like a couch from the 70s...what??? There weren't many that really took my breath away...for me Rooney Mara looked amazing, but she already has that goth/punk look anyway so it wasn't a stretch for her.

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At May 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM , Anonymous julieblanner said...

I loved that Gwyneth said she just doesn't get it either and doesn't plan to attend again!


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