Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Punk is Not Dead

It seems almost unfair for someone as young as Tavi Gevinson to be able to produce an outfit that resonates as much punk and anarchism as a British skinhead in a fish and chip crisis, but I suppose that's to be expected for someone so keenly fashion aware and ahead of her time. Still, I can't help but feel a little jealous of her prowess for style and the way she easily matches the best of the vintage world with modern clothing. Mixing iconic and floral printed Dr Martens combat boots with Black Milk cathedral leggings? Pure genius and gold, you can easily see from this outfit post why she's hailed as a blogging prodigy and fashion icon without even having graduated from high school yet. This is a girl I would love to go thrift shopping with, while some people may be offended by the "Teenage Suicide T-shirt", it's worn so well with a ripped cardigan as well as black lipstick. Just more of the joys available to American and fashionable teen bloggers with pale complexion.

The camera for those of you that are curious and that way inclined, is a Lomography Diana Mini 2011 Valentine's Day special and I have to admit, I am very impressed with the pairing of the sweet plastic camera and this black and pink tie-dye shirt born in the midst of a grunge paint battle. A compulsory part of my high school exploration and academic adventure into art involved the tie-dye process and there's a lot more planning involved then you may think at a first glance. Let's just say the combination of the shirt, scraggly hair of the model, squinty smirk and cloud covered camera is something I believe to be top notch and a teenagers' dream. It pains me to think that I may have to leave all this glorious dark, gritty punk style behind me one day but I'll always have the memories of what it was like to be dressed in black and hate everything and everyone around me. Punk isn't necessarily dead, I think it's just a little more difficult to find and source these days.

Punk is not necessarily achieved by simply wearing a black shirt and some torn denim jeans (although it can't hurt). but it's also the subversive sweetness of a flower pushed through a nose piercing and fair maidens clad in tattoos while clutching bouquets held poetically towards their breasts. The world definitely seems to be rid of its sweetness and innocence I once believe existed when I was a kid, but now instead of my teddy bears I take refuge from the world in different things. I find the flickering and dancing flame of a candle to be therapeutic, a good music track from 'Against Me!' to be soothing and the wearing of denim shirts to be liberating. There's no way I'm even on the same wavelength of mean as a true punk but when I'm having a horrible day I tend to emotionally revert back to the angst-filled and angry little girl I once was and blast my music heavily. It's comforting to know the punk mindset is still there for me to fallback on but I can also achieve this while looking as serene as the moon child pictured above.

I was born with dark hair and to tan in the sun, but sometimes it feels a little unfair to be deprived of looking sickly and death pale. In recent months we've seen creepers and other platform punk shoes become popularised amongst modern youth culture as well as the use  and abuse of hair dye and second hand shops being raided. I am loving every minute of this revolution of punk and its second coming, for something of this novel to be accepted into the most generic of clothing stores is something to be enjoyed and remembered. I urge you dear reader, search and buy yourselves a pair of creepers before they are considered uncool and canned by the major clothing stores or to even search around in charity stores for other peoples unwanted cast-offs. There you can find jeans to customise and rip as well as an oasis of leather jackets and black shirts that are sure to make even your black hearts skip a beat.

Black Milk clothing is a Melbourne based label that made its fortune on the print and design of Lycra and other synthetic materials, if you haven;t heard of them yet you've been living under a rock because they've given birth to some of the most fantastic grunge designs on the planet. My favourite within this punk genre is the Cathedral leggings worn by Tavi Gevinson of the Style Rookie and the first image of this post. There's been many other wonderful and spook-tacular quality pieces such as the skeleton swimming suits shown above and iconic images featured from 'The Shining' on tight fitting dresses. It's good to see a brand that began in Australia thrive so readily and rapidly, and the fact there's suggestions of darkness about their designs only amplifies my pride and trust in them.

Ah candles, once traditionally associated with religious purpose and members of the clergy, whenever I see their sleek wax shafts and tufts of wick all I can think of is the hot scalding stickiness of wax as well as the subversive and sometimes satanic purposes they seldom serve. It's wonderful the way a blogging site  can bombard you with images and instantly change your outlook on something as simple as a candle, isn't it?

I think I would gladly trade all the moments of 'beauty in motion' in the world in order to fill it with the flicking of cotton candy pink hair attached to gorgeous girls. I'm not a smoker myself, but I do admit that the box of Marlboro cigarettes has a certain charm of its own along with the black and white speckled blouse. I wish I could dress like this everyday, and now without school uniforms cramping my style and inhibiting my creative side I'll realise my punk and vintage inspired dreams!

It seems Zac Posen in the Summer Spring collection of 2010 relied upon a trick passed down from the grunge rock legend Kurt Cobain for the presentation of their models. The trick? Using Kool-Aid as a form of temporary hair colourant which had wild and fantastic results. To see the presentation of the models was spell-binging and gorgeous- their hair was braided to form spiralling torrents in fantastic colours of pastel pink. 2010 was definitely a big year for hair colour being used in runway shows for a range of fashion labels. I should really find some archive edition of Vogue magazine to properly document the momentous era in which the world's fashion designers took cues from the 90s youth and grunge influence.

There are some who are baffled by the combination of tough combat boots or skate shoes worn with floating floral dresses; obviously the sceptics have never given much thought to the wicked contrast and tension it creates. To be flirty and toy with a boy's attention its not unusual to see a girl donning a dress with pleated or puffed skirt that will leave much to the imagination but in this modern world you must be fashionably brave as well as tough. Maybe some who follow in this quirky trend are true punks at heart and are unable to fully embrace femininity. I wear Dr Martens boots and dresses with the mindset to not let myself be victimised and show a spikier side of myself in the process.

The tell-tale signs of a punk/ anarchist would be the paint tainted hands after a long night of vandalism and spray-painted mayhem. I've never indulged in the guilty pleasure myself but I have wondered what it would be like to have that sort of control of lines as well as eye for creating font and street art. The model at the heart of this photograph is the real piece of art- her pupils look like they've been tainted with contact lenses or Photoshop which creates a wonderful contrast of spray painted purple as well as those rough and angular collar bones. Something else that's been creeping into popular culture aside from creepers and platform sneakers is being so skinny it's a health danger and having bones showing that could slash your bare skin.

Sky Ferreira has been one of my favourite grunge models and is usually depicted wearing many layers of black and materials such as leather or PVC vinyl to excite the sense. Even when photographed as she is above wearing a black shirt and fishnet stockings she seems to easily radiate a punk atmosphere. No matter what stage of her life you observe her in there's some sort of eyeliner or make up used to enlarge them and draw you in like an angler fish's lure. I personally prefer the sultry stare of a model over the lull and dangerous glowing body parts of a fish that lurks at the sea's bottom.

Punk and DIY has had a beautiful marriage together for a number of years and I think this photograph nicely demonstrates that wonderful partnership. I've only ever worn Dr Martens combat boots that end at the ankles and never any higher but I do admire these mid-calf boots tucked into a pair of black jeans. Studs can not only be attached to denim, there's also leather jackets you can thrift and find for a little bit of customisation and shoulders are a more favourable place to attach the sweet little metal studs. I'm quite comfortable with all my black skinny jeans as they are without feeling the need to stud them, perhaps if I were to raid second hand shops I would feel more inclined to recreate a solid pair of denim pants.

A bit crude an offensive, but I think the scratchy font and white message of 'You're a Dick' goes well with the soft focus photography of red roses. Or maybe I'm just being a tad pretentious. At least however decided to put this together had the decency to use correct punctuation and grammar for their punchy message. It seems that graffiti isn't limited to the walls of business buildings and alleyways anymore, even photographers must suffer the anguish of having their work desecrated.

I solemnly swear that one day, I too will own a jacket leather or denim that bears an ominous or offensive slogan. I like this one for it's sketchy font that can be easily created with some good embroidery thread and a skilled eye to make sure everything is in a straight line and evenly spaced out. I'm particularly impressed with the pairing of a bright red flannelet shirt underneath which makes the black of the vest seem even blacker and that's the way punk should be.

One aspect of modern youth culture that frustrates me is when Caucasian people get Chinese character tattoos and are totally ignorant of the language and culture. They just seem to think it's cool and educated to get a tattoo in a foreign language and imply they have some knowledge about that country. Well, in the spirit of seemingly pointless and annoying tattoos what could be better than a crudely drawn heart with a scripted ribbon baring the all important family motto of 'Whatever'. If only I were a true punk and had the guts to purchase ink and press it under my skin, maybe I would get something as outrageous as this on a wrist of mine or something.

This would be a perfectly sweet and lovable photograph considering the vintage sheer dress in white as well as bridal veil, but the cheap heart shaped sunglasses and dark lipstick tell a far different story. The defensive and posture in a stupor, as well as the simple use of accessories to an outfit have completely transformed it and given it a new and darker, edgier lease on life and its simply fantastic. Punk isn't simply what you wear and the colours you dye your hair, it's some other state of being and outlook on life that infects your personality, the way you appear and the way you smile.
A sweet memento and a real sign of commitment to a dear friend, living or departed would be an honorary tattoo and no matter how many times I see this image it still manages to take my breath away. You hear banter and talk of celebrities getting their wedding rings tattooed in their finger but there's something a little more sweeter and endearing about this portrait. It must be the portrait quality of this tattoo and the way light and shadow plays across it as well as the expressive quality of the dog's eyes. The punk movement is usually associated with the dregs of society that have fantastic wardrobes but arguably not much class; to be able to wear a tattoo like this with such pride and there being an emotional attachment I think punk got considerably cooler.


  1. Wow, amazing. I've no words to admire you. Thanks buddy I really appreciate your work, tie dye shirts are the most colorful apparel, you are liberal to customize the thing according to your requirements.

  2. punk is not fuckin fashion, punk is not for hipsters, is not for gothics or emos and is not for stupid rich kids

    punk rock is real violence (not only into your mind), drugs, REAL poverty, rebellion against authority, fight for justice (REAL justice, not what intended capitalism and media), crime... punk rock comes from the lower class, from the streets, is not for stupid mollycoddles from middle class


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