Punk fashion was a style that came with great force, and even today, it endures among many fans of this style, both music and fashion. But when did punk clothing actually emerge?
As Phil Strongman collects in his book The history of punk: the youth movement that transformed the musical and social scene in the world , its history is not divided by chapters, since it is blurred by too many fields, both cultural and social.
The start of the clothing punk movement
If we talk about the beginnings of the punk style, without a doubt this took place in 1974, when four young people from the district of Queens (New York), who call themselves social misfits, began playing at CGBG, a bar in the city. They called themselves the Ramones, and they always presented themselves in a controversial way, with direct messages and an aggressive rhythm.
In 1975, a new band known as the Sex Pistols arose in London , influenced by the Ramones, but with their own sounds that started a new current in the United Kingdom . Although today these bands are well known, in reality what they were looking for was a social transformation , trying to recover the rock spirit that was increasingly in decline. This gave rise to other bands, such as The Clash, Siouxsie & the Banshees …
The fashion of punk clothing: aggressiveness and rebellion
Punk came just after the well-known “hippie wave”. The long hair, oversized garments and other freedom that existed in the way of dressing was replaced by punk fashion, which dictated very different rules. Leather became the main protagonist, filling the streets with skinny pants and biker jackets , very characteristic garments among teenagers at the time.
Besides, the famous jeans with holes gained strength, but the holes were made by hand, and they were adorned with metallic mothers of various sizes . Between 1976-77 the use of skintight jeans and short hair was a style that had been adopted by everyone.
Military type boots , such as the popular Dr. Martens or the Chuck Taylor All-Stars were very common among the people. The use of rivets and studs, metal chains and pins with political messages were the fashion among those under 30 years of age.
Punk women’s clothing
For many, punk fashion meant a great change for women, giving rise to what became known as “a new femininity.” For example, the use of the miniskirt became commonplace, an item that had appeared in the 1960s but was about to disappear during the 1970s. Cloths, typical of pin up fashion , were replaced by the use of denim.
Women put aside what were considered “purely feminine outfits”, beginning to merge garments that were worn only by men with women’s garments . The women wore their hair short, shaved or brightly colored , in order to achieve rudeness.
The use of military boots became common among women of the punk style, added to the use of very tight and tight leather garments. It was during this time, when in 1971, Vivienne Westwood opened her clothing store De ella Let it Rock , a name that years later she changed to Sex.
The different styles of Punk fashion
Not to be confused, Punk fashion led to various styles that grew over the years. Some of them still survive to this day. Do you want to meet them?
This was a style created by artists such as the MC5, Iggy Pop or The Stooges , groups that began as a hippie band, but abandoned flowers to embrace the color black.
Thus, their bodies began to wear tight jeans, leather jackets and an androgynous look . This evolution reached its culmination with the band New York Dolls , who established the bases with bouffant hair, make-up and clothes that combined the hippie style with the punk.
As we mentioned at the beginning, the group the Ramones played in the CBGB bar in New York, considered the first artists of punk music. This led to the birth of what is known as CBGB punk fashion in this place .
What did it consist of? Keeping a dirty, anti-materialistic and simple image by wearing jeans, t-shirts and leather jackets combined with military boots, all combined with a unkempt look.
King’s Road punk
This could be said to be the UK’s own punk style, arising from the collaboration of Malcolm McLaren (the Sex Pistols’ manager) with the designer Vivienne Westwood . In 1976 both introduced a new fashion concept.
Wearing torn T-shirts with lewd messages and looking unkempt, as well as scruffy, became very common. Bands like The Clash created their own clothing, displaying messages written in marker or looks inspired by the movie A Clockwork Orange.
This punk movement was born thanks to bands like Crass, Subhumas and Discharge . It was common to wear military clothing combined with anarchist symbols, hair combed like crests painted with different colors…
The uniforms were complete with T-shirts with political messages, tight pants and boots . Perhaps it was one of the most famous movements.
The last of the Punk fashion styles was Skate Punk, which was born in Washington DC in the early 1980s . This type of fashion was inspired by the clothing worn by gas station and supermarket workers.
Thus, the use of jeans, t-shirts and sports shoes was very common . Said image was adopted by groups like Minor, Threat and Black Flag . The hair was worn short, and the use of pointed accessories was left.
The look changed somewhat at the hands of groups like Lagwagon and NOFX , who favored khaki work pants, chain-studded wallets, and baggy three-quarter length shorts.