PUNKS, DIY, AND FASHION
Last January, we had several conversations in our studio about punks and pirates spurred by Richard McCarthy’s analogy about pirates and “big food.” Just last week, the conversation continued in our studio about how the underground punk movement changed the way music was produced and delivered to the listening public. (More on this coming in the next weeks…)
I was surprised to see this title on the cover of the Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times yesterday: “Anarchy in the Met: Punks and DIY looks they inspired, captured in a show.”
The story highlights a new exhibit at The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Punk: Chaos to Couture, focusing on DIY Punk fashion.
Certainly music and fashion have been two of the more obvious arenas where the gatekeepers (music executives, producers, designers, magazine editors) have decided for us what we listen to and what we wear. The general anarchy that drove the punk era may have been debaucherous and even, violently, against mainstream culture, but the intellectual elements of DIY are lasting and poignant.
As we approach MAKESHIFT 2013, we anticipate continuing the conversation from MAKESHIFT 2012, when we asked and discussed where the intersection of Fashion, Food, Design, Craft, Music, and DIY intersect and how that intersection ultimately leads to collaboration. Pit stained, ripped t-shirts, and safety pin adornments aside, we have something to learn from the DIY Punk revolution.
FASHION AS CRAFT
It’s no secret that there seems to be a disconnect between the worlds of fashion and craft. The terms, themselves, can be a bit polarizing despite their incredible commonality.
Alabama Chanin is no stranger to straddling that line between the two; to us, craft and fashion definitely go hand-in-hand. On a recent weekend, I spent some time catching up on a pile of magazines and some of the images I found make me think that the larger fashion world is beginning to see the commonalities, too.
Keep an eye out as you peruse your favorite fashion publications. You might be surprised at what you find. The images above from the September issues of W and Vogue (yes, it sometimes takes us a while to get through them) made us smile; craft and fashion, moving together at last.
P.S.: For those of you who joined us or followed online during MAKESHIFT: SHIFTING THOUGHTS ON DESIGN, FASHION, COMMUNITY, CRAFT & DIY, a series of events and talks during NY Design Week, you probably know how strongly we feel about bridging the gap between DIY, design, and high fashion. We hope that our efforts may be paying off. While we can never know for certain what is sparking this monumental shift in philosophy, I can’t help but feel that all of us are helping to pave the way. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
V's love of all things Americana has been well documented, so when a group of craft-driven artists gathered for a weekend-long series entitled Makeshift earlier this summer, we couldn't help but take part. They held talks about fashion, sustainability, and product design at the Standard East Village and staged DIY workshops that invited participants to sew one-of-a-kind garments out of recycled materials or refurbish forlorn furniture. It was a confluence of feel-good fashion with those who appreciate what it means to be creatively eco-conscious. At the helm of this ever-popular slow design movement is Natalie Chanin, the designer of Alabama Chanin, who has been staging sewing and sustainability workshops since she founded her business over a decade ago.
Here Chanin provides V with exclusive images featuring not only her handiwork, but also those of fellow innovators. (Most were on sale during the American Makeshift: Crafting Fashion pop-up at the Billy Reid store.) Modeled by none other than the CItizens Band's Sarah Sophie Flicker, peices include a patchwork dress and a leather tunic by Susan Cianciolo, jewelry by Hugo & Marie for Cushnie & Ochs, and hats by Leigh magar. Much like Chanin, Ciancoilo- a legend in her own right - has long been adored by for her artistry. Her designs no doubt insipred the new generation, some of whom did not make this shoot but have continued to generate buzz long after the weekend ended. They include scarf-makers and illustrators Merjin Hos, Siggi Eggertsson, Benbo george, and Anna Giertz; porcelain jewler Maria Moyer; Nashville-based denim duo Imogene + Willie; and millner Albertus Swanepoel.
Rug by Alabama Chanin
Leather tunic dress by Susan Cianciolo, black maxi dress (worn underneath) by Alabama Chanin, turban, model's own
Dress by Susan Cianciolo, hat by Leigh Magar, shoes model's own
Dress by Susan Cianciolo, shoes, model's own
Necklace by Hugo & Marie for Cushnie & Ochs, leather tunic dress by Susan Cianciolo, black maxi dress (worn underneath) by Alabama Chanin, turban, model's own
Photography Peter Stanglmayr
Model Sarah Sophie Flicker