In the mid-1970s, the world of music saw the rise of punk rock. The hippie and disco no more enchanted the youth, and a surge of new music was evident. This surge happened in the UK and USA simultaneously in 1977 with the rise of garage bands which were termed as punk-rock by the rock critics. It was a new form of rock which is played with a quick tempo and usually had political or anti-authoritarian lyrics.
The Bands That Propelled The Genre
In the summer of 1977 world’s most iconic punk albums were released in London and new york. London had Sex Pistols, The Damned and The Clash, while New York had The Ramones and Patti Smith. These bands arose in a rebellion against the capitalists and anarchist. They looked dangerous with their stripped clothes and short black hair. Their popularity gave rise to a new fashion, inspired by punk music.
The idea of punk was anti-materialistic, hence simple, dirty clothes of the low-class people were included in punk fashion. The Ramones were featured in tight blue jeans and white tees with leather jackets. Soon the second-hand clothes of these acts were preferred against the colourful garments of disco. The long hairstyle of the hippie was replaced with short hair. Offensive T-Shirts became popular during this time as well — the more offensive and revealing the clothing, the better. Destroyed t-shirts became more and more popular and were sold as sex with an inverted crucifix and a nazi swastika.
Snow White and Sir Punks are other t-shirts featuring snow white being raped by five of the seven dwarves while the other two were shown to have obscure copulation. Leather Jackets became very popular in the UK and Jackets with slogans, customised to look and feel unique, clothing with controversial slogans, blood and patches were not uncommon. Other items include fishnet stockings for women, S&M Fashion, ripped clothes, spike bands were popular. Men used safety pins as a liberation from their gender. Both women and men used bracelets and eyeliners as a way of breaking gender boundaries. Women combined their delicate clothing with masculine clothing, for example, Ballet tutu with clunky shoes.
Sue Blane is credited for designing clothes in The Rocky Horror Show which paved the way for future punk fashion to come. In the UK the punk music inspired the fashion designs of Malcolm McLaren stores and Vivienne and Westwood.
The 1980s saw the emergence of new styles in both the United States and the United Kingdom. As the punk underwent its Street Punk and UK82 renaissance. The American scene saw styles which were raw and angry. However, the signs of 1970s fashion never really left ultimately. Footwear in 1980s punk fashion included Dr Martens boots, motorcycle boots and Combat boots. Sometimes along with bandanas and chains. Head was either shaved or had spiked hair. Spikes arranged in Mohawk hairstyle were most popular. Spikes without any proper arrangement also emerged. Mohawk hair was coloured with bright colours or was bleached.