The History of Punk – Part 2

The Sex Pistols would wear the clothes designed by Westwood. The fashion that the band popularised can be regarded as a reaction to a series of post-war subcultures from Britain, such as mods, skinheads, and rudies.

The band was a catalyst for the British punk movement, having achieved large levels of notoriety and media attention, whether it was from writing songs that the media considered unplayable or by throwing up in public at Heathrow. They influenced the British youth in large numbers who would go on to follow in their footsteps.

Unruly inspired

One generation of controversial punks, who were fans of the Pistols, would, within 12 months, go on to form some of punk’s most influential punk bands: Generation X (Billy Idol), The Slits, X-Ray Spex, Siousxsie & The Banshees, and The Clash. The hype around the Pistols was short-lived, however, and the very first tour (1976’s Anarchy tour with The Damned and The Clash) was disappointing, thanks to tour dates been cancelled and fears of violence. The next year, the violent and notorious punk Sid Vicious became the next Pistol. Another year later, the band was no more and Sid Vicious died from a heroin overdose. The Pistols were essentially a band of innovative, antagonistic, and working-class teenagers who, as some had said, became punk before the name was even heard of.

Speaking up

The band had said a number of times in interviews that they were presenting and standing up for the lower classes- who were basically everybody else. The assertion that the McLaren and Westwood partnership was solely responsible for the coordination of punk, however, is both narrow-minded and simplistic.

Their work demonstrated a mix of influences ranging from McLaren’s New York days (and his experiences with The New York Dolls and Richard Hell) to Westwood’s imaginative and creative views on fashion: often closing that had been destroyed, refurbished, was inside out, unfinished, or had deteriorated, or that represented images or emotions associated with the idea of anything alienating, sick, traumatised, cruel, spectacular, shocking, scarred, ripped, or dirty.

Merging music and fashion

Certainly, they were both leaders when it came to punk fashion, and punk is often viewed as an earlier version of deconstruct fashion– a belief that still inspires work. Today (including the works of Martin Margiela and Dei Kawakubo and the like). Their work helped to capture and bring to light the movement’s iconoclastic and self-destructive tendencies, and in creating the media hype that they did, they brought fashion and music together like never before, setting the tone for popular culture for years and decades to come.

Continuing influence

Deconstructionist fashion was an integral part of the late 20th-century postmodern style and continues to be integrated into the works of today’s fashion designers. It’s now widely acknowledged that punk’s roots run deeper and can be found in New York and London’s economic and socio-political state. One key factor that played a part in this was the fact that half of those out of work in Britain were just 18 years old. Another important contributor was the existence of stuffy critics, supergroups, and an expensive and massive music industry.