1970s British Punk
How you can represent anti-authoritarian rule breaking through the way you dress.
- Sex Pistols analysis – God Save the Queen – Jamie Reid
Punk owes a lot of its style to 1920s Dadaism
(columns analysis goes here)
Style as bricolage
- Conspicuously take random elements that aren’t seen as interconnected and construct something with them. (resignification of various styles and looks)
- There is no limited extent to which these elements can be structured rendering the possibilities for new ensembles, infinite.
- Coherence of attributes isn’t necessary to create a style as primitive thinking is the creator of said styles. They are not built strictly using logic.
- Objects can be picked out for their connotations but their connotations can also be changed to fit.
- Entirely nihilistic style with no set grievance or cause, simply an anti-movement, the movement that symbolized a lack of symbolism
- Shirts and coats adorned with offensive language, designed specifically to be shocking.
- Wearing random items purely for the controversy, razor blades, clothes pegs, tampons etc.
- Safety pins used as piercings through the nose, ear and even cheek
- Cheap fabrics, PVC, plastic, lurex
- Drain pipe jeans and miniskirts
- Make up worn, not to enhance, but to be seen as makeup and used like face paint.
- Bondage gear and stuff – leather masks etc.
- Traditional notions of appearance and acting were trashed
- Hair Dye
Style as homology
- Punk was a style based on disorder, but this could only be achieved through a carefully ordered ideal look.
- What you wear and how you dress becomes part of who you are
- Anti- traditional values statement – beauty, attractiveness, desirability.
- Key to punk style remains elusive
- Chaos that gives a meaningful image of a whole
- Punk questions what is normal by doing the exact opposite
What have we learned from the Punks that can inform our practice?
Checklist of concepts, approaches and theories
- Outrage at the establishment
- Causing discussion and debate by their actions and style
- Challenging traditional notions of decency and proper behaviour
- Reinventing the idea of style with an anti-style of their own
- Question the accepted rules
What does this case study have in common with previous studies? What are we learning about subcultures?
- All these subcultures have meanings
- They seek to turn the status quo on its head
- Using all sorts of things as jewelry, like hip-hop does
- Every subculture makes use of objects – clothes and jewelry