Note; Because of a technical glitch a draft of this post got published. This is what I intended. Sorry and have a great weekend./Suss
I’ve been reading “Get a life-the diary of Vivianne Westwood” and it has made me think a lot about punk.
I’m too young to actually have been around when punk started but it is a movement that has had some staying power I must say. On the one hand there is the punk-esthetic that is alive and well, I see young people with mohikans on a regular basis, as counter-intuitive as that is. Wearing bondage pants and a Sex pistols t-shirt is an act of nostalgia at this point,which is not what punk is about. But it is a rite of passage I guess; it’s one of the looks that kind of personify the detachment and a “fuck it all” attitude that you are filled with at a certain age. Even in the little suburban area where I grew up a few were into it; I merely dabbled to be honest. I’ve never been able to commit to a sub-culture like that( and punk requires an almost religious fervour) as I’m always a reformer, always curious and never wearing exactly what someone else tells me to.
Which brings us to the attitude; if the punk-look is about nostalgia then the anti-establishment and D.I.Y attitude that punk made a point of has lived on. In many was electronic dance music and hiphop carry that torch today, and it’s there I kind of started. But my natural curiosity( and to a certain degree nerdiness)made me follow the traces back in music history. It’s a period that continues to fascinate many so it wasn’t hard to learn more and incorporate some of it in my life.
1. A safety pin is a most stylish accessory
Nowadays I wear a huge safety pin, taken from my “kilt” on my lapel and it’s just right. That it has taken on more meaning this last year is another layer. You don’t have to trust me on this; both Sonia Rykiel and Hermès make accessories inspired by safety pins.
2. Hair will grow out.
Oh the things I have done to my hair over the years; I’ve bleached it and I’ve dyed it blue. Put all manner of products in and gone at it with scissors. It will grow out again, in my case rather quickly. I still give myself bangs on a regular basis(and then I grow them out, complain for two weeks that I have no hairstyle, give myself bangs. Over and over). Hacked of split ends just the other week; it’s a trick I learned from Vogue(I think) where Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-porter, admitted to just flipping her hair over and cutting along the edges with a pair of scissors from time to time. If you do it when your hair is damp and well-combed it really works and does give as she said “amazing layers”. It doesn’t work for everybody probably but I fall back on this trick still.
3.The value of a good name.
I saw an exhibit at The British Library in August; about fanzines and stuff around the Punk-movement, and we had fun looking at all the names of bands. Shakespeare said “a rose by any other name will smell just as sweet” and that might be true of roses. Bands however? A good name will set you apart. Eye-catching is the way to go; also true of books and perfumes.
4.Tartan is a neutral basically.
It works with everything and looks really really good with other tartans which I assume is some kind of blasphemy. I also regard leopard print as basically a neutral colour.
5. Make up your own mind. Always.
Read the book. Don’t trust headlines. Read the fine print. See the art shows.Go to the opera. Knowledge is power. It’s said “you need to know the rules, then break the rules”. It’s the second part that people forget I think. They get to caught up in the system.
6. The joy and power of DIY
Just like most punk bands didn’t know have to play when they started, I have very little education as far as sewing goes. I’ve learned by doing. It’s not the result that matters, it’s the journey. This can probably be transferred to making in general. I would love to see a cookbook called “The punk kitchen-three ingredients is all you need”(often punk bands stick to three chords when playing).
7. I’d rather Pogo then Go-go
I love to dance,I really do. I started ballet as a kid and even though that had to be abandoned before it got serious(I’m a clumsy cow) the idea of moving to music has been a part of my life ever since. Sadly I’m not sexy on the dance floor ; I give f’&%k all most of the time and have fun with my friends. The idea of standing at the edge of the dance floor looking cute has never worked for me; I’m first out there making a fool of myself.