Style & error
One woman tests the trends of the day.

Trend Punk.

Why Because Balenciaga, Balmain and Jean Paul Gaultier are doing it.

Trendology Punk’s Pygmalions were Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, who famously orchestrated the Sex Pistols’ outfits. That dreaded moment in fashion history is back again. Ahhh…the ripped jeans! The safety pins! The spiked hair! The pogodancing and inarticulate rage! Spring fashion is celebrating Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten in all their black-toothed, undeodorized, pasty-skinned glory. And we wonder: Are we willing, in the 2000-teens, to go that far?

Test drive
Sure, I can rip an American Apparel T-shirt. I can put sugar water in my hair and blow-dry it straight up. I can wear Dr. Martens and a studded biker jacket every day until this trend is through. But am I angry enough? Wait. Let’s back up. Maybe I should just ask myself this: Can I wear a biker jacket? This, alone, is a commitment to punk because I’ve never owned one. But I am willing to do anything except buzz-cut my hair. I quickly discover that most real motorcycle jackets are too big and hulking to be fashionable. That’s because they are supposed to protect you from road burn, not from the cutting remarks that will be ricocheting off the back of that big ol’ Honda jacket you just threw on over your SIY (slashed-it-yourself) organic Japanese denim jeans. So, here’s Lesson 1 in “How to Be Punk”: We don’t want to be the Terminator. What we are looking for is more of a motorcyclette jacket, like the svelte, waistcropped Burberry Prorsum, for example. My problem with the Burberry is that it’s so svelte and cropped that everything hangs out underneath. But a plaid Madewell shirt did end up looking acceptable half-tucked into ultra-distressed Balmain jeans. Then, of course, there’s the belt, which has to be studded.

Image above: Jean Paul Gauthier, Balenciaga, Balmain

More tips and the verdict on the next page …

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And if you want to really go all the way and create a reasonable facsimile of disaffected Thatcherite youth, a “Kill Me Please” T-shirt and shin-high combat boots finish the look—with Jeffrey Campbell mirrored wedge boots as a high-fashion option. “Tough!” commented my colleagues at work, briefly looking up from their computer monitors. The next day, I showed up wearing the same jacket and boots with a ruffly cream-coloured vintage prom dress. I made sure that my fishnets were snagged. I smeared my mascara and didn’t bother brushing my teeth. “Cute!” they said before wheeling their office chairs back to their screens. I think I’d got the hang of it. I started mixing up the sugar water.

Verdict 9/10.

Biker jackets are easier to wear than you think.

Image above: Jean Paul Gauthier, Balenciaga, Balmain

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