The Legends Of Punk Rock And Its FashionMichael Pastyr
Punk rock is definitely one of the most controversial subcultures in the history of our world. Since the great rise in the 70s punk music and its spirit, as well as fashion, have been greatly appreciated by many generations of young people worldwide. As it is, punk rock is all about standing your ground about your beliefs and not letting other people put you down. This rebel-like spirit is greatly expressed in punk rock songs as well as fashion – from makeup to clothing. And, of course, in your attitude – an essential to a true punk personality.
So, to pay great respect to the punk movement, let’s go back in time and take a look at where its roots lie, how it all began, how it’s going now and what are the perspectives of the future of punk rock culture.
The Punk Rock Origin: Who, Where, How
Essential knowledge about punk music is that its origin is always a topic for debate. People have been arguing on that matter for decades now, mainly because the term “punk” itself means something different to many individuals and also because the original blueprint pioneers of that culture and genre came from different places. Before it officially became the “punk” that we know now, the music of artists like The Sonics from the 1960s was considered one of the founding bands of the genre, as well as The Stooges. Following the 1970s, the mixture of noisy garage rock with glam rock with the impact of Bowie and The New York Dolls, for example, has successfully morphed the genres above into a new one – what we call “punk rock” now and carry its legacy on.
New York and London were the highest spots of the evolution of early punk. It was back then – masters like The Ramones, Blondie, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and many others have shaken up the music industry, again and again, claiming the spotlight theirs with their risky records and striking fashion. And history kept on repeating itself year by year, solidifying the status of punk rock in the industry; more records and tickets were sold over time, making the genre obtain a respectable name in the rock scene.
Punk Fashion Of The 80s – The Essentials For The True Punk Look
As expected from one of the most popular subcultures, punk rock fashion is of a vast range of different approaches and items that make outfits express the good old punk spirit to the fullest. A certain theme is going on; a certain aesthetic is followed with a hint of punk attitude that when someone looks at you, they will just know from the get-go that you’re very passionate about the punk culture.
The main elements of punk fashion are mostly ripped or visibly worn out-looking jeans, leather jackets (with or without extra elements on them), strange DIY accessories, gorgeous Martin boots or, on the opposite, worn sneakers, tank tops with fun colour effects and prints, and fun hats. Of course! How could we miss expressive makeup and extraordinary hairstyles? Go all out with the craziest experiments you can possibly think of and free your ideas by bringing them to life through the true punk rock fashion! Just keep in mind that you’re not required to own and wear all of the stuff at the same time – the main rule of punk is that there are no rules; it’s all about expressing yourself in particular ways YOU want to!
Getting inspired by the true icons of the scene is important too, unless you turn into a full-on copycat. From The New York Dolls to Sid Vicious and many others, there are endless ways of expressing your dedication as a fan of the artists, the bands, and the overall punk fashion itself through showing your cool fits off.
Let’s talk about some of the most prominent figures of those times when the punk rock scene was blooming.
Yes, the legends themselves, the fabulous The Ramones. The rock icons of the 1970s don’t call for much introduction – their impact was and still is enormous, and we are sure it will continue growing with time, too. Their iconic logo has become the blueprint for many outfits. Sometimes, you can even meet a person wearing The Ramones-themed merch, and they might not even know the band – that is how widespread their official prints are. The shirts with their logo on them have become such a popular trend that some collections outsold some of the band’s records, which is a crazy thing!
Their furious, rhythmic, and melodic music has helped the punk rock sound grow worldwide. Their fashion white casual t-shirts mixed with leather jackets of all sorts, the more worn-looking, the better. Worn-out Converse sneakers and the long puffy hair look – that’s the aesthetic they were usually going for. It has successfully planted its roots in the minds of millions of fans, so much that this kind of styling is still seen nowadays in cover bands. Even some original bands sample their music and take inspiration from their fashion when making their own performances become the perfect expression of the true punk rock spirit!
Simon Ritchie, mostly known by the name Sid Vicious, came into the place of a new bass guitarist in what later became one of the most known worldwide punk bands, The Sex Pistols. He might have been quite far from being a perfectly professional musician. Still, his enormous charisma, striking stage presence, and fierce attitude just screamed punk every time he performed on stage. His every sigh, every move, every riff, and every step are the pure embodiment of the punk rock agenda.
As a true icon of the punk rock scene, Sid expressed his “live fast, die young” attitude in every piece he has ever worn on and off stage. Following the image that The Ramones have established in the industry, Vicious took it to another level. With ripped jackets, metal jewellery that knew no limits in how detailed it got, huge safety pins all over his outfits, and many more elements that made him a true star of the stage. His iconic messy hairstyle that looked like a bunch of spikes formed together has also inspired many fans to follow. All of the above and his artistry have inspired people all over the world to be themselves and his legacy still goes on even many years after his tragic death at such a young age.
Billie Joe Armstrong
Having taken inspiration from legends of the punk rock roots, Billie Joe Armstrong has made a great name for himself in the rock scene over the years with his new touch to what punk originally was back in the day. Even though some of Green Day’s (his famous band) songs are considered to have some pop feel to them at times, his lyrics and the way he carries himself on stage sure are as punk as they can possibly get.
The true rebellious nature that his music exudes is over the roof. In addition to his modern punk-like sound and the rebel theme all over the band’s lyrics, Billie has successfully adapted the fashion sense of a true punk rock artist. He borrowed some blueprints items from the 1970s punk aesthetic while adding more colour schemes, modern shirts, ties, braces and even crazier makeup than some of his punk “teachers” wore in their time. The true punk of the new age, that’s what you can call him.
Brody Dalle (in the relationship with Joshua Homme) is a modern punk rock icon whose fame goes back to the band The Distillers – a group with a truly wild spirit you can just feel even through the screen or your speakers.
Following her career in the band The Distillers, where she has shown herself as an amazing songwriter, lyricist, and performer, having recorded multiple punk anthems, Brody felt it was the right time to pursue a solo career as well. With her iconic gorgeous tattoo sleeve and a large variety of hairstyles, she has tried throughout her entire career, from a full-on mohawk to a blonde undercut. Moreover, she has never let anyone down with her fashion choices either. Sneakers, boots, ripped skirts, leather pants, crop tops – you name it, she wore it! She’s the kind of artist that will make any piece of cloth look bomb on her – that’s stage presence and confidence for you! A true inspiration to young women in the scene or those who strive to get there one day, her impact and power are unmatched!
Nobody can deny it – punk rock fashion is up there with all our world’s pricey and luxurious subcultures. Whenever you wish to express a genuine punk rock fashion feel – take inspiration from the true legends, but remember to stay honest about your own style too. Nothing is better than being yourself!