The triumph of long hair lasted not for long. In the middle of 70 – x , the punk fashion dared all dams of traditional culture. On their background the hippies and hard – rock groups looked the real angels.
Punks, as though spoke: you consider us disgusting? We’ll make ourselves even more opposite! Instead of long ringlets the shaved temples and mohawk hairstyles have come!
While the London bands may have played a relatively minor role in determining the early punk sound, the London punk scene would come to define and epitomize the rebellious punk culture. After a brief stint managing the New York Dolls at the end of their career in the US, Englishman Malcolm McLaren returned to London in May 1975. With Vivienne Westwood, he started a clothing store called SEX that was instrumental in creating the radical punk clothing style. He also began managing The Swankers, who would soon become the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols soon created a strong cult following in London, centered on a clique known as the Bromley Contingent (named after the suburb where many of them had grown up), who followed them around the country.
Johnny Rotten and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols
An oft-cited moment in punk rock’s history is a 4 July 1976 concert by the Ramones at the Roundhouse in London (The Stranglers were also on the bill). Many of the future leaders of the UK punk rock scene were inspired by this show, and almost immediately after it, the UK punk scene got into full swing. By the end of 1976, many fans of the Sex Pistols had formed their own bands, including The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Adverts, Generation X, The Slits and X-Ray Spex. Other UK bands to emerge in this milieu included The Damned (the first to release a single, the classic “New Rose”), The Jam, The Vibrators, Buzzcocks and the appropriately named London.
In December 1976, the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned and Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers united for the Anarchy Tour, a series of gigs throughout the UK Many of the gigs were canceled by venue owners, after tabloid newspapers and other media seized on sensational stories regarding the antics of both the bands and their fans. The notoriety of punk rock in the UK was furthered by a televised incident that was widely publicized in the tabloid press; appearing on a London TV show called Thames Today, guitarist Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols was goaded into a verbal altercation by the host, Bill Grundy, swearing at him on live television in violation of at the time accepted standards of propriety.
One of the first books about punk rock — The Boy Looked at Johnny by Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons (December 1977) — declared the punk movement to be already over: the subtitle was The Obituary of Rock and Roll. The title echoed a lyric from the title track of Patti Smith’s 1975 album Horses.
Punk rock was an intentional rebuttal of the perceived excess and pretension found in mainstream music (or even mainstream culture as a whole), and early punk artists’ fashion was defiantly anti-materialistic. Generally unkempt, often short hairstyles replaced the long-hair hippie look and the usually elaborate 1970s rock/disco styles. In the United States, dirty, simple clothes – ranging from the T-shirt/jeans/leather jacket Ramones look to the low-class, second-hand “dress” clothes of acts like Television or Patti Smith – were preferred over the expensive or colorful clothing popular in the disco scene.
In the United Kingdom, a great deal of punk fashion from the 1970s was based on the designs of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren and the Bromley Contingent. Mainstream punk style was influenced by clothes sold in Malcolm McLaren’s shop.McLaren has credited this style to his first impressions of Richard Hell, while McLaren was in New York City working with New York Dolls. Deliberately offensive T-shirts were popular in the early punk scene, such as the DESTROY T-shirt sold at SEX, which featured an inverted crucifix and a Nazi Swastika. These T-shirts, like other punk clothing items, were often torn on purpose. Other items in early British punk fashion included: leather jackets; customised blazers; and dress shirts randomly covered in slogans (such as “Only Anarchists are pretty”), blood, patches and controversial images.
Other accoutrements worn by some punks included: BDSM fashions; fishnet stockings(sometimes ripped); spike bands and other studded or spiked jewelry; safety pins (in clothes and as body piercings); silver bracelets and heavy eyeliner worn by both men and women. Many female punks rebelled against the stereotypical image of a woman by combining clothes that were delicate or pretty with clothes that were considered masculine, such as combining a Ballet tutu with big, clunky boots. Musician PJ Harvey was noted as “appear[ing] immersed in rock ‘n’ roll” around the time of her album Dry in 1992, due in part to her “leather apparel, hair in a bun and black bovver boots“.
Punk clothing sometimes incorporated everyday objects for aesthetic effect. Purposely ripped clothes were held together by safety pins or wrapped with tape; black bin liners(garbage bags) became dresses, shirts and skirts. Other items added to clothing or as jewellery included razor blades and chains. Leather, rubber and vinyl clothing have been common, possibly due to their connection with transgressive sexual practices, such as bondage and S&M.
Preferred footwear included military boots, motorcycle boots, brothel creepers, Puma Clydes (suede), Chuck Taylor All-Stars and later, Dr. Martens boots. Tapered jeans, tight leather pants, trousers with leopard patterns and bondage pants were popular choices. Other early punks (most notably The Adicts) imitated the Droogs from A Clockwork Orange by wearing bowler hats and braces. Hair was cropped and deliberately made to look messy, and was often dyed bright unnatural colours. Although provocative, these hairstyles were not as extreme as later punk hairstyle.