Christopher Kane for Versus: The 2010 Comeback

Cheryl Cole in Versus a/w 2010

Christopher Kane reprises his role as the sartorial resurrection man of the moment with his second collection for Versace’s freshly revived Versus line. After five years in fashion exile the Versus label reemerged from ignominy with a s/s collection firmly rooted in classic Versace – the references were blindingly obvious (safety pins – THAT Liz Hurley dress) yet delivered with the precise, edgy and multi-thematic aplomb we’ve come to expect from Kane.

In short? An absolute corker of a comeback from the house of Versace which simultaneously managed to steer clear of staid imitation and pretty much nailed the market in deliciously dark  and debonair party wear.

Versus s/s 2010

The Fall collection picks up on the punky diffidence of s/s and dives deeper into a Kaneian meme playoff with an unsettling mix of balletic beauty and fierce bondage, which firmly establishes subversion as the idée du jour this autumn.

Fetish just got girly with stiffly pleated satin frocks plumped to perfection with lolita-esque organza petticoats, striking lingerie inspired cutaways and stark structured jackets, graphic tees and cocktail body con – a marvellously irreverent pick and mix of dress uniform formality and rock and roll indifference.

Versus Fall 2010

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The Power & The Glory: Bench 2010 Lookbook

A quick one for the street-style massive…

Bench’s new summer 2010 collection features a tribal take on urban cool for the guys: Native American prints and bold tribal motifs offset against classic-Bench jeans and skater shorts. And for the girls? A retro-rehash of punk and grunge with a pop-tastic colour palette…

Un-freakin’-deniably cool.

Thanks to RWD for the break – head to their site to view the rest of the collection…or head over to Bench for more info (and to shop of course!)

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Look du Jour: Born to Mosh

Just caught sight of this stunner on Look Book, solid-rocker structure meets a peculiar brand of laissez-faire anarchism creating a hard-edged fusion of punk and directional modernism. I simply can’t get enough of the leather on chiffon contrast…and the boots, well, best not get me started on those when an emoticon will do the trick! ♥ !!

The design (and styling) is by Amanda Lew Kee, find her website here (no collections up as yet…but it’s definitely one to bookmark!)

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Look du Jour: Rebel Rebel

Provoked by my unmitigated disappointment over the stonker of an election fail here in the UK I’m feeling just a tad anarchistic. Cue grunge-punk electro fusion from cravingballerinas…mirrored lightning bolt knuckle duster, bruised heart print tights…lets go kick some doughy political butt.

Fall 2010 Flashforward: Rebel Without a Cause

This Fall sees the riotous return of Rock Chic (excuse me while I gesticulate with wild abandon)… punky, edgy, bold – the epitome of a peculiar brand of sang-froid sexiness. It is, dare I say it, bovvered: the haughty eye-rolling teenager of the sartorial sphere.

I am LOVING the Fall collection from the unsung genius of alternative menswear Thomas Engel Hart (above); retro-punk and super SUPER cool. The safety-pinned skinny jeans almost make me wish I had balls, and the natty cropped jackets are, as ivankay neatly (and rather perfectly) sums up, spunky.

William Rast

Cast your eyes over the runways of NY Fashion Week and look to 80’s icon Debbie Harry for inspiration. Rock out in fringing and studded leather as seen at William Rast, go gothic in leather and lace a la Jill Stewart or sex-it-up Seditionaries-style in a pair of Miss Sixty high-waisted hot-pants in black leather.

Jill Stuart

Miss Sixty

For a less extreme foray into the trend check out Philip Lim’s disco-punk inspired collection…

Philip Lim

Philip Lim

Release your inner wild-child and nail this trend in skin-tight leather, metal studs and acid-wash denim. Accessorize with some serious attitude.

How Punk Changed the (Fashion) World – and why you should care…

Punk. It’s  everywhere (honest). From the frayed glamour of Rodarte‘s NY showing; rough hand-dyed fabrics, plaited leather tassels, tribal body paint. Through the safety pins adorning Christopher Kane’s Versus collection and adding eccentric detailing to Vena Cava‘s Spring 2010 show, to Marc Jacobs’ girly take on the safety-pin necklace – firmly cementing safety pins as the new accent du jour. And what about those killer thigh-highs? 2008’s, oh so tricky, leather leggings? McQueen? Westwood? Punk is the mainstay behind the eclecticism of modern fashion – a wry eyebrow raised in nihilistic insouciance, a sardonic nod to the sheer theatricality of it all. In short, fashion reference gold.

Spawned in the mid-70’s from the realities of a disaffected working-class youth with little hope of employment and housing. Anti-establishment, anti-materialistic, anti-aesthetic. Punk was a back-street backlash against everything that had gone before and nothing shouted this fact more loudly in 1970’s Middle England than a no-holds-barred, many-holes-bared approach to clothes.

Branded the wardrobe equivalent to swearwords; indeed (bondage, studs and leather aside), expletives – along with swastikas,  inverted crucifixes and other offensive symbolism – did play their role in Punk’s crude yet powerful form of anti-branding. A foil to the unrealistic ideals and fanciful imagination of the hippy era, exchanging the frothy patchwork maxi dress for distressed and dirty denim, flipping the bird to floral prints. Punk bit back with a mish-mash of crude realism. Made-up of unconventional materials – Bin Liner Dress anyone? – shredded knit-wear,  ill-thought-out forays into razor-blade jewellery, this really was the ultimate in Trash Couture. The Establishment was, suitably horrified. Punk gave us the sartorial rebellion of the century combined with a thrift-store magpie-esque vision that is, well, so now.

In plundering the cultural closet of Britain, taking ownership of its tight-laced tweeds and quaint tartans, and reworking them with an anarchic sense of fusion: the donkey jackets, ex-army surplus and tattered work-shirts all replete with an edgy DIY approach to accessories (marker-pen graffiti, electrical tape, badges, the ubiquitous safety-pin). Punk turned fashion inside out, upside down and then gave it a solid kick in the teeth for good measure.

And at the epicentre of this style revolution? The Grand Dame herself Vivienne Westwood and partner in crime Malcolm McClaren, whose Seditionaries collection – as worn by Punk anti-stars The Sex Pistols – forged the iconic early Punk look from the ideological play-off between tradition and transgression. This self-conscious pastiche of historical costume, combined with a don’t-equals-do approach to the rules of dressing and an in-your-face individuality liberated us from a complacent conformity and gave the British Fashion scene a much-needed injection of ballsy indifference.

It was a style tour-de-force from which convention never fully recovered. The ironic rise and rise of the original anti-fashion is still on the up with Punk now the proud post-modifying Grand-Daddy of an innumerable brood of subculture-styles from Pop-punk to Psychobilly. And, with a swathe of super-stylish celebrities already on the Punk-inspo bandwagon – Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn, Leigh Lezark – going Punk has never been so on-trend.

So, what’s your 2010 style? Raw Couture? Neo-Grunge? Urban athletic? Thinking of dressing-down that lacy Galliano mini dress with some sexy biker boots? Picking up on the body-art trend a la Chanel, Gaultier, Malandrino? Or even, taking the plunge with the latest underwear-as-outerwear craze? Punk has its plucky fingers in many pies so, the chances are, whatever you’re channelling this season, you’re channelling Punk. And if in doubt, a little bit of Butler and Wilson Swarovski skull glamour is sure to get your inner anarchist  going. Vive Le Rock!