Tonight We're Going To Give It 35%

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Here's your question and answer of the week from the Punknews Formspring:

Q: What's your take in fashion in punk?

A: Oh man, I'm listening to this Roxy Music with Eno live radiocast bootleg I just got- it's so good!


I think fashion exists in punk and pretty much everywhere else pretty much all the time. The fact is, unless you purchased all your clothes at the Salvation Army without regard to what they looked like and just blindly threw them on in the morning, you are very much wearing your clothes as a fashion. Even anti-fashion, is fashion, so unless you are Black Flag circa 1985 and are literally wearing shirts that you randomly grab from a bag, you are in the fashion world.

That's not a bad thing, either. I'm all for creative self expression, and how you present yourself to the world is perhaps THE most valid form of creative self expression. So, I think fashion is pretty cool.

If you look at pics of West coast punk from the 70's, people are dressed totally wildly and are really far out. Look at the Tomata Du Plenty in a "Jughead hat." Look at Jello Biafra in his Hawaiian shirt and 10 gallon hats (Tesco Vee, too). Look at Darby Crash in his half biker/ half Village people ensemble. Wild stuff. Likewise, the image people have of English 77 punk might be of the liberty spikes, but the earliest pictures have an entirely different record- Johnny Rotten in his cut up/almost hobo get up. Siouxsie Sioux goth before goth was a thing, Crass in their all black uniforms. All of those fashions are wild and unique. For some reason, through that- and I think through a need to conform rather than explore self expression- we have been reduced to Urkel glasses and lumberjack shirts. Sheesh.

Still, I think the coolest punk fashion was Amebix circa 1984- They had the leather jackets, black pants, and long hair, but didn't go the smelly, patchy crust-punk way. It was more of a Motorhead/Judas Priest cross over and looked hella bad ass. I'd dress like that if I didn't look so awesome in my bootleg Bart Simpson shirts.

-John G

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