Right, don’t be scared, but there’s a hot trend in town and it’s called punk. Now, I’m not suggesting you book an appointment at the tattoo parlour, have multiple piercings and start swearing at cab drivers for the hell of it. No, no, no! You can remain ladylike, married, keep your job and your children won’t disown you; this doesn’t have to be a radical lifestyle change. Step away from the blue hair dye!
I know you just figured out how to be the ultimate lady – perfected the pencil skirt wiggle-walk, learned how to sashay in kitten heels, edited your hard-framed bag down to just an iPad and got to grips with florals - but scrap all that. Did you just throw your court shoes at the wall?
This is going to be easier than you think. Why? Because I reckon a spoonful of punk resides in all of us – a rebellious streak we suppress on a daily basis. And that’s why I know you’re going to love all the key pieces that make up this trend. Drum roll, please! There are stompy boots, oversized knits, teddy-bear coats, zippy leather skirts, biker jackets, tartan trousers, velvet accessories, red handbags, fuzzy-mohair jumpers and PVC dresses. Wouldn’t you rather stomp down the street in chunky-soled boots than skitter along in an apologetic kitten heel? Yes! Let the anarchy commence!
Now I’ve got your attention, let’s go through the rebel-style rulebook. If you did the trend the first time around, when it wasn’t considered a fashion ‘moment’ but a way of life, you’re probably wondering why you should do it again. This time you’re not going to perm your fringe, date a boy in a band or jump off a stage at a gig. No. This time you’ll be wearing Preen, Saint Laurent, Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen and Givenchy. This time your fishnets won’t be ripped. This time you’ll carry your things in a Valentino pochette, instead of a ripped pocket in a second-hand jacket.
There’s so much to choose from in this punk-infused season. Saint Laurent was all grunge-girl-cool, stompy boots, fishnets and faded-floral tea dresses. Givenchy was bewitchingly gothic with long see-through skirts, delicately strewn with embroidered flowers and styled subversively with sweatshirts – an idea that’s on my eveningwear-to-wear list this season. Christopher Kane’s girls wore camouflage mini-kilts with matching parkas; punky in attitude, but not obviously so.
Now, you can’t talk about punk without talking about tartan. If, like me, you’re a child of the 1970s, the mention of tartan may bring back memories of ill-fitting plaid trousers in the manner of Rupert Bear. Terrifying. Hold that thought and check out the beautifully tailored pair from Preen’s punky Pre-AW13 collection.
Wear with a simple white shirt, a fitted black tailored jacket and pointy, black stilettos. If tartan trousers are a step too far, or you’re Scottish like me and can’t handle the irony, try Lucy Choi London’s tartan stilettos and wear with black trousers and a shirt with a tartan collar by – you guessed it – Preen.
If you didn’t do punk the first time around, plus you like your legs, I insist you give the ‘small dress, big boot’ look a go – think Edie Campbell in the AW13 Saint Laurent show. You’ll need the following: a velvet dress by Christopher Kane or a see-through lace one by Saint Laurent; a pair of Robert Clergerie black and white beetle crushers or some Nicholas Kirkwood clunky-but-in-a-good-way ankle boots. Wear with bare legs and a Givenchy biker or a plaid parka by 3.1 Phillip Lim and a ton of attitude. Tabitha Simmons has reissued her Early boot in burgundy and, dear young punks, I reckon they could be your boot of the season. Just add skinny jeans, a sweatshirt, a leather jacket and you’re good to go.
Should you wish to look more sophisticated, then Valentino’s studded leopard-print bag has your name on it. Ditto anything subtly punk by Haider Ackermann. I am hoping to see rebel icon Tilda Swinton in the entire line; now there’s the perfect punky pin-up for the over-forties.
Donatella Versace called her AW13 catwalk show Vunk, a sort of sexy Versace version of punk. Look upon look of nostalgic PVC trousers, dresses and ultra-mini minis rocked down the catwalk. If you’ve got the courage, take Donatella’s lead and give a PVC skirt a go. Balance with a fuzzy jumper and add Alexander Wang’s block-heel boots for a look that’s elegantly disobedient.
So what will your inner punk get up to this season? Will she be a messy-haired-yesterday’s-eyeliner kinda girl or will she be a polished punk in impactful red, black and white, courtesy of Peter Pilotto? One thing’s guaranteed: she’ll be able to walk five times as fast in these rebel boots. Imagine that. I predict a riot.
Stacey Duguid is editor at large for Elle UK. Follow Stacey
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