From The Archives

The Original Punks: Punk From Newsweek's 1977 Archives

In anticipation of the MET’s new exhibit: Punk: Chaos to Couture, we’ve dipped into Newsweek’s 1977 archives for insight into the real punks.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will open its newest exhibit, Punk: Chaos to Couture, on May 7. The exhibition will explore punk’s origins and its continued impact on fashion, even extending into present day. Ahead of its debut, we dipped into Newsweek’s archives in search of some true insight into the punk movement’s pivotal years. It’s there that we found a 1977 feature by Tony Schwartz that catches the subculture in its prime. From explaining the origins of Sid Vicious’s safety-pinned pants (and their resulting mass-market adaptation), to pointing out the (now practically mainstream) stinging shock of pink hair, Schwartz illustrates punk as it was in its true glory days: a culture of devil-may-care, irreverent vagabonds. Most surprising is a quote from designer Vivienne Westwood, then 36, who described the group's interest in swastika-laden clothing: “They like the Nazi things because they are interesting decorations.”