Style Scoop

How To: Go Punk

August 14, 2013

One of the biggest trends to emerge from the Fall/Winter 2013 is the punk look.  Though the punk aesthetic is nothing new - it was first popularised in the 90's by punk musicians and bands such as Nirvana - countless designers from Chanel to Celine to Saint Laurent revisited the punk look in modern new ways for winter.  So, how has the punk trend been re-imagined?  Well, first of all it is decidedly more luxe than its 90's roots.  While the movement was originally meant to be grunge inspired, anti-capitalist and anti-luxe, designers have now turned the punk looked into a hyper-luxurious look, through the use of expensive materials, intricate detailing and piles of expensive accessories.  The punk look has gone upmarket.  And so there is all the more reason to try the trend out this season.  Still not sold?  Here is Stylecab's guide on how to go punk for fall!


Four genius ways to go punk:

1) At the far left, we have a look from the Chanel show.  The punk look was interpreted in the Chanel show through the use of lots of long, sheer skirts and dresses, paired with thigh high leather boots with silver hardware and lots of silver jewelry--all against a black palette.  An incredibly simple, luxe way to go punk.

2) Next, we have a very simple punk look achieved with a head-to-tow black outfit, highlighted with leather fabrics, which is a key texture in this trend.

3) Then we have a plaid look; plaid is a very important print in the punk trend and is a direct homage to the 90's punk movement.

4) Finally, at the far right, a look from the Saint Laurent show, where Hedi Slimane took the 90's trend literally, but updated elements such as fishnet stockings with luxurious embellished embroidery and combat boots with splattering of metallic hardware. 


Much of the punk look is in the accessories.  Tough metal hardware, fishnet stockings, leather thigh-highs and combat boots are all key essentials in pulling off the look.  Wear all of the above at once for a hardcore look, or try one piece at a time for a more toned-down approach.


Met Gala Punk

We've already written about the Met Gala red carpet fashion choices before (you can see the post here), but here's a little reminder of how celebrities went punk for this glitzy event, proving that punk can be worn black-tie, too!


Supermodel Anja Rubik in Anthony Vacarello--the red leather and the metallic chain mail style details make this look punk, sexy and luxe all at the same time.


Madonna shows us her take on punk in fishnet fabric a plaid jacket and, of course, lots of metallic hardware to top it all off.

"PUNK: Chaos To Couture" Costume Institute Gala

Teen star Miley Cyrus goes punk in a Marc Jacobs sheer black floor-length dress in a fishnet style fabric and a cropped peroxide blonde pixie haircut.


Sienna Miller and top model Cara Delevigne take a quintessentially punk element - studs - to the red carpet.


Go All Black


The original punk street style icon, Kate Lanphear, Style Director at T Magazine, is rarely seen wearing any other colour than black.  We love how she mixes textures with her black leather dress, her black wool coat, her black tights and her black suede shoes, keeping the look interesting.  Paired with hard silver accessories, this look screams luxe punk.


What makes this outfit punk, other than the head-to-toe black, is the silhouette of the pieces all paired together, creating a slightly gothic punk look.  Paired with a deep red lipstick and chunky heeled ankle boots, its definitely an eye-catching outfit not for the faint hearted. 


Stylecab VIP stylist, Tina Leung, works the punk trend in her own more upscale way by pairing a sheer long black skirt (a la Chanel) with studded Christian Louboutin pumps and a studded leather jacket, toughening the outfit up.


This black outfit is elevated to a punk place through the addition of the deep red lipstick and black leather choker necklace.  Of course, her ombre reddish hair helps, too!


Mad for Plaid


Tying a plaid flannel shirt around your waist is so 90's, but Alexa Chung gives the look a modern twist by pairing it with a fitted white tee, teeny denim shorts and a mini Chanel chain bag.  It's all about mixing high and low!


This plaid shirt is given an even more punk-ish edge by being paired with a distressed denim skirt and leather jacket.  The perfect punk combination.

plaid carolines mode

If distressed denim and flannel shirts are too down-and-dirty for your liking, try a plaid skirt, instead.  Make sure to pair it with black and lots of metallic hardware accessories to reiterate your punk theme.


Moda Operandi's Taylor Tomasi-Hill expertly uses an oversized plaid shirt as a jacket of sorts and ties it in a knot at the waist to reveal a gold hardware Celine belt and give her outfit a more feminine shape.  Polished punk at its finest!


Going Grunge


Fashion buyer Tiffany Hsu perfects the grunge look in a pair of extremely distressed denim jeans, paired with an oversized denim shirt.  Her hardcore metallic accessories elevate the look to a more modern-luxe version of the dirty 90's grunge trend.


Nothing says grunge like a slogan sleeveless tee paired with a sheer skirt and a messy hairdo.  The gold texture of this sheer skirt and the addition of a chic stack-heeled shoe give this look a bit of modern polish and a more contemporary feeling overall.

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