The Return Of DIY Fashion

Punk fashion is the clothing, hairstyles, jewellery and body modifications of the Punk subculture. A subculture is defined as a small group of people who live in the larger community who go about the lives is different way. Punk fashion’s most famous designer is Vivienne Westwood who dressed the Sex Pistols and The Exploited, Punk fashion has been extremely commercialised at various times and many various fashion designers- Westwood, John Paul Gautier and even Versace showed elements of Punk fashion in their designs.

Glam Rock, Skinheads and Mods have all influenced Punk fashion as has Punk fashion influenced them, the underlying theme with subcultures are that they use their clothing as a way to make a statement.


Punk clothing which was initially handmade, using whatever cheap thrown out materials they could find, it then became mass produced and was sold in record shops and smaller speciality clothing stores in the 1980’s.

Punk was an intentional rebuttal of the perceived excess and pretencions found in mainstream music and culture as a whole. Early Punk fashion was anti-materialistic- Generally unkempt, short hair styles famously the spiked multi-colour Mohawk, simple clothes from T-shirts, Jeans and Leather jackets: customised blazers and smart formal shirts randomly covered in slogans such as- “Only Anarchists are pretty”, blood patches and controversial images were also extremely popular.

Safety pins were massively popular in with Punks and were used everywhere from on clothing, as piercings and accessories. Many female Punks rebelled against stereotyping of women and often combined delicate or pretty clothes with masculine pieces such as a tutu with big chunky boots.

Punks also love DIY fashion, that’s where its roots were, and incorporated everyday objects for aesthetic effect. Purposely ripped clothes were held together by safety pins or wrapped with tape, black bin liners became dresses, shirts and skirts. Other items added to clothing or worn as jewellery included razor blades, chains and in some extreme cases sanitary products.

What I love about Punk fashion is how they used everything and anything to make themselves look different without spending a fortune. They had so much power and influence on how we dress, even still today, that they influenced well know designer YSL when they designed the infamous Liz Hurley dress. Punks weren’t all about fashion, I’m sure if you were to ask them they would say that they didn’t care about fashion, they dressed in way to show there dissatisfaction with the economy and as they saw it limited job options (sounding similar to anyone). In my eyes Punks were the true originators of DIY fashion and I can that we are starting to go down that path again. With the rise of fashion bloggers showing you how to make/customise your own pieces, to websites specifically showing you how to make anything from hoodies to full ensembles and lets not forget the various Youtube channels and uploads dedicated to DIY fashion.
Modern London Punks Carnaby Street
So what do you think? Can you see a return in DIY fashion?

How To Dress Through The Ages.

So we all like finding that bargain piece down our local charity shop, that everyone asks “where did you get that from?” I love that smug feeling I get. But its not always easy to spot the diamond among the rough, so I though I’d share with you some tips on how to spot clothing from different era’s, so you can dress through the ages.


French Women 1945
Women wearing dresses to resemble Allied flags- American, French, British & Russian 
Italian postcard of a bathing beauty, showing the transition from bare midriff to fully exposed belly button 1947.

In the 40’s with the WW2 going on the world saw the 1st mass use of man made fibers in clothing manufacturing. The classic 1940’s style is A-line skirts/dress, but mainly workforce and utility dress, there was a focus on DIY fashion with many articles on how to change a mans suit into a women’s suit. It was illegal to buy clothing from abroad, including Ireland which was a neutral country, in Britain when clothing rationing was going on, if you were caught you would get a serious fine.


Couture Chanel 1950’s
Cristobal Balenciaga’s day dress  
Dior’s New Look 
The Teddy Boy’s

The 50’s saw a change in female dress after Dior’s New Look was unveiled in 1947. Following wartime measures in the 40’s women wanted to look feminine again. Designers such as Balenciaga, Laroche and Givenchy (the designer of the classic little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) were iconic in this era: they embraced feminine fashion and determined the looks of the decade.

Key features of the decade:
Pencil and full circle skirts
Sack and Sheath dresses
Empire lines, especially empire line LBD’s
The American influence, wide belts, gloves, hats, nipped in waists.

1960’s Biba

Trends from the 60s are well known for their wide-reaching influence on fashion. A revolution was approaching and fashion was extremely important among young people. This generation had more power and more money, and Britain — in particular London — was where everyone wanted to be for the most experimental clothes and accessories. Hemlines shortened and prints became ever bolder, inspiration was taken from music and a change in lifestyle. The 60s also saw the revival of Art Deco, with the opening of the famous Biba store.

Key features of the decade:
Miniskirts, shift dresses
Space age and psychedelic looks
Graphic lines and cut outs
Materials included PVC, chainmail, sheer and transparent fabrics, chiffon, hosiery and synthetic materials


Westwood 1970’s 

The Sex Pistols 1975
1970’s colour blocking
Fashion in the 70s saw a wide variety of trends, from folk to disco to punk. The influence of disco was seen widely in fitted lycra clothing, flares and hotpants. For some, fashion became more natural, in line with a more ethical lifestyle. The hippy looks were reworked with a folksy feel. Hemlines fell and shapes and structures became more relaxed. Designers took inspiration from traditional crafts such as weaving, knitting and tapestry. Collaborations became more popular — designers such as Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell worked together. And the famous designer Vivienne Westwood lead the punk movement.

Key features of the decade:
Disco (flares, hotpants, wraparounds) and punk looks
Folk style included blouses, frills, maxi skirts, floral prints, knits, lacing, patchwork and waistcoats
Eastern influences (kaftans, kimonos, prints)
Jumpsuits and bodystockings
Prints included florals, geometrics and stripes

Power Dressing 
Adam Ant 
The New Romantics 
Fashion in the 80s took great influence from political changes. Anger over the economic depression was reflected in street style. But by the second half of the decade things were beginning to look up, and this was shown in the clothing. Two themes emerged: power dressing became popular among women as they became more dominant in the workforce — pencil skirts and shoulder padded power blazers reigned for working women — and 80s sportswear was important, with brands like Nike leading the way, and bright colours, neon shades and shellsuits gaining popularity.

Key features of the decade:
Power dressing- shoulder pads, suits, bright colours and black and white dogstooth
Streetwear- graphics, tartan, stripes, denim and leather.
The new romantics
Sports and dancewear influences
Body con (lycra was the main influence