Fashion, Trend and Attitude

When a post-war generation emerged in the mid-20th century seeking to distance itself from everything, some subcultures appropriated the tacks and their threatening implications.

Perhaps the first were the Halbstarkes, Zurich teenagers documented by photographer Karlheinz Weinberger in the late 1950s and early 1960s, characterized by skintight silhouettes of studded denim teamed with large chains around their necks and belts with images of Elvis on them. the buckle. They were the ones who, with their “shameless adolescence”, were a decade ahead of what would later be the biker and punk aesthetics, the latter practically an invention of Malcolm McLaren, advised by his girlfriend at the time, Vivienne Westwood.

Mr Sid Vicious, with Mr Paul Cook and Mr Steve Jones in London, 1977. Photograph by Mr Richard Young.

It was these who, in 1971, opened Sex (as it was called between 1974 and 1977) at 430 King’s Road: a clothing store that acted as a shock from London. Full of studs (and also tears and safety pins), his first collection was a way for punks to express their rebellion to the same degree as the crests.

For them it was not about metallic decorations but about a warning: “we are untouchable”.

McLaren, as Manager of the Sex Pistols, sealed the relationship between punk rock and studs, the day they put on some biker jackets to renew their image. They were followed by Lou Reed, Patti Smith or The Clash and it was there that tacks became a “threat” to the social order.

With some irony, glam rock queens have applied them to their costumes since the late 1970s. Just as their music was a reaction to psychedelic rock, they used feminine clothing and accessories as opposed to the archetypal rocker. Not only did they invent a luminous and extravagant genre of music, but they managed to equate sequins and studs by mixing them with makeup.

By the end of the 1980s, studs were the thing for Madonna, Cher, Lady Gaga and other divas who were experts in a phenomenon as fashionable today as (sub)cultural appropriation.

It is impossible to know if today the key in which Longchamp, Saint Laurent, McQueen or Paco Rabanne interpret them is closer to punk or camp, but surely the studs are today a synonym of fashion, trend and attitude.

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