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How Gen Z is re-reading the codes of punk

No longer rebellion, but self-expression

How Gen Z is re-reading the codes of punk No longer rebellion, but self-expression
Credits: Bethany Vargas
@uglyworldwide by Jack Bridgland
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Robert Pattinson by Jack Bridgland
@teddycorsica by Jack Bridgland
@cassyette by Jack Bridgland

Those who know how to leave a mark in this world, never die. It's not a blunt paraphrase of "Punk's Not Dead", but a truth that we live on our skin every day. We are slaves and monarchs of a constant contamination of style that over the years, cyclically, takes on new meanings depending on the reality that surrounds us. Pamela Rooks aka Jordan Mooney left us at the age of 66 due to a rare and dangerous cancer, cholangiocarcinoma. She was the top model of the first Vivienne Westwood collections, the blonde girl in catsuit photographed in front of the "SEX" store in the 70s, always in the front row at Sex Pistols concerts, with asymmetrical and messy makeup all over her face. Her motto and her outfits screamed "Don't dream it, be it", claiming with her nails the urgency of a change, cultural and social, in the zeitgeist of that era. Jordan Mooney is gone but, unknowingly, we celebrate her style every day. And even if today's fashion can not be defined 100% punk, every collective consciousness is assailed by the desire to rummage through the drawer of memories and wear again that jacket of ten years ago, matching it differently. And in recent months there has been a new wave of punk, a mash-up between Jordan Mooney's London style and the pop-punk of the 2000s. The punk aesthetic didn't spare even the world of NFT with the CryptoPunks project, a collection of non-fungible tokens inspired by the London punk scene and cyberpunk movement.

Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney
Jordan Mooney

The key word? Ostentation. This new style that we still don't know how to call by its name is generated under the sign of a disruptive and disruptive originality. We see it parading fast in the mechanical and soldier-like movements of the SS22 models, covering a few patches of skin of the Miu Miu models, rebelling on the barbed hair of Burberry Erry and Lil Uzi Vert, who has definitely abandoned the diamond on his forehead to amaze us with extreme hair. What in the 70s was a cry for freedom, today is a statement with a pop and irreverent taste, which takes shape in the clothes and hairstyles of the most loved and talked about celebrities.

Robert Pattinson by Jack Bridgland
@teddycorsica by Jack Bridgland
@cassyette by Jack Bridgland
@uglyworldwide by Jack Bridgland

Who would have ever imagined to see Robert Pattinson, that good guy with a clean and candid face, sporting blonde spiky hair in Offspring style, on the March cover of GQ? Well, after the shock of Jared Leto's Joker, tattooed on his face and with a golden grill, the new Bruce Wayne has bleached hair. The photographer of that shoot, Jack Bridgland has continued to cultivate that aesthetic by also shooting Cassyette, Jazzelle Zanaughtti and Teddy Corsica over the course of these months. And after him, in our land, comes also Salmo, at the dawn of the announcement of the new album, with a very blond deco and hair pointed upwards in full pop punk style. 

In fact, this melancholic trend with early 2000's tastes has reached its peak thanks to the return of the emo-punk sound in the international music scene, with the likes of Machine Gun Kelly, Travis Barker, Yungblud and Avril Lavigne, who recently returned to the spotlight. The return to glory of pop punk sounds has awakened the attention of social media, on whose feeds Scottish miniskirts, ripped fishnet stockings and gravity-defying hair styles have promptly made a comeback.

@aeroplvnes shoes - DEMONIA - "helena" for $$$ off #punk #punkfashion #punkstyle #demonia #demonias #platforms #demoniashoes straight people are not allowed to use this audio - evelyn

And there was no better time than now to announce the arrival of a new series, directed by Danny Boyle, the director of Trainspotting, which reconfirms the success of this viral trend: Pistol, six episodes that tell the life and career of the Sex Pistols. The punk epic of Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and Glen Matlock will debut May 31 on the streaming platform Hulu and will trace the origins of the band that invented and spread the punk movement. 

Is punk back? Maybe, but it's still different from what we remember. If on the one hand the spirit of rebellion and the fight against the establishment and the system have been lost, on the other hand there is an equally fierce desire to surprise and reinvent oneself, bringing out one's uniqueness through fashion codes and body language. And the most punk thing that could happen is that Gen Z, in the grip of nostalgia for what it has never experienced, raises the flag of a subculture that has broken the chains (in every sense) between street and fashion, enriching it with new values.