Restraint Meets Intensity: Unpacking the Post-Punk Scene and Look
Is it New Wave? Is it Goth? Is it Punk? All of the above? One music genre that consistently occupies the cutting edge of fashion is Post-Punk. Flashy yet minimal, theatrical yet restrained, Post-Punk picks up where its predecessor left off, bringing together the energy of punk with dramatic fashion aesthetics and attitude.
Punk with a Moody Twist: A Look at the Post-Punk Scene
From legendary bands like Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees to modern flag-bearers like Savages, Post-Punk is widely renowned for its intensity and no-holds-barred approach to fashion. In line with their sound, Post-Punk musicians tend to favor sleek, dramatic all black ensembles paired with tomboy haircuts, draped in a moody minimalism.
Photo by @willemschalekamp
Not many celebrities have embraced the post-punk aesthetic, but then without the punk attitude it would mean pretty much just regularly turning up at events in all black ensembles.
So, proceed with caution. Punk is never just an aesthetic. It doesn’t quite work like that.
At its heart, post-punk is about striking the perfect balance between theatricality and restraint. Its growing influence in fashion circles shows no signs of slowing down, meaning the post-punk look is sure to remain a mainstay in wardrobes for years to come.
Post-Punk: Reviving a Classic Aesthetic and Genre
Post-punk is the genre that refuses to stay in the past. It draws from the intense, groundbreaking punk music of the 1970s and injects a new, darker energy to create an exciting and unique sound. Post-punk bands look to history through a vision of the future, incorporating elements from the past while adding something new and groundbreaking.
Young Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth
Different flavors of punk have been around since the mid-70s, and with its epicenter of punk-rock in London, this genre continues to captivate fans around the world. Influential bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, and Gang of Four brought the movement to the mainstream, with anthems that still remain fresh and powerful.
Today’s post-punk bands, such as Savages, create the dramatic, cinematic vibes of their genre with the tighter and cleaner but still dark and hypnotic sounds.
In fashion, the post-punk aesthetic can be a true statement, one that’s unafraid to be bold and push the boundaries - but also one that needs to be backed up by attitude.
Jehnny Beth on a photo by @jelmerdehaas
Rowland S. Howard
Edgy black and grey are key features of this style, but leather jackets, outlandish hats, and complicated textures can add dimension and complexity.
The deep blacks and gothic whites can evoke a certain horror-like vibe, but you can keep it sleek and almost preppy, too.
Makeup can be either dramatic or dramatically nonexistent.
A sleek tomboy style is often key when it comes to the classic post-punk look. Think high-waisted pants with a tight and cropped t-shirt, lots of layers, and chic military boots.
Chains and buckles can add a hint of street edge, but are not essential. Some like to use plenty of matte black nail polish and lipstick.
…But none of this works without that unapologetic attitude.
Did you know that Post Punk is the ultimate fusion of punk rock, funk, electronic and pop records? From iconic legends like Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division, to modern greats like Savages and U.S. Girls, this genre of music is known for creating a captivating blend of intense lyrics and dramatic soundscapes. Alongside the music, the fashion of post-punk tends to be darkly theatrical, with black clothes, sleek hair, and often dramatic, confrontational makeup worn by the likes of Zola Jesus, Evan Rachel Wood, and more. A perfect blend of intense music and iconic fashion, post-punk is both a time-transcending style and legacy!
It seems like post-punk has no end in sight, as its lasting appeal continues to be a huge influence in both the music and fashion world. Both those that are already familiar and those just discovering this genre can appreciate its strong edges and dark allure. Just like these signature sounds and looks have been around for over 40 years, they will continue to remain timeless!