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Pretty Girl Bullshit

Things That Hollywood Thinks Are 'Punk'

The launch of "Punk Couture" at the Met was a perfect example of how pathetic everything in the world is right now.

Hi I'm Bertie, this column is basically a place for me to call bullshit on girl related things I think are stupid.

It should have worked, really. New York, arguably the city where punk was born, having a ball to launch an exhibition to celebrate the ways in which its angry little anarchic baby influenced fashion. Sure, I don't think the original punks would have liked having their movement reduced to a set of Instagrams from Katy Grand, but I think by this point we've all come to accept that when the fashion industry sees something it likes, it apes it, gets it an endorsement deal and starts flogging it. This is not a column about how furious I am that punk has gone mainstream, I've been in H&M in the past ten years, I know about the studded belts, I'm not a moron.


No, it's more that I'm disappointed by how laughably bad today's A-listers were at interpreting a fashion style that an eight-year-old with a school skirt, some safety pins and an ounce of bravado couldn't fuck up. Read on for a breakdown of the things Hollywood seems to think are "punk" and why that means the world as we know it – or at least just everyone who was at the Met Ball gala on Monday night – deserves to burn.

According to Emily Blunt, Lily Collins, January Jones and some other less important people, punk can be evoked with one word – not "anarchy", you idiot, "eyeshadow". What a sorry state of affairs it is when the only bit of their bodies our beloved style icons are willing to sacrifice to the gods of punk is the centimetre-and-a-half of skin above their eyes. Why don't famous people wear nipple-less bras and trainers and smoke on the red carpet any more? How could you even concievably convince yourself that painting a part of your body that is hidden 90 percent of the time fuschia makes you an iconoclast? Hollywood, you're so dumb.

Okay, not just the ear cuffs (I'm SMH at you, Jessica Alba), but all the diamonds that weighed down the hands and necks of our appointed idols at the Met Ball gala. Is there a worse way of paying homage to a movement which prided itself on its DIY aesthetic than smothering it in clusters of really expensive squashed glass? Unless I've got it totally wrong and all the celebs were getting their glitter from broken beer bottles, this is really bad form.

I'd assumed that studs died a death in 2012 when this happened, but apparently not. Here, in the spirit of all things PUNK and REBELLIOUS, they are draped all over Sienna Miller's perfectly highlighted GHD-straightened hair and £3,000 jacket. True story: I once wore that jacket on a shoot and it weighs the same as having a pitbull strapped to each of your arms. Which might have been an appropriate outfit idea, given what must happen when a punk walks through the Broadwater Farm estate these days. But I can't help but feel most of those in attendance would think Broadwater Farm is a "healing retreat".

Which is everything, once you've factored in the virgin hair extensions, the manicures, waxing, tanning, coiffing and chauffeurs. Why are you so confused, Hollywood? Why can't you grasp a concept without it being fancy dress? Look at yourself: You're Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs with spiky hair, waiting patiently to be interviewed by the 14th fashion blog of the evening. You're wearing thin plastic bits of blue hair on one side of your head, you've got a pink dip-dye. The whole thing is a shambles. You're a shambles. Is it too much to ask for some basic research? Surely you employ enough stylists for just one of them to go on the internet and find out who Crass are.

Maybe, just maybe, the way that the A-listers so flagrantly refused to conform to the accepted image of punk, is kind of actually the most punk thing they could have done. There you are, Jessica Alba, with your diamond encrusted ear cuffs, saying fuck you to cultural history. We live in an age of £4,000 handbags and Victoria Beckham custom-cars, why should I expect the people who represent the very top tier of that selfishness and vanity to understand anything else?

If punk is about the bravery to be yourself, then the Met Gala was really fucking punk. It was the most brazen and shameless display of wealth and banality imaginable – God Save the A-List.

Follow Bertie on Twitter: @bertiebrandes

Previously – A Basic Guide to Existing in Summer