UPDATE: My spies say that mingled in with all the ingenues are indeed Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie, and Marky Ramone. It could be a punk night after all!
Earlier: Anna Wintour hosts the annual Costume Ball Institute Ball tonight at the Met. The theme is Punk Rock, which is especially hilarious as Wintour and Vogue ignored punk when it thrived in the 70s. Anna Wintour and punk rock are about as comfortable together as pastrami and mayonnaise. Suffice to say that there will be no actual punk rockers at the Ball tonight.
If anyone spots Patti Smith, Joan Jett, Debbie Harry or Blondie, Richard Hell, Richard Lloyd, Johnny Rotten, or Marky Ramone, please let me know. While Wintour is embracing the Hollywood fashion crowd it’s doubtful Elvis Costello, The Stranglers, The Cramps, The Cure, or The Dickies will be waltzing up the Met steps to the big show and dinner.I haven’t heard about David Johansson aka Buster Poindexter providing the entertainment.
Wintour wasn’t the editor of Vogue in 1977, when punk was at its peak. But she was exactly what punk rockers were rebelling against in the UK. And in America, actual punk rockers wouldn’t have been caught dead reading Vogue, then edited by Grace Mirabella.
But Anna does have a punk past. During the mid to late 70s her boyfriend was French record producer Michel Esteban. He was the e in Ze Records. Michael Zilkha was the Z. Their Ze Records introduced Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Was (Not Was), The Waitresses (I Know What Boys Like), and Lydia Lunch, among others. Esteban was definitely in the cutting edge of punk in New York. Maybe she wore Stiff Records buttons. But I do not recall seeing her at CBGB or the Mudd Club.
Anyway, neither Legs McNeil nor Gillian McCain, who wrote “Please Kill Me,” the oral history of punk, were invited tonight. McCain did sneak into the preview today and posted pics and observations at www.pleasekillme.com. Otherwise, you can read Suzy Menkes’ take on the Punk show at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/07/fashion/07iht-fpunk07.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& We’ll check WireImage for pictures and see if Anna wears a Mohawk or anything spiked besides a drink.
Menkes writes: “The true punks — those who lived and survived that moment — should find an exquisite irony in the idea that their no-future kick at a dead-end society should, 40 years on, have moved from a defiant statement from society’s impoverished and self-proclaimed social outcasts to a display of clothes for global celebrities and the super-rich having a ball” Amen.