Los Angeles, July 26, 2006 Monarchy debuted the new fall 2006 line with a fashion show hosted by Fred Segal Street at the Los Angeles nightclub, Element. The Monarchy collection exquisitely exemplified the punk ethos: spontaneous, infectious outburst of aggression and alienation set to music and highly theatrical use of style that swept aside politics, feelings, commercialism, gender and political correctness. However, just as punk is based on anarchy and rebellion, Monarchy refused to completely abide by the punk 'dress code' thereby instituting their own insurrection against the standard. With touches of glam, feminine detailing in women's wear, straight-legged instead of peg-legged jeans for men, and (dare I say it?!) decidedly distinct men's and women's looks, Monarchy set the stage for a new generation of punk: anarchy combined with glamour, flair, and sexuality, which created accessible and wonderfully wearable looks for fall.
With the stage transformed into the famous Hyde Park in London, Monarchy brought punk's homeland to Hollywood. The production of the runway show was an utter uprising against the traditional fashion show. Models entered and existed the stage through a phone booth, and strutted down a runway covered with AstroTurf. The detailed set design invited the audience into this fantastical Hyde Park for an afternoon of people watching more so than fashion watching. A young guy, dressed in appropriate Monarchy garb, had the best seat in the park: a park bench on the stage. He lounged on the bench, boom box by his side, as he watched the usual Brits (or models) stroll through Hyde Park. A drummer, complete with a full drum set, was also premiering his talent in the park as he passionately played along with the DJ's beats.
Monarchy took punk's traditional deconstructed garments and reconstructed them with a modern-day urban flair. Just like the traditional punk fashion, the Monarchy collection defied boundaries with each look oozing pure, unabashed excitement and youthful rebellion. Monarchy remained true to punk basics using black as the collection's key color with touches of red and white. However, the placement of the colored highlights were seen in unexpected garments, i.e. a red thong paired with a short-sleeved fitted, white shirt. In addition to the usual reds and whites seen in punk garb, Monarchy also added a touch of glam with metallic motifs on halter dresses, distressed cotton tees and polo shirts, a silver sequins beanie, and a pink distressed cotton tee complete with metallic silver motif for men.
The anti-authority vibe was apparent throughout the line, creating a look that was unquestionably punk at heart, yet captured the nuances seen in more urban trends. For men, individual suit pieces were paired with punk basics. A pinstriped suite vest was layered with a gray cotton hoodie, black blazer, and torn jeans. The Monarchy logo sprayed across the back of what, at first sight, appeared to be a traditional blazer dispelled any notion of Monarchy remaining loyal to mainstream, and expected, looks.
Rather than embracing the usual androgynous look of punk fashion, Monarchy created a distinct look for both men and women. For the ladies, Monarchy combined trendy cropped hoodies, racy halter dresses, and fitted polo shirts with more traditional punk garments like peg-legged jeans, distressed cotton tanks held together by safety pins, and cropped hoodies that were cut out in the back. While men wore the typical utilitarian combat boots, women wore sexy knee high boots with skinny jeans tucked in. Monarchy embraced the feminine silhouette by highlighting delicate curves with paper-thin cotton t-shirt dresses and silver studs decorating women's jeans.
Careful not to go to mainstream, the Monarchy collection honored its punk forefathers with suspenders, stovepipe trousers, chains, studs, belts, and even England's flag strategically placed on the back pocket flaps of jeans and on the front of the thong. Surprisingly, this brazen in-your-face sexuality combined with a more traditional anti-authority punk flair creates a look that is accessible to everyone strolling through Hyde Park. This 'accessibility' is perhaps not what Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren had in mind for their punk fashion, but then again, when was obedience ever part of the punk persona?!
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