Just when the world seems to be coming apart at its seams, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum in New York will clash open its doors to "Punk: Chaos to Couture" at its Gala on May 6.  New York seems to be in an introspective mode. With Holly Golightly, in a much darker mood truer to her original Truman Capote self than in recent memory, on Broadway, seeming like a lost girl who has been run down by her circumstances but still looks divine in her own brand of elegance---the present seems to have lost its hold. Just when you thought you could not look back any more---here comes PUNK with a Vogue punch.  





































When a Boston-based friend received a much-coveted invitation to the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala---she called Paola to create a look that would honor this unlikely pairing.


Thus began an authentic meeting of the minds---Paola and her Bostonian were undaunted by the challenge---a scenario that would bring together not only a representation of the legionnaires of punk but also the heady company of the Committee Chairs. Ready for this line-up? Honorary Chair Beyonc� and Co-Chairs actress Rooney Mara; Lauren Santo Domingo, Co-Founder of Moda Operandi; Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director of Givenchy; and Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue.



Check out Paola's list, if you want to celebrate the spirit of the Gala and be among the best dressed, best tressed on May 6 or whenever you want to let your inner rebel free.

Iggy Pop in Rick Owens 


I am totally leaning long! Take a look at this Rick Owens in black, beautiful strong lines that show off statuesque power. For me this piece    evokes Grace Jones's Afro-Punk prowess---It is critical that this piece has structure and form---any other would not speak punk. Every deconstruction needs a form to embellish/slash/remake into one's own. Remember Punk nihilism derived its cultural counterpunch from the Sam Peckinpah film genre. After all this is The Met's Punkdom---not Coachella.


Rick Owens Skirt.
Available at Gypsy.
Call 508-228-4404
to order.   


Add on the acid-color leather Balenciaga biker jacket, which will provide the perfect POP to the black skirt and saves you from being the "all in black" victim. There is not a better choice for a biker jacket, and the acid color just elevates beyond coolness and gives it that jagged, rough edge needed to be a contender in this crowd.  Perfect for the Gala's collision of style.


Balenciaga Acid Leather Biker Jacket.
Available at Gypsy.

Call 508-228-4404 to order.

Keeping in the spirit of DIY punkdom, no look would be complete without a little shredding. So have at it by cutting your plu-perfect neckband and rough up the cap sleeves. They were never you. Or don that Sex-Pistols T---well within reach these days. Crop it, shred it---have your way with it. I eyed one with
a white background
and a little pink that plays
off the acid leather.

T-Shirt available at

Alaia shoes, say no more,
---Perfect Platform Punkdom.

Alaia Platform Sandals.

Available at Gypsy.

Call 508-228-4404 to order.  


rainbow feather clutch is perfect from Lanvin. It will really stand out against the backdrop of the Balenciaga jacket.No punk look is complete sans a
feather or two or three.


Lanvin "feather" clutch.
Available at Gypsy.
Call 508-228-4404 to order.



Definitely a vintage collar of diamante and pearls.
OT A DOG COLLAR---come on, we are much more creative t han that! This 1960 beauty has just the right Lady Punk vibe especially when crowning the shredded Sex Pistols T!


Vintage Collar & Lizard Brooch.
Available at Gypsy.
Call 508-228-4404 to order.


Now this is important!!! When pulling off a twist, you have to really articulate the techniques to your stylist...
A.) Think "Punk Twist" or "Rat's Nest Twist" rather than French twist.  The worst thing that could happen is you ending up with a tight and shiny lacquered sprayed do that evokes more of a steel magnolia prom night than what you're going for. You want to provoke--- Aim somewhere between Audrey's Breakfast at Tiffany perfection and Amy Winehouse's lioness tower. Remember a DRY look not wet!!! The look of a bedhead works---a slept-in do after a night at the Gala.

B.) Get some clip-in extensions. You need much more hair---all great twists use a hair piece!! I use Helena's Collection at 120 W 31st Street in NYC. You can call (212) 967-9945 for more info. Go in and they will make them for you in about 20 minutes time out of the best human hair. Rat them up good, and only dry spray, please!!  Keeping with a subtle bed-head vibe, avoid, at all costs, those contrived tendrils that hair stylists cannot resist to pull out--- QUEL NIGHTMARE!!! And, remember you want mass and volume, make it BIG, ratty and then smooth over it with some dry spray. Also avoid going full on Amy Winehouse; remember to really pull this off, you need to evoke your "inner lady punk." We want the feeling of Audrey after a sleepy interlude before she's off to the Gala. After all, Lady "Golightly" always had a very full dance card!

Your palette---a daring pale---Pale powder face and a muted lip (yes, a muted lip can still be BOLD) with lush, false eyelashes. Remember, my huckleberry friend, keep the face very vulnerable and innocent.

Read more about the main event below

Every habitually chic woman has been influenced by the chaotic, anarchic ethic of punk. What began in the 1970s as a cultural deconstruction found its way to the couture runway.  The bedrock of punk is a "do-it-yourself" ethic not unlike the "one-of-a-kind, made-to- measure" code of haute couture. Over the last thirty-five years, eminent designers have adapted the hardware and embellishments of punk in elegant iterations. This exhibit will pay tribute to the journey of the punk rock legacy from the legendary NYC club CBGB to the pages of Vogue.

Curated by Andrew Bolton, the organizer and curator of MET's Costume Institute, Punk will juxtapose vintage garments and the various designers' interpretations through time, divided into seven different rooms, classified by three themes.
The first one will be dedicated to CBGB and the singer Richard Hell, inspirational for Sex Pistols (really, where would any of us be without Sid Vicious?). The second, a section about Seditionaries, the London shop created by Malcolm McLaren with his peer Vivienne Westwood, who put punk on the fashion map. Bolton sees this as the ultimate collaboration---a contemporary "Tale of Two Cities." The third space will present all those designers who have contributed over the years to continue punk's aesthetic and visual language: Balmain, Rodarte, Karl Lagerfeld and Balenciaga, Malcolm McLaren, Alexander McQueen, Miuccia Prada, Zandra Rhodes, and Gianni Versace are among those represented.

The book accompanying the exhibit, which runs from May 9 to August 14, explores "punkdom" visually as well as narratively.  Curator Andrew Bolton takes the lead in the book, bringing together the thoughts of three punk originals: Richard Hell, John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon and Jon Savage, who each weigh in with essays that are at once enlightening, fascinating and provocative. 

Truth be told---many of us will be watching Anna Wintour. How will she "punk" and hold on to that inner steely lady----Zandra Rhodes hair and the cutting edge safety-pin Versace dress worn by vixen Elizabeth Hurley? She may just have to rip that one from the exhibit. 


Now is the time to fly your freak flag proudly---hmmmm.... will Beyonc� reign at everyone's parade?

The MET space will provide "an immersive multimedia, multisensory experience, the clothes will be animated with period music videos and soundscaping audio techniques."*

* www.metmuseum.org/punk