Meet music icon Glen Matlock

Unraveling Punk fashion with music icon Glen Matlock
09 September, 2018
Eden Noronha

In conversation with musician Glen Matlock, one of the original members of the legendary seventies punk rock band ‘The Sex Pistols’. The Pistols were responsible for the influence of Punk Rock in the United Kingdom and would go on to influence the world with their rebellious music and ethos; we unveil the origins of Punk Fashion and the configuration of the Punk Subculture through the eyes of this iconic punk rock patron.

Glen Matlock is the man who co wrote and recorded much of the Sex Pistols classic punk ballads that stirred scandal in the Queen’s land and initiated a punk rock revolution that caught the attention of the world. His take on Punk fashion deeply originates from rebelling against the norms of society and the desire to be different.

Punk rock represented a deliberate rebuttal against materialism and other perceived notions of mainstream culture. Early punk rock artists' fashion was rebelliously anti-materialistic. Unkempt, short hairstyles like Mohawks and undercuts, dyed hair in vibrant colours and make-up worn by both men and women was a part of Punk fashion as it was making a statement in the face of the usually elaborate 1970s rock and disco styles.

“Back in the seventies, everybody and anybody had long hair and flairs even the Milkman or the Bank Mangaer! We wanted to be different, so we had short hair and drain pipe trousers. We were making a statement!”

Music and its ideologies have such a great influence on trends and Glen does believe that music and fashion go hand in hand. “I believe you choose what clothes you wear. It’s like being in an army; it shows whose side you’re on and who you are trying to associate with.”

Before his big break as a musician, Matlock also worked as a sales assistant at Sex, the famous boutique by Vivienne Westwood that was the hub of the punk rock music and fashion scene and sold all sorts of punk inspired apparel. The store is also the place where the members of the Sex Pistols first met.  Matlock claims “Vivienne Westwood had some of the original stuff.”

When asked to describe the UK Street Style and Punk Fashion of the seventies, Matlock recalls “Sticking up hair and Dyed hair in crazy colours and torn clothes. The Punk look was quite easy to achieve. Girls would wear their dad’s shirt and spike their hair, change the rules a bit and make a statement. It was all kind off rebellious somehow.”

The Punk Rock Movement provided a new cultural platform for androgyny and all kinds of gender expression. The idea was to challenge the world’s views on gender presentation and gender identity. Men could look like women, women could look like men, or one could look like both or neither. This encouraged bold and outrageous makeup looks that were sported by both men and women. Punk helped destroy the normalised dichotomy between genders.

The rebellious punk rock movement endowed with immense contributions by Glen Matlock has urbanized a valiant subculture and has created waves in the fashion and beauty industry.






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