'Please kill me'

By D.C. DENISON  |  August 20, 2007

“Punk fashion in Boston? Well, there are three good places that I can think of right off the bat. The first is the pet store; they have great dog collars that you can either wear around your neck or your wrists, depending on the size. The studded leather ones are best, but the dog chains are also good. There are great bargains at the pet stores. The Star Market and Stop & Shop also have some good stuff. I bought my glasses (remember the white plastic ones that I was wearing the other night?), I got them at the Star Market Mickey Mouse section. They have good sneakers too. Then there’s always Morgan Memorial and Salvation Army: you can always find some stupid, ugly, tacky stuff there – really great stuff.

“As far as jewelry, you can get some good rings at junk stores, but the best stuff is what you find or make yourself. That’s why safety pins are so popular with punks; it’s jewelry – you can wear them in your ear, nose or through your clothes – but you don’t have to pay for them. The same thing with razor blades, although nowadays you see some people who have bought fake razor blades in jewelry stores. When I wear a razor blade, I just take one off the bathroom shelf at home and scrape it on the sidewalk until it gets dull.

“Clothing is the same way, the idea is to make it yourself. For instance I had this really ugly turquoise shirt – really tacky – that I never wore. But I figured I might be able to make it into something nice. So I brought it over to the Dead Boys’ house in New York and we had a good time. We put cigarette burns in it, we wrote all over it, we ripped it up; then we put mustard, ink and salad dressing on it. Now it’s one of my favorite shirts. It even smells nice – on account of the salad dressing.”


”Punk fashion is just for visual impact. After all, lots of people wear St. Laurent peasant clothes, but doesn’t mean that they want to live in mud huts.”
–Jim O’Connor, punk T-shirt designer

Frank Pizzaia has a different view of the new punk look. “It isn’t new at all,” he says. “In fact it’s been around for a long time; we just used to call it the ‘S&M look.’ What everybody calls ‘punk fashion’ came about when fetish clothing met rock ‘n’ roll. It’s just that simple.” Pizzaia ought to know about “fetish clothing.” He is the co-owner of Ian’s, New York’s famous S&M clothing store, which has been adopted by many punks (including Rita Ratt) as a favorite couturier.

“We’ve been in business for almost five years now,” Pizzaia says, “and we used to cater to a very small segment of the population, but after Lou Reed and David Bowie started shopping here we got more popular. Now with all this punk fashion stuff, everybody loves the look and we are doing better than ever.”

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