So Punk So Chic: the latest exhibition at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

Punk culture is the new trend spotted at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. The latest and most important exhibition of the season in this utterly chic Parisian store has just begun. Usually, this September/October event is focused on a city or a country (Paris, Japan, Los Angeles…) but this year, Le Bon Marché has decided to… break the rules!

The question is, what does the notion of Punk mean? Is it a trend, a concept, an attitude? Apparently, Punk can be chic according to the department store. They state that it is about being different, unique and irreverent. They consider it as a culture that gets rid of conventions and allows you to express your creativity. And a “Punk Rive Gauche” is one that has also a little bit of Parisian sophistication. 

My punk culture is rather limited and, to say the truth, it does not really inspires me. But I was quite curious to discover more about it. So, let’s have a tour of this So Punk So Chic exhibition.

As much as I love most exhibitions at Le Bon Marché, I would have expected this one to be more “complete”. I feel like the notion of Punk was used as a « catch all » category and I did not understand why a cabinet of curiosité was being part of the exhibition, why they exposed Lou de Castellane’s fake flowers, nor why they sold tartan plaids (apart from the fact that tartan is used in punk fashion…but plaids?).

I also felt that the concept was used in a way that was too obvious. If you have a Punk state of mind, do you necessarily have to show it? Do you have to dress punk? Does your appearance have an impact on the way you lead an irreverent life?

Whether or not we adhere to this theme, I appreciate that Le Bon Marché always adapts the theme of the September exhibition to different spheres: fashion, books, cuisine, home accessories… It makes the concept more consistent and global. I found this Punk theme quite interesting and intriguing as I was not acquainted with it, but I would have loved the exhibition to be a little more complete and informative.

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