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The Met Punk Show: There’s a CBGB Toilet Replica

Image via Twitter/Eric Wilson

The Metropolitan Museum's new Costume Institute exhibition, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, opens for member previews tomorrow (the gala benefit is set to take place this evening). Punk fashion is getting the art show treatment from one of the largest and arguably most prestigious museums in the United States. This should be a real thrill for anyone that cares for novel experiences. 

Eric Wilson from The New York Times just tweeted the preview photo above, a replica of the toilets at iconic punk venue, CBGB — "[they're] complete with ciggie butts," he wrote, "Met will never be the same again."

Wish that were true, but despite the attention to detail, there's no indication that the toilets are functional, which seems like a missed opportunity. Making Anna Wintour and other fancy fashion show guests use a disgusting bathroom "complete with ciggie butts?" That would have easily justified the existence of the entire exhibition. Otherwise, this installation is either a diorama or, to entertain the high-concept possibilities, some sort of terrible, boring reference to Duchamp's Fountain, a way of claiming punk as a conceptual art or tying it to 20th century experimentation in anti-aesthetics. 

Another way this is a missed opportunity: As you might know, the former CBGB space is currently a John Varvatos boutique. Let's see what that bathroom looks like…

RelatedYou Know What's Not Punk?

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Cruzan Rum: “When You Hurry Through Life, You Just Get to the End Faster”

If you've ever wanted to escape your real life to be on a picturesque tropical island, isolated from all the pressures of contemporary society, Cruzan Rum is one way to get that dreamy Blue Lagoon experience — without the whole poisonous berries bit. 

With their video below, the brand invites you to tour The Don't Hurry, a magical place where every minute lasts 64 seconds, monkeys give deep-tissue massages and (spoiler!) Brooke Shields doesn't die in the end. 

Sponsored by Cruzan Rum

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Plus-Size Model Justine Legault Owns the Cover of Elle Quebec

There's always a small amount of buzz whenever a plus-sized model lands a fashion first. Excitement is mixed with the disbelief of naysayers who question whether anyone beyond a size 0 belongs in the industry. Boo-urns to them. Making baby steps this month, Elle Quebec is featuring their first plus-sive cover model, Justine Legault.

Joining the slow-blooming renaissance in plus-size modeling, Justine Legault is quickly taking the fashion world by storm with her  5'9" and a U.S. size 14/16 frame. But size aside, she's a real stunner with an admirable attitude to boot. Her pictorial has her suggestively flashing her thighs in a barely-there white shirt dress, blonde hair styled in natural waves, with a smouldering green-eyed stare popping from the page. In another photo she dons a coral colour dress with her hair slicked back and her bright lips daring to rival Georgia May Jagger.

A Quebec native, Justine — whose dream was once working behind the camera — was given her first break at the age of 20 by an agency looking for a plus-size girl. In her cover interview with the mag she recalls, "'At my first photo shoot, I remember hearing the photographer call my agent on the phone and say, 'Oh my god! We've got something here!'"

But the path to an Elle Quebec cover hasn't been easy and Justine has been dealt with fair portion of criticisms: "How many times have people told me during an audition: 'I don’t like your hair, I don’t like your teeth…?' I didn’t listen to those people and I continued to have confidence in myself. I prefer to remember compliments from people who like me how I am, and believe in me."

Still, she continues to break ground in the industry, all with a casual confidence and sense of humour. When asked about her beauty regime, she matter of factly replies, "My beauty regime is similar to that of other models. Except that I love a good meal and I eat very well!"

Images via Elle Quebec

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Arizona Muse for Estée Lauder’s New ‘Modern Muse’ Fragrance

“This is the most important fragrance moment we’ve had in a decade.”

— Jane Hertzmark Hudis, the global president of Estée Lauder

Image via FashionGoneRogue

In an effort to reclaim their fragrance legacy, cosmetics brand Estée Lauder is launching a new scent called "Modern Muse," their first new offering in the fragrance category since 2003. If I were a heritage brand with a weakness for facile puns and I was launching a new perfume with the word "Muse" in the title, I would probably do as Lauder did and pull model Arizona Muse to be the face of the campaign. The first glimpse, from the Craig McDean-lensed print ad, appeared in WWD today; a TV spot shot by Stuart Dryburgh is also in the works. 

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You Know What’s Not Punk?

The fashion industry. 

Honestly, I'm losing my mind trying to pretend this year's Costume Institute punk exhibit ("PUNK: Chaos to Couture") isn't really happening. I realize that I haven't yet seen the show and also that curator Andrew Bolton was aware of the complexities inherent to putting together a museum exhibition which essentially celebrates the way the fashion industry helped commerce appropriate and defang the punk subculture (or, as he puts it: "Although punk’s democracy stands in opposition to fashion’s autocracy, designers continue to appropriate punk’s aesthetic vocabulary to capture its youthful rebelliousness and aggressive forcefulness.”) — but the way the fashion Internet is vomiting up the word "punk" right now… it's giving me emotional problems. "I'll show you punk," I say as I punch my Apple computer in the face.

Even if the exhibit itself turns out to be thoughtful, all the hoopla surrounding the upcoming Met Ball ("fashion's Oscars") is anything but. In The New York Times, Eric Wilson reports that a lot of gala guests are having a hard time planning their outfits for the big event (because rich people don't actually want to look like crusty gutter punks, go figure): "Gill Linton, the chief executive of the site, said she suspects most guests will end up playing it safe, as in safety pins as accessories."

The problem is: safety pins were originally worn by punks in a utilitarian, non-decorative way — to hold tattered clothes together. Punks didn't want to spend money on clothing, in part because they were broke, in part because they objected to the fashion industry on principle and didn't want to feed it. Punk is anti-fashion at its core.

Look, I completely sympathize with anyone who wants to experiment with their look, express some hidden part of their personality, or just wear something fun — I just think that the best style is also substantive. 

Image via Getty

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Link Buzz: Karlie Kloss Covers 032c; See the Lancome by Alber Elbaz Collection

  • Karlie Kloss and her rippling (who knew?) abs cover one of 032c's three spring covers. [DesignScene]
  • 2012's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners have designed limited-edition pieces for J. Crew. I would be curious to see how they sell. [Fashionologie]
  • So many different ways to wear Balmain, let Nicole Richie and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley be your fearless guides. [FabSugar]
  • Gwyneth Paltrow wants her own talk show, reports one tabloid. I want a hat. [CelebDirtyLaundry]
  • Want to know who's going to the Met Ball? Some earlier reports have trickled in. [Fashionista]
  • Annnd here's an up-close-and-personal preview of Alber Elbaz's Lancome collection. [BellaSugar]

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