Rip It Up: Brand New Punk



In many ways, punk music is ideally suited to the T-shirt (all that bopping around!), which is perhaps why the best concert gear comes out of the genre. The pithy messages and arresting images from punk are so hard to differentiate from the music itself, and the history of the t shirts is the history of the music and vice versa. This point was never clearer than last night at a party for vintage clothing impresario Ceasar Padilla’s new book Ripped: T-shirts From the Underground at the Acne store in Soho, which had been handsomely tailred to the occasion. Pabst Blue Ribbon was served. 

is a narrative historu of the punk movement told through photographs of concert T’s culled from Padilla’s copious T-shirt collection. Context for the images is provided by punk rock types like Thurston Moore and Lydia Lunch. Padilla is the owner ofNew York vintage clothing story Cherry, so finding the shirts wasn’t the problem. The real challenge was narrowing it down. Padilla shot 300 shirts but narrowed them down to 215.  He also tried to pick shirts were not totally overexposed.  “We love The Clash but we thought they had been represented in other books,” said Padlla. “This is the first book where you will get to see a Big Boys T-shirt.” Padilla’s favorite T shirt? A Shangri-Las chemise,  the band printed in their signature black vests and white shirts and the word “WAIL” written on the side. Padilla calls it “the beginning of punk rock.”