captivating photos of vivienne westwood and johnny rotten during punk's 70s prime

Galleria Carla Sozzani explores the explosive beginnings of the London subculture — and its now-infamous key players — through over 90 captivating photographs.

by Hannah Ongley
09 June 2016, 7:30pm

Ray Stevenson, Soo Catwoman, 1976

As punk celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, expect to see plenty of tributes to the music, the fashion, and most importantly, the attitude. Milan's Galleria Carla Sozzani is giving a massive toast to the anti-establishment scene this month with an exhibition of nearly 100 photographs that name-check all the London subculture's legends. Most of the photographs are from the seminal year of 1976, when the Sex Pistols released "Anarchy in the UK," kids were dropping their savings on studded shirts from Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's SEX boutique, and Debbie Juvenile, Siouxsie Sioux, Simon Barker, and Soo Catwoman made up the so-called "Bromley Contingent" of rabid early Sex Pistols fans.

Simon Barker, Jordan and Siouxsie at St James Hotel, 1977

The iconic photographs were taken mainly by other OG punk insiders including Simon Barker and Sheila Rock. Their charismatic portraits will be complemented by collages and graphics by Jamie Reid, with a special section highlighting the videos and photos of John Tiberi. From slogan T-shirts and statement makeup to the filth and fashion of Westwood's legendary store on the King's Road, the result is a thrilling portrait of British punk at its explosive peak. 

Simon Barker, Debbie Juvenile, 1977

Sheila Rock, John Lydon in a Red Coat, 1978-79

Sheila Rock, Jordan outside of SEX, 1977

Ray Stevenson, Vivienne Westwood, 1976

Karen Knorr & Oliver Richon, Destroy, 1977

Dennis Morris, John Lydon, 1977

John Tiberi, Malcolm McLaren, 1978

John Tiberi, Soo Catwoman, 1978

Punk In Britain runs from from June 11 through August 28, 2016 at Galleria Carla Sozzani


Text Hannah Ongley
Images courtesy of Galleria Carla Sozzani

Vivienne Westwood
Sex pistols
Malcolm McLaren
john lydon
galleria carla sozzani
punk in britain
john tiberi
soo catwoman