I’m actually not sure I buy that people chickened out of punk purely to avoid ridicule or looking overly costumey. Because plenty of people still looked costumey and ridiculous; just in the wrong way, which suggests that a lot of them already knew what larger-than-life silliness they wanted to wear (or in the designers’ case, what they wanted to showcase) and just didn’t care if it fit. For example, if the theme of the Met Ball had been “Cocktail and Cocktail Pajamas,” then this would’ve felt apt:

It’s ’80s, it’s insanely decadent, it feels like something an adult would wear to a party thrown by Prince that promises lots of pillow fights and maybe a tiger in a cage suspended over the center of the room, and I’m not entirely convinced it isn’t also a bathing-suit cover-up. But punk? Not to me., unless you consider that a show called Punky Brewster was on during that decade. That’s some pretty tenuous connective thread though — almost as thin as the Hefty shards creating the car washes on her feet.

[Photo: Getty]