For fashion’s enfant terrible, Johnson Hartig, punk is a state of mind. While tons of purists would consider fashion week, and fashion in general, the ultimate deception, with Libertine, Hartig proves that punk is what you make it. The designer fuses the quintessential DIY ethos with a resistant spirit, combining countless inspirations to create all-over-the-place ready-to-wear. This season alone, Hartig was inspired by Romanian gypsies, Robert Byrne’s poetry, Ann Getty’s interiors and fast music. This hodge-podge resulted in sensory overload—in a good way, because at the heart of what Hartig does is a fuck you to the rules.
“For me, punk means rebellion,” says the designer. “It means creativity and it means doing it yourself. Punk is rising up and standing up, being contrary and not having any money but still doing amazing things. But more than anything, it means freedom.”
Velvet, knit, sequins, fringe—nothing is off limits when it comes to creating a Libertine collection. This season, the the collection showcased both Hartig’s design ability and amphetamine logic, joining fabrics, colors, prints and shapes that should never go together, but seamlessly do. The Libertine world is full of contradiction and energy, a provocateur in an industry of compromise and consumer interest. If fashion really does mean selling out, than Libertine is as punk as it gets because Hartig doesn’t have to answer to anyone.