Joe Corré burns £5m of punk memorabilia in protest

Lauretta Roberts
28 November 2016

Vivienne Westwood's son Joe Corré has carried out his plan to burn £5m worth of punk memorabilia, including some of his mother's early designs, in protest at the commercialisation of punk as the movement marks its 40th anniversary.

Corré, who was a co-founder of luxury lingerie brand Agent Provocateur and is now brand director of cosmetics label Illamasqua, set fire to the artefacts on board a ex-Navy minesweeper ship docked in Chelsea at the weekend.

The protest, which was being filmed and is being made into a documentary by Octopus TV, was watched by around 200 supporters and live-streamed on the internet.

Corré, who is the son of Westwood and punk impresario Malcolm Maclaren, burned items including a bondage jacket worn by his mother at the height of punk, a Sid Vicious doll from 1980 and Johnny Rotten’s trousers. He has been infuriated by what he sees as the highjacking of the punk legacy by corporations to sell more products and he also wanted to use the opportunity to draw attention to climate change.

Before setting fire to the items he addressed those who questioned why he would set alight items of such value. "Some people are very concerned about the price of these artefacts but the conversation we need to have is about values. Punk provided an opportunity for the no future generation of the 1970s to create a way out of it, not trusting the media, not trusting the politicians, investigating the truth for yourself, DIY," he said.


The memorabilia is burnt

"Punk was never, never meant to be nostalgic and you can't learn how to be one at a Museum of London workshop. Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don't need, the illusion of an alternative choice, conformity in another uniform. If you want to understand the potent values of punk, confront taboos, do not tolerate hypocrisy, investigate the truth for yourself," he added.

Before starting the fire Corré pointed to a map which showed around 50% of the world becoming uninhabitable due to global warming. "If you're worried about immigration, you better get worried about climate change," he said.

Youtube footage: courtesy of Octopus TV Ltd

Images: @realjoecorre Twitter

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