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New Book Captures Fashion and Beauty of 1970s Female Rockers

Punk fashion and beauty is explored in a new book, “Untypical Girls”.

If you were fortunate enough to experience the 1970s, you might remember the rise of the punk era which began on the West Coast of the U.S. and migrated to Great Britain.

The punk movement was known for its definitive makeup and fashion: thick, black eyeliner, outlandish hairstyles, and lots of makeup made these women controversial for their time. And now a new book, “Untypical Girls”, by Sam Knee explores these princesses of punk.


Punk was once considered a controversial fashion, beauty, and political statement that splashed onto the music scene in the 1970s. With what was considered outlandish hair, makeup, and clothing, band members attracted more than their fair share of attention almost 40 years ago.

Vintage photographs taken during this time capture punk rockers such as Debsey Wykes from Dolly Mixture, Joan Jett, and The Bangles among others.


And by viewing these images, you can see how later musicians such as Madonna, Courtney Love, and Lady Gaga have drawn inspiration from these earlier artists.

Author Knee said, “Girls have been involved in bands and music from the very inception of pop music, but it was only with the advent of punk that this involvement became more than a surface presence. With a newfound sense of liberation, the untypical girls of the late ’70s defiantly dictated the terms of participation, flaunting the deep-rooted chauvinism within the industry and society at large to speak out on equal terms and take control of their own musical destiny.”


He went on to explain, “Untypical Girls sets out to excavate the roots of what is now universally known as indie girl style, traversing the journey from its punk genesis through the myriad eighties and early nineties indie scenes; post-punk, paisley underground, C86, shoegaze, college rock and grunge; finally culminating in riot grrrl. I’ve chosen a pathway that follows a transatlantic parallel between the British indie scenes and those of the USA. This captures the back and forth artistic exchange across the continents and also my personal life journey.”


These young women helped pave the way for future women artists to be taken seriously in the music industry. And who knows, some of your own beauty and fashion styles might be influenced by these Princesses of Punk!



Raya Ferguson, Running Towards Her Dreams




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