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August 1 2014

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Paint It Punk

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Known for her candy-hued 1960s aesthetic, Lisa Perry is not a “punk” chick. So the theme of next week’s Met Ball—Punk: Chaos to Couture—posed a bit of a problem. “My first reaction was, ‘Oh no, what am I possibly going to do for punk? It’s so not my thing. I am so not a spikes girl,’” Perry told Style.com. The answer, she explained, revealed itself during a serendipitous trip to Brooklyn. “I was driving along, and I saw some graffiti, and I thought, I’m going to spray-paint a dress!” The lightbulb moment not only inspired the creation of her daughter’s Met frock (Perry herself opted for a black column gown with leather accents) but also a five-piece capsule collection (below) and window installation that will arrive at her Madison Avenue boutique on May 6.

“Graffiti ties back to my love of art,” said Perry, whose past collections have nodded to Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Jeff Koons. “It just connects everything.” Perry invited Style.com to witness the birth of her pop-meets-punk experiment. On the roof of her Sutton Place apartment, the designer was armed with a drop cloth and no fewer than two dozen cans of spray paint. She stepped gamely out of her Manolo pumps and, with a real DIY spirit, got to work. The resulting party frock is a brightly colored tribute to street art, with a few rebellious, albeit playful, undertones.

Perry also served up some veteran’s advice to first-time Met Ball attendees. “The frightening part is getting through the red carpet! Once you get to the top, it’s the most incredible spectacle. You don’t know where to look first. It’s just a magical, magical event.”

Lisa Perry is located at 988 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075; (212) 431-7467.

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