The range of punk aesthetics is pretty firmly rooted in the brain of any fan, even for the most hopeless of fashion victims. The era just after its zeitgeist however is much hazier—we seem to recall only a loose amalgam of New Wave and post-punk bric-a-brac. Indeed subculture fashion became more diffuse, meandering and harder to pin down, but Derek Ridgers’ new book, 78-87 London Youth is a great photo account of a rich and creative time for underground style that often goes overlooked in the shadow of its (ironically) more uniform punk predecessor.
There’s a few famous faces, including a cherubic Hamish Bowles, but it’s largely anonymous faces that entrance you. You see proto-club kids, luxury goth, high femme skinheads, Norma Desmond-David Bowie hybrids and (my personal favorite) the New Romantic style virtually unknown in the US, but for Boy George and that dashing post-apocalyptic gentleman, Adam Ant. Can we have a comeback? I think I still have my marching band uniform jacket from high school!
Leicester Square, 1982
Hamish Bowles at Café De Paris, 1986
Joshua, Camden Place, 1982
More photos after the jump…