Lynne and Penny at home in Kingston, March 1981.
In the early 1980s, photographer Anita Corbin documented the “informal uniforms” of young women’s subcultures across London. Corbin photographed rude girls, rockabillies, mods, skinheads, and some “less defined” female groups including soul, rasta, punk and futurist, as well as those involved “in and around the women’s liberation movement.” Her photographs were exhibited in a traveling exhibition organized by the Cockpit Gallery Project called Visible Girls in 1981.
In her introduction to the Visible Girls exhibition, Corbin wrote:
In this project I turned my attention to more personal visual details and I became increasingly interested in the effect appearences have on everybody’s lives.
The way we use dress as a means of communication/identification and how it can both inform and misinform us.
I have chosen to focus on girls, not the boys (where present) were any less stylish, but because girls in “subcultures” have been largely ignored or when referred to, only as male appendages.
Corbin discovered that for these young women belonging to a subculture was not just a weekend hobby but a whole way of life.
More than thirty years later, Anita Corbin has reconnected with some of the women in her photographs, but would like to contact them all, if possible. If you recognize yourself or any of these women, then you can contact Anita here.
Kath and Em, at home in Putney, October 1980.
Simeon and Simeon, at the Orchard Youth Club, Slough, March 1981.
Charmine and Janice, at the Orchard Youth Club, Slough, March 1981.
Rockabilly girls, at Shades, Manor House, February 1981.
Titch and Sylvia at home in Sudbury, March 1981.
At the Marquee club, December 1980.
With thanks to Elizabeth Veldon, via Buzzfeed.
More of Anita Corbin’s ‘Visible Girls,’ after the jump….