78-87 LONDON YOUTH.

Derek Ridger’s photo-book captures 10 years of London youth culture, focussing predominantly on the London club scene. Punks, glam, mods, skinheads, fetish… so much is represented and explored in this street style chronicle of the late 70s to late 80s.

This book not only documents the clothing, make-up, hair and styling choices of this era, it also acts as a looking-glass into the zeitgeist of the time. The young people in this book grew up in a time of financial and social hardship very similar to that faced by the youth of today and, funnily enough, just as the economy has come full circle so has fashion. Many of the outfits featured wouldn’t be considered out of place at London Fashion Week now, and there are some that would easily look at home on the contemporary London street.

Ridger’s photographs have a delicious rawness to them that reflect the confident, insecure, care-free, troubled and generally conflicted nature of youth. There is more to learn about 70s and 80s dress in this book than could be gleaned from any ‘history of fashion book.’ Nowhere else will you find  truer representation (particularly of underground) youth culture from this era.  Fantastic.

Written by Francesca Bassenger. Image courtesy of Abrams & Chronicle.