78-87 London Youth By Derek Ridgers

A visual document of London's subcultures.

En route to the V&A or scrolling through your Insta feed, chances are one way or another you’ll have caught sight of the posters. Large scale photographs of London’s youth from the late 70s through to the 80s, beaming from Exhibition Road’s pedestrian tunnel.

Finally released as a real hold-in-your-hands object, Derek Ridgers’ new book ’78-87’ casts a voyeuristic eye on nightclub visions of old. From punk to the New Romantics and acid house, the social scenes that have enchanted the city’s young are all well documented.

Spanning nearly a decade of subculture, the figures featured in the book stray beyond the loud and proud, instead showcasing a mix of both well known and background faces, such was Ridgers’ eagerness to capture genuine interaction.

It’s an era well tread and a story told before, but the significance of the dates featured in the book continue to capture people’s attention and inspire discussion – as the current Club to Catwalk exhibition has displayed.

More than a coffee table prop, Ridgers’ visual account is one ticket we’ve been waiting for.



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