At a time when the revival and re-interpretation of bygone trends and styles within architecture, music, and fashion had become pivotal in the way we communicate and express ourselves; the club scene is no exception. The resurgence of the Club Kids on the London party scene has not disappointed and a new generation (in an ode to self-expression) has arrived with guns blazing, to pay tribute to those daring, eccentrically clad individuals of times past.
Thursday 5th May saw the launch of New Club Kids the first book by Bulgarian born fashion photographer Oggy Yordanov, a regular contributor to WHAT?, who moved to London in early 2001. Yordanov is one who revels in the avant-garde and alternate beauty, who bases himself in London’s vibrant Soho district and here (camera in hand) began the rubbing of shoulders with the outlandish individuals that were reviving the London underground club scene.
This pictorial offering of over 300 photographs documents the revival of a subculture that many had forgotten (in some cases never heard of), and with a new generation of Club Kids taking up the reigns, emulating no other than people like: Steve Strange, Boy George, Leigh Bowery, Michael Aleg and James St. James (from the New York Club Kids), to mention but a few, Oggy manages to encapsulate the nature of these non-conformist individuals in a kaleidoscope of provocation.
England and especially London has always had a history of embracing the avant-garde and zany; far from giving themselves over to the conventionality of the then mainstream punk movement, the ethos of Club Kids was firmly established with the founding of the Blitz Club in London’s Covent Garden in 1979, under Steve Strange, and the ushering in of the New Romantics movement. Yordanov’s book offers a comprehensive introduction that documents the start of the New Romantics in the late 70’s with the Blitz Kids, whom in turn, inspired the original Club Kids of New York under the joint leadership of Michael Alig and James St. James from the Limelight Club.
The revival of the Club Kids movement here in London, throughout the noughties, is testament to the fact that here is where it all began. The new generation, reincarnations of the wearable art and dressers from Leigh Bowery’s Taboo era, have come into their own with nights like Nag Nag Nag at the Ghetto, Kashpoint, Jodie Harsh’s Circus, Boombox, the list is endless. These are featured in Yordanov’s book of portraits, celebrating the excesses of DIY fashion with double lashings of glitter, and the beauty of letting it all hang out (literally).
Book launch Thursday 5th May
14 Soho Street
New Club Kids By Oggy Yordanov is Published by Prestel available in all good book stores now £16.99