This Summer, a manifesto for refined style and attitude is presented at Somerset House, with the ‘Return Of The Rudeboy’ exhibition. A showcase, my dear friends, which celebrates the sartorial subculture of the 1960’s rudeboy, to todays evolved version.
Casting my mind back to the swinging sixties, when I was gracing the windows of Biba and Mary Quant and socialising with the likes of David Bailey, it was a revolutionary decade which has proven influential to todays society. Whether you were a mod, rocker or swinging socialite like me, or indeed a Rudeboy, it is evident that the style of that era has filtered down to todays young urban fashionistas. Shown through a series of photographs at the Return Of The Rudeboy exhibition, over 60 dapper looking individuals from across the UK have been captured, all whom embody the essence of what it is to be a Rudeboy in the 21st century.
Although, in order to be a Rudeboy or ‘Rudie’ there are no particular style rules as such, there is however a certain level of attitude. According to Kervin Marc (fashion designer) “Rudeboy is an attitude – once you have attitude everything you do, say or wear is Rudeboy!” But notably there is an apparent look – sharply dressed, perhaps a tailored suit, an injection of rich pattern and a pop of colour, a statement hat, always of course, underpinned with laid back, uber-cool character. While the exhibition predominantly focuses on the modern day Rudeboy, it doesn’t disregard the heritage. A number of bustforms showcase outfits which would have been worn at that time, backed up by the obligatory soundtrack of Ska, 2 Tone and reggae. In addition to images, playlists and ensembles, there is a pop-up grooming salon where chaps can have a shave and cut on select days.
Adding to the charm of this exhibition, I had the pleasure of meeting a West Indian couple who lived in South London, during the Rudeboy period. They danced together whilst Ska music played, and smiled while reliving their youth, and went on to tell me how every Friday night they would all attend a local dance club, and everybody had to ‘dress to impress’.
Return Of The Rudeboy is free admission at Somerset House, London until the 25th August. So, put on your Sunday best and get down there to show off your sartorial swagger!
For more information please see link below.