As London Collections Men kicks off last weekend, Paul Smith and the British Fashion Council celebrated the 40th anniversary of punk with Derek Ridgers' photographs
Any culture kid worth his or her salt would know that punk is more than just the music — it's a form of self-expression. To launch London Collections Men, British designer Paul Smith instilled this importance of self-expression with an exhibition at his Mayfair store. While the posh surrounds of London's Mayfair enclave possess a stark contrast to all that is punk, the exhibition of photographs by Englishman Derek Ridgers didn't look entirely out of place.
Frozen in time were portraits of punk personalities such as Debbie Harry, Siouxsie from Siouxsie & The Banshees, Jordan (an anti-heroine who performed with The Ants) and other strangers who roamed nightclubs such as Vortex and The Marquee Club. Ridgers also shared snippets of his subjects' stories on Paul Smith Design's Instagram — Tampax, as one punk was known as, seemingly received her moniker because she wore one Tampax as an earring.
Ridgers' photographs are taken from Punk London 1977, his new book that launched together with the exhibition. In his lengthy career, he's captured the lives of skinheads, punks, New Romantics and other British subcultures, and is known for his portraits of The Spice Girls, Clint Eastwood, Johnny Depp and Vivienne Westwood. With this book, Ridgers once again celebrates the '70s punk scene in all its rawness.
Derek Ridgers, 'Punk London 1977' is held at Paul Smith No. 9 Albemarle Street, London. Closing today.