Congratulations to Harris Elliott who has been secret squirrelling on a sartorial quest for the last year to curate a "Return of The RudeBoy" exhibition for Somerset House. Last evening the sun drenched Thames terrace opened it's doors to the private view with a crowd of the best dressed, dandiest crowd that I have had the pleasure to witness. From original Four Aces Dancehall DJ Newton Dunbar to the Don, Don Letts to Pauline Black representing for the Rude Girls......... everyone was out in attendance to celebrate this crucial work.
Harris has collaborated with photographer Dean Chalkley to document the current incarnation of the "Rude Boy" style by shooting portraits of sixty characters who embody the spirit and swagger. A few faces familiar to this blog are part of this family tree network of natty dressers and devilishly dashing dancers including La Touche, Nigel Ruwende, Leyman Lahcine, and Seye Adelekan. All of these hat-doning gents will be glad to discover the exquisite leather bound hat-boxes made for the exhibition by Kitty Farrow which are shown alongside grooming kits and affiliated paraphernalia in the integrated props and set. There is even a functioning barber's salon installed offering an on-site service to smarten you up on your way round the show! Everything is covered from top to toe. The footwear Harris commissioned from Mr.Hare has been customised by stylist Barry Kamen - two of which you can see here.
The show is in perfect timing for LCM which starts tomorrow evening, when the International Menswear press and buyers will visit London for the city's burgeoning industry and scene. One of my favourite things about the week is actually checking out the street-style of the rare breed of RudeBoy dandys who venture out for only these days of the year................ now they have been immortalised for all to see and study in this project. I'm so glad that this movement has been acknowledged and given its own space to shine, cause a stir and stir it up!!!