Originating from the streets of Kingston, Jamaica in the late 1950s, Rudeboy or Rudie came to represent the young rebels who wore distinctively sharp sartorial styles such as Mohair suits, thin ties and pork pie hats. The style was closely connected to the music movements of the time; their initial inspiration derived from American Jazz and R&B musicians as well as some notorious gangsters. As is prevalent in the Rudeboy culture, the origins were appropriated and then twisted. The Rudeboy has travelled through time since then and evolved; in the 1980s, Two-Tone brought it right back into the frame. Now today’s young men and women have adopted the swagger and adapted the essence of the original Rudeboy but for a 21st century generation.
This year sees the ‘Return of the Rudeboy’ exhibition encapsulated into a beautifully printed 128-page hard cover book.
Containing unseen images, essays on Rudeboy heritage and culture as well as references to the curated spaces at the Somerset House exhibition; Return of the Rudeboy. Created and curated by prolific photographer and filmmaker for music’s most wanted Dean Chalkley and fashion-industry favourite creative director Harris Elliott, Return of the Rudeboy showcased a sartorial subculture through a series of portraits, installations and set pieces.
Over the course of a year the duo photographed over 60 sharply dressed individuals from across the UK, all of whom embody the essence of what it is to be a Rudeboy (or Rudie) in the 21st century.
The curated collection of images shows the subjects presenting their pure and singular sartorial swagger in locations linked to the Rudeboy lifestyle, whether it be on the streets of Shoreditch or Savile Row.
Published by Self Published, 128 pgs, 23.5 × 30.5 cm, Hardcover, 2015, 9780993201103