The exhibition Streetstyle: From Teddy Boys to Grime Kids explores the evolution of subcultures through a contemporary lens with a journey through a range of media, subcultural styles and the underground scenes that have shaped wider culture. Curated by London College of Fashion alumna Tory Turk (MA Fashion Curation) the exhibition is part of a research project Subcultures: Then and Now exploring subcultural style and its impact on fashion, curation and culture.

Our starting point is Streetstyle: from Sidewalk to Catwalk, the groundbreaking exhibition held at the V&A in 1994, curated by Amy de la Haye, Cathie Dingwall and Ted Polhemus. On its 25th anniversary, we’re looking back and considering subcultures now: how we research them, document them and seek to understand their significance in contemporary culture.

Streetstyle: From Teddy Boys to Grime Kids is on display at Trinity Art Gallery 15 November – 7 December 2019, explores some of the ground breaking curatorial methods used in the earlier exhibition and reimagines them 25 years on using Grime as a modern-day equivalent.

Piles of subcultural clothes on the floor with several garments hanging up on display
The Grime display commissioned for the exhibition as an example of a contemporary subculture display

Hosted in east London, the birth place of Grime, the exhibition will feature rare content from personal archives including notes from the original exhibition’s Skinheads display, Zandra Rhodes’ Conceptual Chic collection (1977) and Fiona Cartledge’s Sign of the Times archive, as well as exclusive visuals which capture the essence of Grime.

Vitrine with paper ephemera and with skinhead jacket on display on the wall
The research section of the exhibition using the skinhead display as a case study
Shaun Cole's research for the 1994 skinhead display including a call-out for skinhead garments in The Skinhead Times
Shaun Cole’s research for the 1994 skinhead display including a call-out for skinhead garments in The Skinhead Times
The 'spaceman' jacket suspended on mannequin torso made by Sign of the Times,
The ‘spaceman’ jacket made by Sign of the Times, one of the very few boutiques that sold clubwear (covering a range of subcultures) in the 1990s
2 mannequins dressed in long dresses in pink and black respectively. One with full face hood
Zandra Rhodes’
Conceptual Chic Collection of 1977-8, which came from London street culture and the punk movement at the time.
1980s adidas superstar trainers, tongues out, held with chains
1980s adidas superstars styled as they would have been worn by an ‘old-skool b-boy’ for the 1994 exhibition

The project continues to develop through a series of exhibitions, podcasts and events. Here’s a podcast with curators Amy de la Haye, Roger Burton and Tory Turk talking about their experience of curating fashion exhibitions. Amy and Roger were both key curators of Streetstyle at the V&A and we learn how they created this ground-breaking exhibition and its continued impact on contemporary fashion exhibitions.

For more podcasts, imagery and information visit the Subcultures then and now project page where we looking back and consider subcultures now: how we research them, document them and seek to understand their significance in contemporary culture.