Youth Fashion: Ever Emerging

Dazed and Conufused have recently written an article on Berlin-based British filmmaker Matt Lambert as he begins to create a fantastic body of video surrounding fashion and its relationship as an integral ingredient to youth culture. The idea behind his work inspires us to have a think about our own archive and the way fashion has driven youth expression in a way like no other. Check out the video here.

Rocker at the Ace Cafe re-union Croydon London UK 1990's © Simon Buckle/PYMCA

Rocker at the Ace Cafe re-union Croydon London UK 1990’s © Simon Buckle/PYMCA

At PYMCA our breadth of imagery documents both the darkest and brightest corners of society and youth culture, really examining the many societal, political and psychological boundaries that ‘youth’ infliltrates. Matt Lambert’s work is beginning to shed a new light on the way we perceive fashion in society particularly in relation to youth and a now given sense of personal style. His video provides a refreshing approach to the formulaic world of fashion photography and seem to reveal a glipse into the  intimacy of the wearer.

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Two twins, Chuka & Dubem, in Ska, Rude boy styles, London 1981 © Janette Beckman/PYMCA

Never merely a materialistic commodity, fashion has played an integral role in the pure essence of youth culture emerging from a post-war world. The very liberty of self expression has informed and dominated modern society proving both burdensome and invigorating –  allowing youth to exploit the contextual medley of media to reproduce and appropriate style throughout history without the constraints of a pre-war predominantly religious society. With the new romantics harking back to the regal flamboyance of the 17th century, and the punks metaphorically setting fire to any traceable reference, youth culture has seen an explosive and stubbornly progressive path over recent years.

New Age Traveller with blue extensions and tie-dye clothing, London 1980's © Ted Polhemus/PYMCA

New Age Traveller with blue extensions and tie-dye clothing, London 1980’s © Ted Polhemus/PYMCA

St. Moritz club. Stevie Stewart and Robert Elms. 1980. © Graham Smith/PYMCA

St. Moritz club. Stevie Stewart and Robert Elms. 1980. © Graham Smith/PYMCA

As our archive continues to increase, the complex jigsaw of youth culture continues to grow, providing an ever broader insight into the real foundations of our zeitgeist. Current mass growth both economically and socially in Asia and Africa anticipates a boom in newly emerging youth groups overseas and at PYMCA we expect to see a fantastic cultural cauldron over the next few years. Exciting times for youth culture.  What do you think will be next?

Two young girls dressed in Hello Kitty merchandise, Tokyo, Japan, 2000. ©Ben Knight/PYMCA

Two young girls dressed in Hello Kitty merchandise, Tokyo, Japan, 2000. ©Ben Knight/PYMCA

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