Return of the Rudeboy
I like going to visit exhibitions, so when I heard about the Return of the Rudeboy at Somerset House way back at the start of the summer, I knew I was going to have to take a trip down
Before I went I’d already seen some great reviews from the likes of GQ and The Guardian so I couldn’t wait to go and see it. Created by Dean Chalkley and Harris Elliott, the exhibition showcased a particular type of sartorial, the ‘Rudeboy’. The exhibition included a number of portraits, outfits, props and music that immersed me and everyone else that has visited the showcase in the 60s era.
“Rudeboy is an attitude – once you have that attitude everything you do, say or wear is Rudeboy!” – Kevin Marc
Over 60 photographs were at the exhibition and each person photographed has their own unique style, a detail that makes their style different from the next Rudeboy. Details such as a sharp tweed suit being paired with a trilby hat, paisley patterned trousers, a clever use of bold colour, or someone who is able to elegantly layer his attire. A Rudeboy - or in some cases Rudegirl - has that standout edge.
So what makes someone a Rudeboy? Born in Jamaica and then reintroduced through the mod and 2 Tone subculture, Dean Chalkley says, “To describe someone as a Rudeboy not only defined the way they dressed, had their hair styled and danced, but also brought with it all manner of assumptions and cultural signifiers.”
From the exhibition I got the feeling of it being one thing to wear the outfit, but another to wear them proudly, with an attitude, and of course being individual to oneself. You can tell from the photos that these Rudeboys and Rudegirls do not follow fashion, but are purveyors of it.
Return of the Rudeboy has inspired me to always try and give my own outfits that edge, something I think we should all aim to do. What do you have in your wardrobe that you could give the Rudeboy edge to?