The Noughties saw the return of a forgotten subculture in London’s club scene. Based heavily in the notion of ‘self-expression’, the new Club Kids movement can be traced back to London’s Blitz Kids with Adam Ant, Steve Strange and Siouxsie Sioux among others, as the face of Covent Garden nightclub, Blitz in the 80s and 90s. They in turn inspired the original Club Kids of New York City headed by Michael Alig and James St. James around the same time. Embracing the same outlandish ideologies and dress sense, the new generation of Club Kids have revived the underground club scene in an excess of DIY fashion and wearable art.
Difficult to miss, this kaleidoscope crowd caught the attention of London based fashion photographer and filmmaker, Oggy Yordanov. His blog and his new book, New Club Kids: London Party Fashion in the Noughties, documents in detail Oggy’s fascination with the non-conformist, colourful beauty of these individuals.
The original New York City Club Kids
What encouraged you to start blogging?
It's interesting that it was the book that actually became the reason for the blog. When I started selecting the photographs and work on the layout, it was decided that only the parties will be listed and no names, mainly because there are some people who wouldn't want to be named or recognised for a number of reasons. On the other hand, there are many who would be more than happy to be known and those are featured on the blog regularly. Also, many people were asking me "what is a club-kid?" when I mentioned the book, so it felt necessary to run the blog and try to explain that.
What drew you to focus on the Club Kids of London?
I love colourful people, creative and weird, the crazier the better. It’s an inspiration for me and all those pictures I have done for fun, for me, never as a job. I party a lot and I usually have a camera in hand just to make sure I don't miss a unique moment.
Whose style inspires you?
All of them, seriously, I like people who go to extremes to stand out and I admire the guts they have. I can't do that.
Are there other photographers whose work you admire?
Oh of course, lots. I have a dozen favourites - Horst P Horst, Herb Ritts, Steven Klein, Nick Knight, Guy Bourdin, the list goes on.
Today pretty much anything goes fashion-wise, but is there an item of clothing that can still make or break an outfit?
That would be shoes. Even if fierce, if you don't match them with the right style outfit, they can make it look tacky or sometimes help a boring outfit stand out if they're a statement.
Are you interested in any other fashion subcultures?
I am very much drawn to the fetish and latex scene, also the rockabillies with all the tattoos and headscarves.
Do you think with the release of this book that it could turn these Kids from being ‘underground’ to ‘overground’? Is that something you’d like to see happen, for it to become mainstream and out of London?
I would hate it to be too mainstream as that means it will probably end up looking like a costume-party style, it's not something that everyone can do well. I would love to see it happening in other places in the world though, but of course it will be picked-up by likeminded people, not just Lady Gaga copycats.
What’s next for you after the book?
I am currently working on a few fashion film projects, just finished my second one (Regarde-moi) and I'm working on my next exhibition (The Long Wait) which should be later in the year. It's a series of portraits done in the old technique of light painting. It's all very dark and weird, just as I like it.
Oggy’s blog, where to purchase the book and details of his book launch this Thursday 5 May can all be found here.