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What we’ve been up to… Ruffnecks, Rudeboys and Rollups exhibition, 5th Base Gallery

The 90s is an era that refuses to be forgotten.   It lives on in every kid that struts along Shoreditch High street with a towering high top fade, the crews getting from A to B on their skateboards and the fashionistas digging out their dungarees whenever we hit the spring and summer season.  And judging by the 2.6k Facebookers that RSVP’d  to Ruffnecks, Rudeboys and Rollups this weekend, it’s an era we don’t want to forget.

This vibrant retrospective of streetwear  and everything in between from 1989-2001 honoured the years Black Britons  carved their own identities through the way they wore their clothes.   Much of this could be seen in photos of children,  teens or artists such as London Posse staring proudly or defiantly at the camera in a uniform made of up of either loud and bright colours, Clark boots, Air Force ones or pinrolled jeans.  Elsewhere, references to EPMD,  Soul II Soul, Kid N Play comic books and  Streetfighter were reminders of entertainment’s influence in all of this – and a longer or bigger  exhibition might have had the opportunity to explore this further.  But what it achieved in a weekend is still applaudable – the recognition of a subculture that continues to inspire, and is hard not to love.


Check out the TCé snapshot from our recent visit:

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