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Subcultures: Then and Now

Collage of images with different portraits.
Collage of images with different portraits.
Photography courtesy of Olivia Rose and 35mm Slides courtesy of Professor Amy de la Haye.

‘Subcultures: Then and Now’ is a research project exploring subcultural style and its impact on fashion, curation and culture.

Our starting point is 'Streetstyle', 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.

We encourage you to explore, be inspired and use our responses to spark your own.

Subcultures: Then

  • thenandnow-one.jpg
    The Rocker display from the ‘Streetstyle: From Sidewalk to Catwalk’ exhibition.
  • thenandnow-2.jpg
    Gathering information for the exhibition involved a “whole new way of collecting and we had to devise new strategies for doing it.”
  • thenandnow-3.jpg
    Specialist advisor (New Age Travellers) Sarah Callard in Brighton, 1993.
  • subscultures-4.jpg
    “First and foremost, I’m a skinhead”: John G. Byrne’s customised Levi’s jacket.
  • subcultures-5.jpg
    Acquiring a Teddy Boy suit for the exhibition was very difficult, revealing “the incredible poignancy these objects have.”
  • subcultures-6.jpg
    A New Age Traveller outfit worn by Fraggle with label waiting to be taken into the gallery and dressed.

Related document

Subcultures: Now

  • A girl putting on a jumper with 'Wu-Tang- logo
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    Slashie-style: portraits and conversations

    Photographer, director and artist Olivia Rose captures a series of portraits of individuals whose personal style demonstrates the hybridity and subjective meaning of contemporary streetstyle.

  • Close image of a necklace that reads
    Image by Amy de la Haye
    Streetstyle 25 podcasts

    A short podcast series featuring a diverse range of curators, students and artists sharing their stories and insights about fashion, style and subcultures.

  • Close up image of magazines and vintage photographs
    Image by Tory Turk
    Symposium - Streetstyle: 1994-Now  

    A symposium exploring historical and contemporary subcultural dress through image-making, identity and representation from curatorial, artistic and scholarly perspectives.