Yis Kid is quick to add that the photos are less about youth style than they are underground culture – which just so happens to involve a lot of, er, youth style. “In contrast to mainstream youth culture and style, people in the underground scene dress in ways that deviate from and often run counter to current fashion trends.”
’Kid’s got a point. It’s not everyday you see a top made of paint, eh? But a lot of the styles he’s captured are, on the whole, reflective of the under-25 partiers lining London’s high streets. Compared to, say, a decade ago when the Y2K resurgence started picking up, youth are now indulging in fluorescent eyeshadow, skin on show and boys in skirts.
“The way of dressing is a reflection of the attitude,” he says. “People use fashion as a way to rebel against social conventions, rejecting long-accepted fashions or styles.”
Calling London’s underground techno community “one big family,” the photographer is keen to point out that the scene isn’t exclusive – irregardless of your threads or, presumably, moves. “Everyone is welcome as long as they respect others,” he says.
But, like other nightlife scenes (last year, around 10 UK clubs closed each month), the capital’s is suffering from venue closures and high ticket prices. This is partly a pandemic hangover, but also due to a cost-of-living crisis that’s forcing pubs and clubs to hike prices up to stay afloat, or close altogether due to insurmountable costs.
“Here in London the only club I regularly go to is Fold,” says Yis Kid of the East London venue. “It’s the only one that meets my expectations of what an ‘authentic’ techno club and community is.”
And when we lose clubs, we lose more than a party destination. Like all great nightlife, there’s a point to the hedonism. As Yis Kid puts, if we do say so ourselves, beautifully: “People feel free in these spaces when they cannot in their day-to-day life.”