The legendary British photographer Derek Ridgers is renowned for his gritty work documenting London youth culture, with a focus on alternative clubs and the outré ensembles worn by people who frequented them. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was the punk and Blitz Kid movements that were his subjects, often snapped on a second-hand Nikkormat camera, the flash attached via a makeshift bracket.
He would also visit fetish clubs, documenting Soho’s latex-clad underbelly. During this era, Ridgers developed a friendship with musician Nick Cave, whose raven mane, enticingly pallid complexion, slick suiting and patterned shirts unbuttoned to the extreme would go on to become a long-standing subject of his portraiture. This month, limited-edition publisher Burning Book Press releases a book of his work entitled …grace.
Featuring material taken from four shoots with Cave from the years 1984, 1989, 1992 and 1997, it showcases the singer’s iconic looks from his transition after the break-up of post-punk band the Birthday Party to the global success of the Bad Seeds. Gathered from slides and film negatives that were rediscovered during the process of organising Ridgers’ extensive archives, many of the images have never been seen before. Dreamed up by book designer Danny Flynn, each limited edition is housed in its own slipcase, cloth-bound in matching blue with the gold-foiled dates of each year’s shoot. With only 1,000 copies made, you’ll want this book to fall straight into your arms, as an integral part of your wardrobe inspo.
Out now, £600 (burningbookpress.co.uk)