DJ, culture journalist, fashion obsessive and author Robert Elms is releasing his critically acclaimed The Way We Wore: A Life In Threads as an ebook through Autharium on July 31 2014.
The Way We Wore is a brilliant piece of memoir writing from a London lad, born and bred, whose formative years were defined not only by his environment and his musical taste, but also by his clothes. If London shaped Robert and his cohorts, clothes were their way of displaying who they were, where they lived, what music they listened to and much more.
To celebrate the release of The Way We Wore’s ebook edition, we grabbed a cup of coffee with Robert and asked him a few questions about the book, his approach to writing and about himself. Here, in the first instalment of three, we get to grips with The Way We Wore. asking questions about the gangs and hippies mentioned in the book, class, rave and the destruction of individualism in fashion.
Read the interview below and visit the links at the bottom of the page to buy The Way We Wore and visit Robert Elms’ profile on Autharium. You’re also a click away from Robert’s official blog, Facebook pages (for himself and the book) and his Twitter account. For now, enjoy the interview and look out for parts two and three in the very near future.
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1. You talk about gangs in your childhood. How did they use fashion to differentiate themselves, and why do you think they chose those styles?
I think of my youth as an almost perpetual series of style wars. There was plenty of proper punch-ups, but the real weapon of choice for working class teenage boys back then was clothing. Each individual tried to outdo the other by having the latest and greatest gear, the right labels (Ben Sherman, Solatio, Levi’s, Crombie etc.) but also the best combo. But there was also a collective battle going on. You represented your area or estate, e.g. Burnt Oak wanted to dress better than Kilburn or Camden, and also your football team. The terraces were a fashion catwalk and battleground. Continue reading