Over the course of 12 months the duo photographed over 60 sharply dressed individuals from across the UK, all of whom embody the essence of what it is to be a Rudeboy (or Rudie) in the 21st century, to document the life, style and attitude of this growing urban group. The curated collection of images showed the subjects presenting their pure and singular sartorial swagger in locations linked to the Rudeboy lifestyle, whether it be on the streets of Shoreditch or Savile Row.
The exhibition was an immersive experience of visuals and sounds, taking visitors into the worlds of today’s Rudeboys. Each of the subjects featured in the portraits provided their signature playlist, which is amalgamated along with curators’ and collaborators’ choices into a soundtrack to capture the spirit and soul of the Rudeboy, acting as a sonic backdrop to the visual works. Since grooming is integral to the Rudeboy routine, the space hosted a pop-up ‘grooming station’ where visitors could book appointments to get their hair cut or beard trimmed by a top Rudeboy barber. Working with artisan box maker Kitty Farrow and luggage manufacturer Alstermo, bespoke brief cases, hat boxes and luggage sets were made to show how this collective of individuals pays attention to detail in all aspects with their fashions.
In true Rudeboy style, Chalkley and Elliott collaborated closely with a variety of inspirational and influential creative minds to contribute exciting, engaging and enriching content to the exhibition. These include Rashad Smith, a British-born, New York-based producer who has worked with the likes of The Notorious B.I.G, Busta Rhymes and Nas; the Art Comes First creative collective founded by top travelling tailors Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh; and founding member of Big Audio Dynamite, Grammy award-winning filmmaker and international DJ Don Letts, a pillar of the punk and reggae scene who inspired a generation through his groundbreaking music, films and fashions.