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Shirt

Shirt

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1970 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Brutus Trimfit (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Poly-cotton

  • Museum number:

    T.589-1994

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This outfit was worn in the 1970s by the skinhead photographer John G Byrne, who has been a skinhead since 1971. This outfit was displayed in the V&A's Streetstyle exhibition of 1994 to represent 1970s skinhead clothing. At the time of the exhibition, Mr Byrne told the press:

"'I was only eleven when I first became interested in skinheads and I was about twelve when I really became part of it. Skinheads liked being tidy and clean, everything had to be just right; half-inch turn-ups, half-inch braces. I liked the reggae music that early skinheads were into. I used to go to a club called Mr Bee's in Peckham where they played reggae and soul. The club was always full of black Jamaicans - I used to go with my friends and people were always really friendly. There wasn't trouble, like people always say.'"
(Interview with the donor by Sarah Callard for The Independent, Saturday 25 September 1994)

Physical description

Poly-cotton red and white gingham shirt.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1970 (made)

Artist/maker

Brutus Trimfit (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Poly-cotton

Object history note

Part of a skinhead outfit (T.586 to 590-1994) put together and worn by John G Bryne, who first became a skinhead at the age of 12 in 1971, and was still following the style when this outfit was displayed at the V&A. All the elements of the outfit were purchased in Brighton, where John G Byrne lives.

"'I was only eleven when I first became interested in skinheads and I was about twelve when I really became part of it,' explains John G Byrne, a gay skinhead living in Brighton. [...] 'Skinheads liked being tidy and clean, everything had to be just right; half-inch turn-ups, half-inch braces,' he says. It figures that the early Skinheads inherited this attention to detail from their subcultural predecessors, the mods. They also shared some of same taste in music, 'I liked the reggae music that early skinheads were into. I used to go to a club called Mr Bee's in Peckham where they played reggae and soul. The club was always full of black Jamaicans - I used to go with my friends and people were always really friendly. There wasn't trouble, like people always say.'"

(John G Byrne, interviewed by Sarah Callard for "The British supermarket of style", published in The Independent, Saturday 25 September 1994)

Purchased. Registered File number 1994/1208.

Descriptive line

Shirt, poly-cotton, Brutus Trimfit, Great Britain, 1970; part of Skinhead outfit UK 1971.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

De La Haye, Amy and Cathie Dingwall, eds. Surfers Soulies Skinheads & Skaters: Subcultural Style from the Forties to the Nineties. London: Victoria and Albert Publications, 1996.

Materials

Polyester cotton

Subjects depicted

Chequer-work

Categories

Men's clothes; Fashion; Gender and Sexuality

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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