Oftentimes an unapologetic cynic, I always claimed Dubliners’ recent interest in keeping abreast of international fashion goings-on, changing aesthetics and rising/falling hemlines was a result of the Celtic Tiger-related influx of wealth (yes, you can be creative and look great on a budget but, generally, fashion and sizeable funds go hand-in-hand) and, to an extent, a proliferation of fashion-related images through the internet.
Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. Dubliners have been stylin’ and documenting their efforts for well over a century and a newly published book by Garry O’ Neill sets out to set the record straight for everyone. Where Were You? is the most comprehensive collection of dublin street style and youth culture photographs to date (probably the first of its kind – let’s be honest), illustrating the various styles that captivated the Irish capital’s chungfellas/wans from 1950-2000. There are teddy boys, punks, mods, rockers, ravers, goths and punks, skinheads and psychobillies as well as Vespas, beer-cans and days at the beach.
Compiled from the archives of photographers like Tony O’ Shea, Derek Speirs, Bill Doyle and Fergus Bourke, as well as photobooth and Polaroid shots donated by the public, Where Were You? opens out – with its over 800 photographs – the previously inaccessible storied history of Dublin’s fervour for style, inspiring as it does so.
Find Where Were You? online here, or in the following stores: Easons, Hodges & Figgis and Chapters.
Images from The Irish Times and Where Were You?