‘the pictures are seriously raw, stunning, even kamikaze’
As midnight falls and central London’s streets begin to empty, a loose-knit community of fabulously attired drag kings and queens, fetishists, burlesque performers and transgender people bursts into bloom. These startlingly exotic, self-styled ‘Night Flowers’ are walking works of art, the streets their stage and every moment a performance. Dwelling on the shadowy fringes of London’s nightlife, they confound expectations and provoke reactions, from nervous glances to appreciative awe.
The photographer Damien Frost spent a year wandering London’s streets in search of its most colourful inhabitants. Although traditional in style, most of the photographs were taken as incidental portraits following chance encounters outside clubs or in neon-lit alleys, an approach as transgressive as the spirit of rebellion that the Night Flowers exude. The images have a remarkably still quality that belies the fact that they were taken on the capital’s streets with curious, and sometimes hostile, revellers passing by.
Frost’s background in theatre gives him a deep appreciation of the unrestrained creativity and vivid imagination of the Night Flowers. His arresting images capture the transformative effects of their intricate and painstakingly (not to say painfully) applied make-up and costumes, and their unapologetic self-expression. The resulting book is an extraordinarily powerful record of the ultimate alternative street style.
Damien Frost is a London-based artist, graphic designer and photographer whose work has garnered a devoted Instagram following (currently numbering 84,000).
Boy George has sold more than 100 million singles and 50 million albums as a performer and songwriter with Culture Club and as a solo artist. He is also one of the world’s most successful DJs, and runs his own fashion label, B-Rude.
Photographs by Damien Frost
Foreword by Boy George
Publication Date 4th April 2016
Published by Merell Publishers