Club kids culture: fashion identity and ballroom scene.

alig2aEichner, S. (1993) Club kids Michael Alig, Richie Rich, Nina Hagen, Sophia Lamar, and Jenny Talia pose for a portrait at Tunnel Club. Available from: [Accessed 4 December 2017].

What does Club Kid mean? By definition, ‘a group of eccentric, wildly flamboyant young clubgoers who more or less defined new york city nightlife in the late 1980s and early 1990s’ (2010).

Here’s the episode of talk show Geraldo, featuring the most prominent club kids in the 80s/90s New York’s club scene :

h0llowc0st (2017) Michael Alig NYC Club Kids on Geraldo 1992. [Online Video] Available from: [Accessed 4 December 2017].

Promoting an outlandish, provocative style, Club kids put a particular emphasis on wearing extravagant outfits and make-up to embody a fantasy: in doing so, they blend elements from circus, punk rock, sci-fi, manga culture with a DIY aesthetic.

Reacting to Andy Warhol’s death in 1987 and the end of Studio 54, the movement started in clubs such as Savage and The Tunnel , then moving to The Limelight, which became the sanctuary for individuals like James St James, Ernie Glam, Leigh Bowery, Nina Hagen, Amanda Lepore.


Santiago, F. (2017) Amanda Lepore emulated Jessica Rabbit at Dragcon. [electronic print] Available from: [Accessed 4 December 2017].

Furthermore, the aim of club kids is expressing their own identity, regardless of gender roles and gender stereotypes through glamour:  they quickly became pivotal in promoting parties and in paving the way for fashion designers to create their gender-fluid collections (e.g. Jeremy Scott’s Spring 2016 Ready-to- wear collection).

Embed from Getty Images

Vlamos, I. (2016) Jeremy Scott Spring 2016 Ready-to-Wear Look 6/53. [electronic print] Available from: [Accessed 4 December 2017].

Having discussed the origin of club kids in the United States, I would like to shed a light on the most interesting club kids in the contemporary UK scene.

Santiago Giraldo aka @santistorm:


Lycett, A. (2017) Santi Storm wearing kawaii toys neckpiece by Anne Sophie Cochevelou. [electronic print] Available from: [Accessed 4 December 2017].

Jason Summerfield, aka @princejayjayy:

PrinceJayJay, @princeJAYJAY_DJ  (2017) ‘NewProfilePic #Fem Photo by @ScallywagFox assisted by @postTEENIDOL’. 27 September 2017, 5:06pm. .

Sam Costello, aka @samcostello2 :


Ferranti, F. (2017) Sam Costello [Screenshot]. Available from: [Accessed 4 December 2017].

Reference list:

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