Johnny Stiletto has a wonderful body of candid street photography work, much of it shot in London during the 1980s. Some iconic moments are captured here; flickering glimpses from a turbulent time in our history. (Eclectica
The kind of photography book you can have on your lap, in bed or even in the bath, if you were so cavalier. There is something pleasantly intimate about the experience of possessing these images. (Let Them Eat Cake
An intriguing look at an often derided decade. (Amateur Photographer
A metropolitan rake's progress through the palpitating heart of a city around which a whole country, and culture, pivoted… This is a little gem of a photo book. Snap it up. (Guardian
About the Author
Johnny Stiletto. Well known for his intimate, socially revealing black and white street shots. A collection of his photographs is in the Tate Gallery, London. His TV work includes documentaries and commercials. Stiletto’s photograph of Francis Bacon on the London Underground was reputedly Bacon’s favourite photograph of himself.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
There is a thing called London style, outsiders sometimes call it fashion but Londoners use it for something else, more often than not as the fine point of a social rapier and a thoroughly legitimate means of self promotion in a city at a time when overt showing off was despised. The much repaired Oxford shoes of the QCs, the dandruff velvet collar on the coat of the wine merchant. The clanking Gucci spurs of the City's serious money boys, the tracksuits of the chronically unfit. This is a version of the English language that Londoners save for one another, a language of signs and symbols written in fabric and flesh and general distaste, a language designed to repel, kill, put down, fleece, con, intimidate and attract.
No other city has the variety of hairstyles male and female that parade the streets of London. The bouffant, the duck arse, the white wings of power swept over the ears, the coxcomb punk, the flat top, the social outrider's bowl cut. They're all there to make a place. In respect of the hair of the 80s, the rest of the world was dead from the neck up.