Situated in on Goulton Street near Petticoat Lane The Last Resort Shop immediately became an instant hit with London skinheads. It had been a lean time for skinhead and its emergence in this period is one that sent it spiralling out of control and pushed it further from the centre and meaning of the original more than any other subculture around. No other subculture has felt the pressure of external influences like skinhead.
A handful of the stores customers were featured in the Nick Knight book Skinhead. The then college student, now renowned fashion photographer, produced a photo essay on the skinhead scene and in these pictures, and others of the period we see a smattering of the elements of the original skinhead style (sheepskins, the occasional tonic suit) but this in the main was a ultra stripped back style, that accentuated the boots, braces and things didn’t look too good).
For all sorts of reasons this story is my least favourite era of skinhead. The appalling politics and racism that began to infiltrate the scene for one but the other was the lack of style. For sure there were a handful of geezers who attempted to kept the sartorial level high but in truth the scene was pretty one dimensional fashion wise. The main look accentuated the aggressive and reduced it to boots, braces and the most brutal of crops.
I originally ordered a copy of The Last Resort catalogue, I’m guessing through an ad in the NME or Sounds or something. The 10 or so sheets of photocopied wares, along with my newly aquired copy of Nick Knights book offered a new view of skinhead for me, coming out of the 2 tone scene which had recently fizzled out.
I never got round to placing an order from the catalogue but have always liked the bold, line drawings displaying the various skinhead outfits.