palace and alasdair mclellan announce details of their new book
Following on from their exhibition at the ICA, Alasdair McLellan’s Palace archive is being turned into a book with IDEA.
After 10 years, Lev Tanju moved out of the titular Palace last year. The Palace, as it became known, was a far from palatial residence in Lambeth that gave it's name to the massively successful street wear brand. Alongside The Palace itself, were its residents, a motley crew of skaters who roamed the South Bank under the nomme de skate, Palace Wayward Boys Choir.
Over the years, Alasdair McLellan, a photographer and i-D contributor who has captured the inimitable romance and reality of British life, has documented the rise of the brand and the lives of its people. Now, following an exhibition of his photographic work at the ICA, the images Alasdair has shot of The Palace and its Wayward Boys Choir, are being collected by IDEA into a tome of 120 photographs.
"I've never been that interested in skating because it was so derivative of American culture. That was until I met Lev and PWBC," Alasdair tells i-D. "They all looked really good, like something you'd see in Oliver Twist! It was Dickensian, these kids hanging around this house and skate park in Waterloo... It's not a book about the clothing line, it's more about this idea of the gang, and how the brand grew out of that. It's like a family photo album, a very honest and charming document. It captures what Palace is about."
Seven years in the making, the book captures a moment in time in London's culture, preserving it as an iconic document, designed by M/M Paris. Ring bound in vivid yellow plastic, the tome presents Alasdair's images, archives of original Palace graphics from Fergus Purcell, and an iron-on T-shirt patch.
As well as this, PWBC member Stuart Hammond has written new text for the book, explaining the origins and history of the gang of skaters, and how he came up with their name. "In retrospect it's quite surprising that everyone took to this weird name so gladly," he writes. "It had an archaic, romantic ring to it. It made us sound like some long-forgotten Victorian community endeavour for the betterment of urchins, orphans, naught boys… PWBC is a family and it's for life and it means a lot to me, to all of us, always will."
Text Felix Petty
Images © Alasdair McLellan / PALACE / IDEA 2016