Monday, August 23, 2010

"East End Boys & East End Girls

They go by names like Thom Ticklemouse, Feral Bojangles, and 
Rowdy Superstar and wear Mickey Mouse ears, feathers, and a kaleidoscope 
of colors. Ted Polhemus celebrates the kids who are 
keeping alive London’s illustrious tradition of eccentric self-invention.

Nathaniel Lyles, 22

Style icon: “The Nanny [Fran Drescher].” Favorite purchase: “My penny-farthing bike. I think it was made for a dwarf.”

Lucy Bridge, 23.

Personal style: “A little gothic, a little trashy.” Signature piece: “The Chanel tattoo on my wrist.”

Siobhan Lyons, 26.

Occupation: Stylist. Style icon: “My mum in the Seventies. She was very free and very beautiful.” Theme song: “‘All I Really Want,’ by Alanis Morissette.”

Ronx, 26

Occupation: “I’m studying to be a doctor.” Signature look: “Men’s shirts with bow ties.” Theme song: “‘I Am What I Am.’ All the trannies sing it.”

Rowdy Superstar (left, with Thom Ticklemouse), “Ageless.”

Signature piece: “A battery helmet, like Lady Gaga’s.” Theme song: “‘Venus as a Boy,’ by Björk.”

Thom Ticklemouse, 27

Hidden talent: “I can sing like Edith Piaf.” Favorite character: “Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty.” Biggest vice: “Tuna fish.”

Meggie Cousland, 21, and Julia Dakin, 23.

Occupation: Hairstylist. Style icon: “Little boys…yeah, you can put that in.”

Occupation: Stylist’s assistant. Signature look: “I’ve been wearing my shirt around my waist like a kilt.”

Feral Bojangles, 25.

Occupation: Hairstylist. Style icon: “Nightcrawler, from the X-Men.” Signature piece: “Black rubber necklaces that I’ve worn for over two years. I made them from a couple meters of tubing.”

Bunse Hall, 22.

Style icon: “Nineties New Romantic bands.” Signature piece: “My neck tattoo of a crow, which is supposed to guide you to the afterlife. I’m planning for the future.”

Steven Dove, 25.

Occupation: “My band, Grass House.” Style influence: “I borrow my mum’s jeans. They just fit me better.”

Penny Mills, 22, and Toby Evans, 23.

Occupation: “I’m designing a fashion collection that uses big sheets of melted plastic.” Hobby: “Exploring abandoned buildings with my Holga camera.”

Favorite character: “Ren and Stimpy had quite an effect on me growing up.” Hidden talent: “I can hold a cigarette in the gap between my teeth.”

Lauren Ekua Rudy Intarmah, 22.

Personal style: “Fifties womanly shapes.” Hidden talent: “I can do a split the hard way—side to side, not front to back.”

Scottee, 25

Occupation: Performance artist. Signature piece: “Adult baby clothes. I have a pair of pink floral dungarees with a bottom crotch.” Hidden talent: “In my act I pull 50 meters of white ribbon from my mouth.”

Paul Joyce, 24, and Daniel Sallstrom, 24.

Personal style: “My hair color changes every week.” Signature piece: “A vintage denim Moschino jacket with an old Hole T-shirt stitched on the back.” Hidden talent: “I can eat a lot more than you think.”

Occupation: Makeup artist. Style icon: “Siouxsie and the Banshees.” Favorite character: “Something out of Tom of Finland. A big bear man to keep me safe.”

Keko Hainswheeler, 29.

Occupation: Freelance fashion designer. Omnipresent piece: “The sheepskin keychain around my neck.”

Photographer: Tim Walker


I always find it fascinating to see those people who live life without restraint or those things that encumber. This is a true study in self-expression.

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