Style

Singapore’s anarchic youth collective Youths in Balaclava just launched a new photo book

  • By Belda Chung
Singapore’s anarchic youth collective Youths in Balaclava just launched a new photo book

The Punk movement might be dead for some, but aspects of the subculture still ring true in the modern age. This is explicitly seen in Singapore’s rising youth collective: Youths in Balaclava (YIB).

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Branding themselves as an artistic anarchic group, YIB is a self-proclaimed cast of daring, individualistic youths who have gained popularity for their sense of style and satirical expressions.

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The burgeoning class was formed based on their interest for street culture, which includes affairs of music, art and fashion. Staying true to Punk’s iconoclastic expressions, their growing portfolio contains capsule fashion collections, self-composed rock, hardcore and punk tracks, and cut-and-paste style collages for their collaterals.

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Behind the metaphorical ski mask lies a diverse group (17 people thus far) skilled in the fields of fashion, music, science, accounting and military.

“We believe in freedom of expression in all different aspects. Adopt your own style, put on your balaclava and join the tribe. With this, fashion, art and music can finally take a step forward and progress. We think it’s about time for a change.” – Youths in Balaclava

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On 13 January, YIB released a photo documentary book at Dover Street Market Singapore, titled “Youths in Balaclava: Behind The Mask”. Photographed by South Londoner Ryan O’Toole Collett — who has shot the likes of Off-white and Burberry — the book tells an intimate visual story of adolescence. Locations are carefully chosen to depict a raw side of Singapore’s landscape.

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“In photography, intimacy and rawness are characteristics often ascribed to the documentary form, while uninhibited creative freedom has been associated with fashion. My work with Youths In Balaclava challenges the assumption that these qualities are mutually exclusive by blurring the lines between both styles.” – Ryan O’Toole Collett

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The book and a special celebratory T-shirt by YIB launched in Dover Street Market Singapore, with personal appearances and an installation on 13 January.