Night Flowers of London

The worlds of drag and high fashion collide after dark:
  1. On the streets of Soho and East London, a fascinating subculture emerges when the sun sets.
  2. Its adherents are called “Night Flowers”, and they defy easy description.
  3. According to artist Damian Frost, they’re a “a loose-knit community of drag queens and kings; club kids; alternative queer, transgender, and gender-queer people; goths; artists; and cabaret, burlesque, and fetish performers.”
  4. Frost has been photographing the community since 2014.
    His book, “Night Flowers: From Avant-Drag to Extreme Haute-Couture”, was released in March.
  5. He began his project with the intention to photograph one interesting Londoner each night.
  6. Frost was impressed how Night Flowers used their bodies as art and the streets as public galleries.
  7. “In a world where everything is packaged according to age-old market demographics, it’s easy to regard these ‘Night Flowers’ as being the torch-bearers of an anti-establishment ethos of ‘true punk’,” writes Frost.
  8. Most of his brushes with Night Flowers were brief, but sometimes they invited him back to their underground clubs and dance floors.
  9. Though many of these hideaways have fallen to the encroaching forces of gentrification, Frost is optimistic about the Night Flowers’ future.
  10. “The culture itself survives though—it will always find somewhere new and maybe it loses a focal point for a while but most cultures and scenes go through processes of reinvention anyway. So as much as I think it’s disappointing when it happens, it’s not necessarily a death knell sounding,” he said.