When Kids burst onto screens in 1995, most of America squirmed uncomfortably in their cinema seats at its frank yet bleak portrayal of a lost generation. Set against the backdrop of a stifling hot NYC, the film follows a group of teens over 24 hours. From dawn to well, dawn, these kids skate, steal, fuck, drink, inhale and punch their way through the day – detached, debauched and sexually irresponsible. Heralded as a ‘wake up call to the world’ by the New York Times, Kids was loved and hated in equal force – hailed by some as a brutal yet powerful masterpiece, derided by others as obscene and pornographic. With themes of sexual assault, drugs and gratuitous violence, Kids was a cinematic slap in the face and instant cult classic.
Alongside its gritty plot, it was also the young cast that caught attention. Larry Clark wanted his film to appear authentic, documentary-style, and many of his actors were plucked straight from Washington Square Park where they all hung out in the same spots as their characters – girls and boys wearing scuffed up converse, low slung jeans, back-to-front baseball caps and branded skater tees. During the same year when teen films such as Clueless were captivating young audiences with its depiction of LA wealth and high fashion, Kids offered something different. A style and attitude that was natural, authentic and comfortable enough for running around and not giving a shit. And we continue to see the casual style reverberated through each embrace or renaissance of a new brand or style item – American Apparel, Adidas Gazelles, the skate brand Palace.
Let’s take a look at some of the best looks….