Lovers Rock, the latest film in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series, focuses on the British reggae genre of the same name – and its clothes. From sharp suits to frilled frocks, dressing up to the nines was central
Early on in Steve McQueen’s film Lovers Rock, two girls arrive at a party. The man on the door, impressed with their outfits, lets them in for nothing. “It’s lovely to have such well put together ladies,” he says. “Well put together” could be the motto for the style of the lovers rock scene in the black British community of the 70s and early 80s: frilled dresses, smart suits and “done” hair were central. The narrative here, a sweet love story with extended dance sequences to Janet Kay’s 1979 hit Silly Games, as well as Carl Douglas’s Kung-Fu Fighting, is even more evocative thanks to a look that feels glamorous and also new.