This is what Dalston looked like in the 80s - before the hipsters moved in

Liz Connor
Andrew Holligan

These days, if a fashion photographer moved from New York to Dalston, they’d likely find everything they needed right on their doorstep: all-night bars and clubs, trendy pizza-by-the-slice restaurants and artisan coffee shops by the dozen.

But back in 1984, when photographer Andrew Holligan abandoned the New York fashion scene to move to the then unknown corner of east London, it was a very different story.

What he saw on the streets was a poverty and humanity that would change him and his art forever.

Using a 1950s Rolleiflex camera, Holligan began taking portraits of the characters he happened to meet during his two years spent living in Dalston in the early 1980s.

Thirty years on, his images form the subject of a new book called Dalston in the 80s - the fruits of a collaboration with east London publisher Hoxton Mini Press.

Alongside hand-written annotations from the photographer, the book paints a lost portrait of a much-loved area on the brink of gentrification - from eels and mash to anarchists and fascists.

Click through our gallery above to see a selection of photographs from the book.

Dalston in the 80s is out now and available to buy from Hoxton Mini Press