Probably a combination of a successful day at work and the after-work drinks left Emily and I in high spirits last week, so while the night was still young, we decided to act on a tiny tip-off in TimeOut magazine: a new streetwear shop was throwing an opening party in Shoreditch that evening. We’re a creative team t the time we only been working here for a month, but we’re quickly learning the beauty of Stellar’s East London positioning on Appold Street. With Spitalfields market five minute’s walk away and Old Street another five in the other direction, you are never far from the Shoreditch action.
Let me first take a moment to talk about Shoreditch. London’s home of cool, a hipster heaven and unfortunately the latest area to be hit by gentrification and ‘cultural cleansing’. It’s part of a classic cycle: a neglected inner city neighbourhood becomes colonised by artists, causing the cafe culture to boom. The problems come when big business take an interest and to move into the area, forcing up the rent and forcing out the artists that popularised it in the first place. This cycle has been happening in Shoreditch for a while now, but it’s not done yet and fortunately there are still cool places popping up, and staying here, clinging on to the attractive original culture. At least, until somewhere else takes up the mantle.
The artists, musicians and creators that populate these places (Shoreditch in particular) commonly are referred to as hipsters - though they would never identify by this term. It’s like the first rule of Fight Club, and labelling yourself as a hipster would go against what they stand for: non-conformism. Hipsters will go out of their way to go against what is popular, commonly agreed upon or accepted. They will listen to music you’ve never heard of, rejecting it as soon as it becomes mainstream, and hang out in coffee shops that they’ve probably worked at at some point in their lives. Traditionally their look and attire consisted of flannel shirts, Converse/Toms, skinny jeans and beards. They soon realised that to continue looking like this would cause them to be a cliché of their own selves (ironic I know) and so of late there has been a move to fisherman beanies, dungarees, shaved heads, ugly trainers and trousers turned up at the bottom that were already far too short for them. But here’s the real irony of this whole situation: I shouldn’t be able to categorise them by putting them into these boxes just described; and in doing so disproves their whole purpose of non-conformism. Dressing and looking a certain way to fit in, even if it is to fit into this ‘hipster’ movement is conforming and thus the premise really becomes a joke. This being the case, it’s still quite a fascinating movement to follow.
This now links to the quite amusing part of our evening. We arrive at the streetwear shop situated on Redchurch Street. It’s called SCRT - if you haven’t heard of it, they probably prefer it that way - don’t worry we hadn’t. We’re greeted by chock-a-block little little outlet with loud indie house music and plenty of beers (craft of course). The shop had crafted the space into the perfect house party set-up - a retro games console, vintage rugs a DJ booth in the corner and canvas posters with type: independent thought completes the picture.