One week ago, I decided to take a little break for a few days in one of the most stimulating city of the world… London, obviously. I found out this singular place which is a little gem hidden.
Among all its facets, Brick Lane is a neighborhood very focused on fashion. Indeed, Brick Lane is one of the top place for fashion in London. Today, the neighborhood is known for its vintage shops and small designers.
In the streets there are many thrift stores, such as Absolute Vintage, a large vintage frippery located at 15 Hanbury Street. Inside there is a bit of everything: colorful shirts, psychedelic pants, tailors, but especially a lot of shoes ( boots, pumps, high heels, sandals…), bags and purses, all more unique and original than the others.
There is something for all tastes. It’s difficult to find elsewhere what we bought here. Objects are unique. The sellers are very nice, welcoming and known how to advise. In the same area other stores are veritable treasure cave: for example the Shop 72, which presents the creations of independent designers.
But the shops does’nt make everything, the best show is in the street. People of all ages, all nationalities are walking and have in common their styles, or rather madness and originality of their outfits. Sometimes we can wonder how it’s possible to find that kind of clothes really implausible.
Styles are very differents, it’s very inspiring. It’s like a live performance, a constant parade, a fashion show. It’s easy to get into this special atmosphere of madness and extravagance.
In London and especially in Birck Lane, it’s possible to wear anything and everything without being stared by passers. People are free to be who they want, young or old, from any country, and let freedom at their imagination and their appareance. Fashion is not only material in Brick Lane, it also has a share of tolerance and freedom.
A little return to the roots is necessary to understand the phenomenon. Something easy because this artistic movement was born on the Internet, a place where you can find all the archives. On June 1, 2011, @LILINTERNET posted on Twitter:
This simple message has spawned an hashtag and afterwards to an artistic movement : #seapunk.
However, the real father of Seapunk is definitely Tumblr.
Three years ago, a large platform called Tumblr began to be flooded with psychedelic images and gifs with sea creatures (dolphins, shellfish …) but also many fluorescent objects, outmoded clothes, religious symbols, smileys, bleached colors, geometric shapes, oriental graphism and an aesthetic coming from the 90s. All wrapped in montages created with shoestring (Webcam, Paint and a basic use of Photoshop…)
It stings your eyes, isn’t it ? Aesthetically, the movement is directly recognizable and seems to belong to a kind of new Soft Grunge.
Seapunk movement has no sense or any reason to defend. It’s rather a huge moodboard from 2.0 generation which spreads through fashion, graphics, and music.
For me it was only a “Tumblr” movement but I realized that the phenomenon had reached its peak on internet when it became a meme.
Indeed, many pop stars have recently blatantly used some seapunk graphics for their new productions. We have noticed Azealia Banks in her Atlantis clip who was wearing a crustaceans bra while waddling on a dolphin in front of a virtual ocean.
Then, it was Rihanna’s turn who sang her new song Diamonds in the middle of a seapunk decoration on Saturday Night Live.
The graphics used in the screens of Rihanna’s performance are clearly based on the work of the video artist Jerome from LOL Boys who belongs the seapunk movement.
The creator of LOL Boys and others founders of the movement have quickly expressed their dissatisfaction and their anger on the social networks because they know that from the moment a pop star like Rihanna is seen in this universe (which was unknown by the large public before), most of the people are going to think seapunk belongs to Rihanna, it will be popularized and will lose its original idea.
But like all phenomenas born on internet, this situation was expected and now that the seapunk movement is taking another form, all the people who once dreamed of a leather jacket with barnacles instead of the studs will soon have to find a new wardrobe…