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The Look of Spring: Antisocial

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2nd Oct 2008

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Style-queen DJ Jodie Harsh
On Location...

As the first buds of spring appear on the streets of London, a shiny and rebellious fashion trickle is hitting the social circuit. We'll call it the Antisocial, and it features an acerbate style sarcasm not seen since Joan Collins face-smacked Krystle Carrington on a regular basis in Dynasty. As Kate Moss fizzles at Topshop and the look of 'luxury' begins to pale in a sagging economy, the new vibe is decidedly anti-designer: almost home-made farce.

For the moment, the Antisocial is led by a few London personalities, such as Amy Winehouse BFF style queen-DJ Jodie Harsh (who had her birthday last week at Movida with an entourage that included Mika, Sophie Allen Baxter, Agyness Deyn, David Gandy and Will Young) and young designers like Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders.

Jodie's special bud Scottee is also mixing it up with a series of reviews and dramatic performances that add to the mad-cap atmosphere with his off-the-track Antisocial nights in the east end, and new joint projects like Circus in central London. Together these folks are turning the West End upside down as they and le tout London flirt with cabaret-lite.

First it was Friday nights at the Haymarket Hotel: drag queens and synchronized swimming at weekly poolside parties attracting a swishy, strait-laced crowd. The combination of neon bar, chlorine smell and new venue has kept the party on the radar, even if its sustainability is in doubt. From there, its on to Jodie on the decks, spinning for the models/yodels under a towering 'do at a series of private parties, fashion openings, club nights, and other happenings.

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Pool at the Haymart Hotel, London
On the town, its all big glasses, bow ties, blown out hair, shoulder pads... anything ridiculous, and reminiscent of New York's version of the look, heavily seen at Misshapes. Spring in Europe seems to have taken on a circus feel, and everybody's in on the joke.

From a style point of view its all antisocial sarcasm: too glam to be angry, too camp to be gay, too trendy to be nerdy. Ladies, now it's Talbot's chic, with boxy shoulders, twill, ribbons and anything to make you look like a 60 year old office worker circa 1983. Accessorize: Chinese take-away clutches from Marshall's, clunky heels at towering heights.

It's like everyone is thinking 'add a pinch of drag and a pound of diva snarl': for the boys angry eye shadow and safety pinned fedoras, with the occasional roll neck cardigan and those Clark Kent glasses, complete the look. Very buttoned up. Very skinny-skinny tie.

At the bar: snatch and grab, then wink on the exit. So recession.

London's super formal clubbing style of late has been keeping everyone prissy, but at least there's lots of color, and what it really shows is that London's Shoreditch kids, long since divided from London's power central, have finally infiltrated the halls of power, bringing everyone a new form of trashy, punky, antisocial East End glamour. Suddenly, everything else looks obsolete.