EXCLUSIVE: Walter Pfeiffer Fashion Film

The protagonists of Walter Pfeiffer and Robbie Spencer’s May issue shoot give their thoughts on our east London debate

We learn more of the vibrant personalities behind the clothes in our epic, creative fashion story...

"For the past two years, I have been running pop-up vintage shops across east London under the name Pick n' Mix. I also make camp short films with my friend Angel Rose and whoever else we can rope into them. Our latest film is being screened at the Last Tuesday Society on Friday 27th April with a party after at East Bloc. I moved here five years ago, but didn't really start going out till 2010. It was a huge eye opener coming from a small town like Southampton, I've always had the impression east London is in its own little bubble, so it's quite a reality check going back home as not everyone’s as open minded as they are here. Everything is always changing and I think that's part of what of what being creative is, to adapt and change and push yourself. Right now instead of going out I'm using my time to make films, get involved in new projects and collaborate with the amazing individuals I've met along the way. Creatively London is the best place to be in the world, I don't think I'd want to be anywhere else. East London is dead if you believe it’s dead! There’s a million things to do if you put yourself out there and get involved." JOSH QUINTON

"I moved to London in 2008 to study fashion design at the University of Westminster and I'm showing my graduate collection this month. In the past two years I've done alright painting illustrations onto leather jackets which has accumulated interest from stylists, musicians and led to collaborations with brands such as Joseph and Underground shoes. I think when you're young and moving to the big city from a small town the idea of this creative utopia is so appealing. In 2009 when I lived in Whitechapel I sort of spent the year finding out that there wasn't much to do around there… I moved away, then I came back and I lived on my own on Great Eastern Street in the most expensive but disgustingly small flat looking out onto the busy city roads. It was exciting from then on because I was discovering myself creatively so suddenly there was so much to do. I can't really speak for those who were here before me but from what I've seen going out isn't as fun as it used to be. Now I opt for a hot meal and a good pub with the good friends I've made in east London through the three years – perhaps I have just become a cynic (about everything). Really, east London is home to some of the most talented people in the world, and they live here because they don’t want to keep that quiet." CLAIRE BARROW

"I used to live in east London when I was studying back in 2005 and I arrived with mixed feelings given contradictory feedback from various sources. I am delighted to say that I belong to the camp supporting the view that east London is a unique, fascinating place and the ideal area for young creative artists – the culture and character of the area helped me develop some of the aspects of my personality and my work. I do have the feeling it is becoming part of the city and I wouldn’t like to see it loosing its character – it's more and more touristy, new chain shops are opening one after the other and developers are building luxurious apartments. I believe that east Londoners worked – and will work – hard to keep the identity of the area intact. Diversity of culture and politics and internationalism are ongoing concerns and opportunities for artists set within changing practices, definitions and attitudes. East London presents an opportunity to explore all these and can be a source of inspiration for young artists." THEO-MASS LEXILEICTOUS

"I'm a DJ and I moved to London in '91. I suppose my first outing in east London was approx '94, Dalston Tyson Street for an underground techno party. I remember lots of abandoned and run-down buildings, therefore a lot of squatting. As time goes by the amount of people multiplies and the city needs to expand, natural progress of development in the area is inevitable. It was just matter of time. I don't think east London is dead. Why would it be? Nothing can be truly exciting non-stop, that would make it die." YASMINA DEXTER

"I am a Finnish-origin fashion designer and stylist, have studied in Paris and Tokyo and am now living in London. I design womenswear, accessories and headpieces for my own label Tara Byakko, do freelance styling, have a style blog called Cleopatra Complex and also work as an alternative model represented by Spirit Models. I moved to Shoreditch in the summer of 2011. After having spent three years in conservative and traditional Paris, I felt so liberated. I used to have problems in Paris with my eccentric style when walking down the street or taking the subway, but here in east London I was actually complimented. I had a chance to meet and work with inspiring and fascinating people. East London felt like the New York of Europe. Recently I've moved to Brixton due to the aggressive elements that had moved east. I'm growing more fond of south London everyday, it feels more laid-back. East has become so popular amongst young, creative people that it's becoming gentrified and expensive to live in. Young creatives have to fight to keep it alive and not let it turn into a tourist trap." TARA BYAKKO

"[I'm] Queen of Quiffs, my hair is my trademark. I'm an aspiring photographer and make-up artist. I've always been interested in all things creative and to do with the arts, I try and meld different medias together in my work (but not always successfully). Most of the time I just can’t make my mind up. I hail from Cardiff and I arrived about two years ago – I always knew I belonged in London, a major sensory overload of different cultures, scenes and places. Back home there's only a few bars and clubs I would go to because the rest are best avoided, then suddenly I was living within walking distance of Brick Lane and Shoreditch. I see things differently from when I first arrived. I know this keeps coming up but I think the riots changed some people's perceptions and gave a bit of a reality check? It's definitely changing and the epicenter is shifting, breaking up into different territories, each with its own scene and people." MATTIE LAQUIFF

"Now that I've graduated from art school, I am, of course, fabulously unemployed. Otherwise I spend my time writing and making films. I used to run a club night but decided it was shit. Now I want to start a new one called Club Shit. I came from Los Angeles and happily left behind that cultural wasteland for London clubland. My favourite memory is the night my friends and I rented a pink limousine to arrive at East Bloc: definitely the most ostentatious entrance I've ever made. Do I think east London is dead? Let's see… Pale sunken-eyed boys lurking the streets, the fire and brimstone of the riots, everyone turns into a monster at the stroke of midnight. Seems pretty dead to me!" ANGEL ROSE

"I study fashion but I've been on a year out interning and stuff. I don't really remember my first impressions of east London but everytime I leave my house I see something/someone exciting and I never feel lonely here. I don't know if things have changed greatly – I only notice the little changes like, 'Oh they painted that pub a different colour.' There aren't enough fun places to go and dance though." EDWARD MARLER

"For the past 18 months I have been working as a fashion assistant, developing my skills in both art direction and styling, where I have been able to adopt an aesthetic that is quite distinct from my own personal style. More recently, I have begun working as assistant to the director of talent at Next Model Management. I arrived in the summer of 2010 and moved to Bethnal Green Road – the area was a massive change from Essex, it really opened me up personally and creatively. East was full of everything I’d thought it would be; quirky markets, boutiques, and an endless amount of hot young people with great street style. A new world where there was always fun to be had… It was definitely a move I had been waiting for. Meeting a boundless number of young creatives all striving for success was great motivation to work tirelessly. And of course the east London nightlife was unforgettable, the buzz of fashion events and busy Shoreditch nightclubs, Say No More at On the Rocks being a definite favourite. A welcome change from a town where fake tan and extensions were a must. Some people may say that east is dead and in terms of its exclusivity, this may be true. However, the creative buzz and artistic atmosphere still have a real presence, I just think that it has become more accessible to a wider audience." BILLY THURLOW

"I like to make things and have done a bit of styling, photography and performance. I grew up in Devon, would take a five-hour coach journey to London and go out at nights like Shabba Dabba Da and The Face. My first impression when I arrived was, 'Wow! So many beautiful, exciting people and places!' Going to certain nights could really feel homely – the atmosphere of creative energy mixed together with the people who are just interested. There aren't so many nights as there used to be, though Larry Tee's STPM at East Bloc is the first for ages where I feel you can let go and have fun, the most loving crowd I have ever witnessed – blows me away every time. It's a ridiculous shame about rent prices [in Shoreditch], they should be encouraging a culture not forcing out the ones who made it such a great place to be! Maybe there should be some big art-movement solution to this, creating change in the direction things should be going." NADDY SANE

Photography Walter Pfeiffer
Robbie Spencer
Raphael Salley at Streeters using Liz Earle
Alex Box at D+V Management using Illamasqua
Set Design
David White at The Magnet Agency
Angel Rose, Billy Thurlow, Claire Barrow, Edward Maler, Josh Quinton, Mattie LaQuiff, Naddy Sane, Tara Byakko, Theo-Mass Lexileictous, Yasmina Dexter
Photographic Assistant
Rhys Thorpe
Styling Assistants
Elizabeth Fraser-Bell, Lydia Russell
Hair Assistant
Michael Jones
Make-Up assistants
Michelle Gataric, Megumi Fuku
Set Design Assistant
Georgina Pragnell
Digital Operator
Paul Burk