Gawd Save the Qweenz is inspired not by the imperialistic insanity and historic fuckery of the UK but the innovative rebels and fashion freaks that helped shape the cult of personalities in British music and club movements. From synthwave to Spice Girls, Blitz Kids to Blur, mod to Morrissey, maybe we now live in the current where the UK brings us Zayn collabing with Sia, but hey! East London queers still bring some of the best street style around the globe. Let’s wax nostalgic to the various and plentiful heydays of Britpop goodness before The Jungle is closed forever!
Ever since the Swinging Sixties, London as a central focus for the earliest party monsters a la mod and rockers eventually gave way to punk. 1960’s dandies fond of drugs and dancing ensured that fashion and fun would be a mainstay in not just England but the perma culture of major cities around the world. Free love turned to disco which became so dastardly marketable it was only a matter of time for iconoclasts to shed some shit on the cultural landscape. Punk was born and Dame Vivienne Westwood notably mixed anti-establishment with traditional British branding, hijacking and mocking high society as a form of both ridicule and art. As much as it claimed to be anti-fashion and radio unfriendly, punk was embraced so heavily that its aesthetics and sound changed the way people played music and dressed forever.
With no idea they would be steering the common population away from everything previously proper in society, Westwood, who founded fetish store Sex, clothed the likes of goth goddess Siouxsie Sioux in the late ‘70s and stylized pop pirates Bow Wow Wow in the ‘80s. Her influence over other great British designers like Alexander McQueen is clear. London’s early 80’s club culture made great stakes to creatively combine historic and cultural elements while creating looks; the wild and outrageous Leigh Bowery is a great example of this, putting Michael Alig and company that accrued later to shame. NYC club kids may have never existed without the advent of New Wave and the queer influence of New Romantics, but this is true for many of the subcultures thereafter in the never-ending dialogue of fashion and music.
Centralized around synth glam Visage’s Steve Strange and the Blitz parties he promoted, fashionable fags finally found a place they could be expressive and innovative. When Boy George’s early stomping grounds were invaded by magazine photographers, everyone ditched the dirtiness of punk and amped their wardrobe with New Wave nouveau. The fantasy lived on for a full decade and the rest is history. Though shoegaze and Britpop like Slowdive and Oasis returned to mod nostalgia, no locale in the world had their pulse on early electronic music better than the United Kingdom. Great Britain reigned during the era known as New Wave.
DJ Headmaster, resident DJ of Mary’s and fine purveyor of electropop, has put together a fun Brit-powered mix ranging from genderflux La Roux to Depeche Mode with some glossy girl tunes thrown in to boot. DJ Headmaster will be joined by King Atlas and Pearl herself will be providing tunes from the booth as well as hosting a sweet Meet and Greet. Hosted by Brigitte Bidet, Michael Robinson, this 18+ event at The Jungle is coming quickly upon us so buy your tickets on Eventbrite soon.