Hackney Citizen

Dalston boutique East of Eden bucks trends

With the buzz of London Fashion Week fading, the Hackney Citizen discovers refreshingly unorthodox offerings at East of Eden

Halloween hotspots Hackney

Illustration: Caroline Christie and Bethany Lamont

As our espadrilles disintegrate in the near-constant drizzle and the nights close in, it can only mean one thing, autumn is upon us. Plunging necklines, cropped shorts and canvas shoes are packed away in favour of wrap around scarves, woollen socks and fishermen’s jumpers. So what do Hackney’s boutique shops have to offer us for autumn/winter ’11?

Just over a year ago, fashion/pop-culture boutique East of Eden popped up just off Dalston Junction. A treasure trove of prom dresses, hip-hop records and cursed paintings, the shop is the creative outlet of Ian and Emma, a couple who between them put on club nights, model, act and study for a PhD. They’re not your average cabinet of curiosity caretakers.

London Fashion Week had just forecast the highlights of next year so it seemed fitting to ask for their insight into key pieces and this season’s trends. After all, the bold prints in their eclectic array parallels the wealth of pattern- and print-based works strutting the catwalks days previously.

Asked for any trend tips, Emma hesitates, explaining that her pleasure for clothes lies not in the fast-food culture of fashion, but rather in a love for the theatrics of costume and dressing up. She notes that the pieces selected for East of Eden eschew the clothes-hanger-figure idealism of high fashion. With a collection that spans decades, they prefer to throw the continuity rule book out the window.

There is an aesthetic of horror that runs through the work of East of Eden. Links to B movies, video nasties, pulp fiction, pin ups and archaic folk tales fill their Tumblr. Many of their key pieces are reminiscent of the covers of gaudy, straight to VHS grindhouse works. Ian is even curating a series of Halloween films for the American site, Network Awesome, which will be based on classic horror anthologies such as Tales of the Unexpected and Tales from the Crypt.

The team recommend Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington as a suitably melancholy setting for 31 October. Also look out for Halloween processions and wandering zombies.

Related: Fashion East goes west

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