Situated in the lower levels of a former Dalston boxing club, LN-CC is a true gem of the London fashion scene. With impressive and progressive selections of exclusive clothes, music, books and art.
this is the place to drop by during Fashion Week.
|WORDS: ANDERS REDDER NØRGAARD|
PHOTOS: BENJAMIN MARK BENOLEIL
INTERVIEW: VICTOR THOFT
The LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Café) showroom is a jungle of authenticity and artistic expression. Relaunching a few months ago, it now features a night club, a bar and work by several exclusive high end designers. Urban escapism has never been more inspiring.
One of the engines behind LN-CC, store director James Goodhead, gives us his views on music and its influence on fashion.
B&O PLAY: How do you use music to create the right atmosphere at LN-CC?
James Goodhead: LN-CC is such a sensory space that the music we play becomes a vital part of the overall picture we’re trying to paint. We primarily want the music to reflect the architecture, design and atmosphere of the space, as well as the product.
Each room can feel very much like a different exhibition in one gallery, so it’s not an easy marriage to pull off, but with an extensive, curated, playlist history from some of the world’s most renowned underground artists and DJs, we’re off to a good start. Personally speaking, I tend to find minimalist arrangements without lyrics much more appropriate. This helps induce a blank canvas mindset which encourages a more individual and personal intepretation of the space for visitors. Expect to hear anything from William Basinski drones to Larry Heard synths.
B&O PLAY: What can music teach us about fashion tendencies?
James Goodhead: Just look to modern music visuals for what’s going on, right? I think it’s always interesting when an artist such as Björk wears something totally crackers that just knocks you off your seat and it’s out there for a mainstream audience to consume. Music is undoubtedly one of the primary influences for fashion and it always will be, they’re like brother and sister.
For example, the recent Saint Laurent relaunch and its ultra successful nod to 50s and 70s Rockabilly and Punk aesthetics. It’s about music and fashion reinterpreting each other and progressing ideas – the important thing is that this happens without being too derivative or nostalgic. Looking back, I think music can give us a tremendous insight into fashion’s past, working as an aural bookmark in history – more so than many other art forms. From the Ramones in black leathers and skinny jeans to the flared, hyper collars of Northern Soul, it’s entrancing.
B&O PLAY: Tell us about your thoughts on the interaction between clothing, music and art books at LN-CC?
James Goodhead: We try to make it all as cohesive as possible, but it’s helped by the brands and artists we work with. For example, last season we had Yang Li T-shirts, art books and records all related to old East London local Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle fame. For me, it was really nice to see one artist cover the full spectrum of our offer and I think that’s a testament to what we’re trying to achieve here. Ultimately there’s a message of subversion and progressive design with a taste for unearthing a lost past.
B&O PLAY: Why do you think music connects so well with fashion?
James Goodhead: They have always been the two calling cards of counter culture, what you’re wearing and what you’re listening to – they connect a shared sense of youth and delinquency. The visual mixed with sound, the way to represent yourself and allow people to know what you’re all about. From Rock’n'Roll leathers of the 50s, the floral psychedelia of the 60s to the Northwest American lumber shirts of the 90s you always have that sound and vision aligning to represent all of these scenes in culture. It’s a beautiful thing.
B&O PLAY: Which album sums up the vibes of East London these days?
James Goodhead: Local girl FKA Twigs is a great spokesman for the area and the youth round here right now. I think she has a strong message in her lyrics and a lot of kids around here are relating with and looking up to that. After she blew up, the amount of septum rings in Dalston quadrupled over night, so I’m guessing that she’s a tangible influence.
Personally, right now I’m really into the new Linkwood LP Expressions. It possesses that quality to tell the story of an East London night out from start to finish – from a calm bedsit beginning to banging club house, ominous late night street walking and eerie night bus ambience – sublime!
B&O PLAY: Has an album or a tune ever made a major impact on the way you dress?
James Goodhead: When I was a kid in the early 90s I was obsessed with the 1980s Thrash Metal scene. Once I heard Master Of Puppets, I was wearing Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth tees and home stitched studded battle jackets to school pissing my teachers off daily.
B&O PLAY: Top 3 brands to watch
James Goodhead: Yang Li – One of my London favourites, quality fabrics twinned with highly progressive designs and a respectful nod to music which is worn firmly on the sleeve every season.
James Long – Another of my favourite London designers. Some of the handcrafted and hand knit pieces this guy makes are mind blowing. Again, a massive music influence is apparent – he once based a whole season on Alan Vega from Suicide.
Autonomous Collections – One of the best new sustainable brands coming out of London. The skill of Kim’s weave work is impeccable and the hours that go into making individual pieces makes me feel lazy just looking at them. Stunning.
B&O PLAY: Top 3 stores in London
James Goodhead: Hedonism Wines, Mayfair – If I’m feeling boozy, or it’s Christmas eve, this is the stop. Amazing selection of wines, crazy expensive whiskeys. When you buy something you sit in a chair by a desk opposite the salesperson, it feels like each transaction is very important to them and I like that.
Reckless Records, Soho – This is my vinyl crack house, probably one of the most comprehensive, well looked after, second hand sections I’ve ever come across. An amazing, constantly updated wall of rarities and even rarer for a record shop, the friendly staff.
Browns, Mayfair – The history of this place and Mr & Mrs. B, the founders, is undeniable. The cavernous nature of the interlinked old Georgian townhouses and impressive roll call of design talent gives off a feeling of a high fashion labyrinth.
Top 3: Restaurants in London
James Goodhead: Anchor & Hope, Bankside – My trusty local, if I go missing there’s a good chance I’ll be in here ordering a pint and the rabbit offal on toast. Modern English with interesting cuts and the best staff south of the Thames.
Palomar, Soho – I sat at the bar recently in a bit of a grump after a bad day, at which point the whole waiting team spontaneously burst into “Mama Mia”, without even a polite glimpse of a warning – I joined straight in. Imagine eating the best deconstructed kebab of your life in Studio 54 and you’re nearly there.
Typing Room, Hackney - Set in the glorious old East London Town Hall, this place is my go-to for that special occasion. Amazing modern European tasting and a general feeling that you’re treating yourself to something seriously special.