Music and fashion have always delved deep into each other's pockets for inspiration. It is this relationship and evolution in styles and trends that forms the focus of 89:14 - Street Style Journey; an exhibition at the Londonewcastle Project Space last weekend in Shoreditch.

Boxfresh were concluding their 25th anniversary celebrations in style with a 4 day exhibition which explores the defining street style trends of British style from the past 25 years.

The exhibition featured 'style­based' exhibits - styled by pioneering music and fashion influencers such as Olaf and Su Parker, integral to Boxfresh as original designers when the brand emerged in 1989, capturing the essence of Acid Jazz, designer Fiona Cartledge whose shop 'Sign of the Times' in Kensington Market was one of the most prominent providers of '90s nightclub wear throughout the acid house era. Other stylists included The Donnelly Brothers on the 'Madchester' scene and Skepta, who documented the rise of grime at the turn of the century.

We went down to the private view last night and had a chat with curator Tory Turk and designer Fiona Cartledge about how the exhibition came together, the importance of street style and finding pills in your old raving clothes 20 years after you last wore them.


405: So with 25 years of sub-cultures to explore, where on earth do you start?

Tory Turk: It's really, really hard. I guess I started with the Street Style exhibition at the V&A exactly 20 years ago which my tutor when I was doing my MA at LCF actually curated.

Fiona Cartledge: Amy de la Haye?

Tory: Yeah! Fiona helped out with that exhibition so I guess the first person I found was Fiona and then everything from that point - a bit like a mind map - came out from that. And talking to people, lots of conversations.

405: Did you have any fixed ideas going into the project about which subcultures you definitely wanted to explore?

Tory: Well I knew my ones; Garage, Grime, Hip-Hop, but I didn't know which other ones so that's why I needed to speak with people like Fiona.

405: What about stylists? You've got quite an eclectic mix in there. How did you decide who was going to display?

Tory: Well basically, I guess it was who immediately springs to mind for each, try and get the best and go down.

405: And how did people jump into it? How did they decide which items of clothes to choose?

Tory: That's an interesting question. Well your approach was... [looks to Fiona]

Fiona: I put a shout out on Facebook [laughs] because I have a lot of original acid house that is on my page and what happened was that everybody had a t-shirt but nobody had anything else! So obviously there is a whole dummy to do so I was very lucky to find Andrew Newman who worked at Shoom (one of the first acid house nights) and he had the most incredible collection of clothing anyway but he had his complete outfit which he used to wear to Shoom and Dave Swindell (legendary photojournalist) - who's here! - took a picture of him for i-D, so it's actually documented. He had everything: the hat, the t-shirt, the jacket, the shorts and the shoes. And the Shoom t-shirt he had, Danny Rampling (early acid house DJ and Shoom co-founder) hasn't even got it so it's really rare. It's so funny now because everyone would think 'why wouldn't you keep that?' but it was just a throwaway mentality. People wore these clothes to death at the time. Warehouses were really sweaty, a lot of the clothes wouldn't last, y'know?

405: They're relics...

Fiona: Yeah, they are now.

Tory: And I guess what I do, I rely on people who collect: enthusiasts, hoarders...Fiona is a hoarder!

Fiona: No, no, "ex-hoarder". I actually culled my hoard.

Tory: But I rely on that. I need people who collect things and keep things and so what you found was a real treasure. It's amazing because you can contextualize it totally. It was in the magazine, you were there, so I guess its like bringing those real experiences and how do you adapt that to a gallery space? We really needed to talk to them. We would have in-depth conversations, a lot of thought went into it.

Fiona: I think one of the things that happens is as time goes on, and obviously people who maybe weren't there, they do the type of fashion but often they get it wrong, understandably, because they weren't there. I think that's what is so great about this exhibition is that Tory has asked lots of us, all of us who were actually there, so we actually remember exactly what it was like. That is so important.

Tory: Authenticity was essential. Even if the socks were still dirty - keep them dirty. Anthony Donnelly found pills in the pockets! (Anthony, along with his brother Chris, were the infamous co-founders of Gio-Goi, the Manchester fashion label)

405: No way!

Tory: Yeah. So they just put them on the floor right by it. I just love that.

405: I was actually going to ask if there was anything you were surprised or interested to discover as you were researching. I guess finding pills in the pockets would be a bit of a surprise...

Tory: It's more looking after heritage and history, and making sure the younger generation understand it. People have got to explain it. What I find amazing is how absolutely interested people are. I'm not bigging up the private view or anything but at a lot of private views people are just having a few drinks, but people [here] are really looking at the detail of every little thing and that's because people have an interested in material culture and fashion history.

Fiona: I think it's because it's a part of their lives. All these things were a part of our lives, that changed are lives as well. Personally I feel that youth culture is really important in this country because it changed Britain. Obviously a lot of people here are too young to remember what it was like in the 80s but it really was quite grim in lots of aspects. I was in a sub-cultural world which was a lot of fun but for the average person in Britain, life was quite tough, and especially in cities like Manchester. So that's why I think these things have mythical proportions because they have really changed how people lived or acted or worked. Work can be fun now! I'm not saying its always fun but it can be fun. People party like it is a normal thing. This was like a deviant thing back in the day. Relationships are much more fluid. The differences between the races are disappearing, sexuality, all of that has been broken down and that all happened because of club culture. That's why it's important, I think.

405: How do you think contemporary street style compares with those the styles associated with subcultures 20 years ago?

Tory: I think the digital revolution put a bit of a stop to a lot of the uniqueness. I think the way things filtrate outwards is different because everything goes "boom!" now. And because the boundaries have changed, you can be anyone you want to be now.

Fiona: Yes, in the supermarket style, the Ted Polhemus stuff. I think it can be a good thing. One of the things I hear about a lot is that because all the barriers broke down between people, they don't feel the need to differentiate themselves. I mean, saying that, I'm still in youth, sub-cultural fashion and there are still trends. One of the big trends, well it's quite niche but very pure, is nu-goth. There is a big nu-goth scene happening now. And then you still got the grime scene going on and that is a particular look. So I still think there is subculture. A lot of people say it is the end of subculture but I still know people who will only wear one type of thing and their whole lives revolve around that. I don't know what you would call that?

Tory: Anal. So anal.

Fiona: (laughs) That's my friends! You can't say that!

405: It probably is a little bit anal, to be fair. So finally, what was your favourite look from the exhibition?

Tory: I can't answer that.

405: You're gonna have to.

Tory: I can't, I can't.

Fiona: I thought that outfit with the fur trim was absolutely bonkers.

Tory: Ella Dror. All the hip-hop references, it's beautiful.

Fiona: I'm not a fan of real fur myself but the actual outfit I just think is crazy and I love that.

Tory: I think that's a good point to end on because that was the catwalk piece, so how street style has gone up on to the catwalk.

405: That and you don't have to answer the question now!

Tory: I'm not doing it! I can't!