Plus Ça Change
PLUS ÇA CHANGE
In 1971 when SPACE opened its first studio building in the London borough of Hackney, landlords were desperate to find new uses for their obsolete factory buildings. Come 2014 the average cost of a home in the borough is £500,000 and Hackney is a big draw for foodies, fashionistas and investors, part of an accelerating cycle of new wave gentrifiers and artistes. Designer buggies fill the pavements whilst diners snack on gourmet pickles behind discreet shop fronts along Mare Street, from Bethnal Green to the council’s flagship pop-up on the Narroway. Hackney Village is the place to be for would-be bohemians vaguely hoping to rub shoulders with real artists and real people. Newcomers crave Lost London, a connection with an authentic past. Luxury brands flood the borough. I spot a new designer Tote bag emblazoned with Acne Studios walking down the street, which I naively assume has something to do with artist studios.