Paris, London, Milan and… Rottingdean? The quaint East Sussex village may appear an unlikely style hotspot but don’t be fooled. Since one of Britain’s hottest young design duos set up a studio in a flat on the seafront – and named themselves Rottingdean Bazaar – locals have found themselves centre-stage in the fashion world. James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks, whose surreal, inventive designs have drawn praise from titles ranging from Vogue to The Guardian, may work internationally but when it comes to inspiration, they don’t need to stray far from their own doorstep. Regular customers at charity shops including Parc on High Street, the Central St Martin’s fashion graduates have thrown themselves into local life since they moved into the village. They were so impressed by the work of the poetry group based at the Open Art Café on Nevill Road that they invited them to contribute to a book they made last year with iconic British designer Paul Smith. They filmed a video for style magazine i-D on Rottingdean bandstand – using dancers from the local Zumba class as models – and they asked children from Artpod, on High Street, to draw avant-garde performance artist David Hoyle for a photo shoot with Man About Town fashion magazine.
“The industry we’re in can be dangerous, and encourage you not to look after yourself. I’m quite self-destructive, so I have to pace myself. Here we can be quite domestic. We try to be normal”
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