The Instagram account documenting London's goth fashion revival
@hysteric.fashion is taking to the streets to prove that Camden street style never died.
Since February, Daisy Davidson has spent her Sundays traipsing around Camden looking to snap thex most extravagantly dressed individuals she can find for her Instagram account @hystericsnaps. In an homage to Shoichi Aoki’s FRUiTS and STREETS, two legendary but now defunct street style magazines, Daisy has taken it upon herself to document the spectacular style of London’s youth.
The project is an extension of her Instagram account, @hysteric.fashion, on which she shares pictures of Japanese street style, plus images of emo and scene kids found while deep-diving online forums and blogs. The name is a nod to the legendary Harajuku brand Hysteric Glamour, which is the primary merchandise sold on an adjacent Instagram store, @hysteric.shop, alongside Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier. Daisy’s selection is so good that she was picked up by Heaven by Marc Jacobs to curate a vintage section for their Los Angeles store in early 2021.
It is said that the internet has killed subculture, but Daisy’s images make it clear that subcultural styles like goth, lolita, decora, scene and emo are not just designated to the past — they’re as popular as ever among young Brits today. In fact, access to the internet has spurred them on, creating vast networks of the similarly-dressed which span geographies. Camden, the area which gave us punk, and the spiritual home of the gothically-inclined, seems the perfect place to see these subcultures live on.
Hi Daisy! Tell us, why did you create @hysteric.fashion?
Throughout my life I’ve spent so much time on the internet looking at old forums, so I've always been into the scene and Myspace thing. I started the account because I just kept finding good images! I’ve been into anime and manga since I was at primary school. Then for my 12th birthday, I got the FRUiTS book from my Nan and Grandad. I was obsessed with that book for such a long time; it was such a reference point for style for me.
When did you start wearing old Harajuku brands?
When I was a kid, my mum used to get me a lot of Hysteric Glamour Mini stuff — she always bought stuff from jumble sales, second hand things, so I used to have Hysteric Glamour and some Maharishi, and a couple of Super Lovers pieces. She just thought they were cute. I only started to pick up on them again in 2016.
In the last year or two, old Harajuku brands have become really popular. Why do you think this is?
Over the last year everyone’s been locked down and there's not such an influx of different trends. The younger kids don't want to buy new stuff either and those kinds of brands are cute and also secondhand, so I guess maybe it's also to do with that. The teens are so aware! When I was a kid I would buy stuff from Topshop, I just didn't have the kind of scope they do now.
Why did you start taking street style pictures?
I really wanted to do something that was in the real world, not just on the internet so I thought, ok — I’m just gonna go and take a picture of one of my friends and see what comes out. Then it actually looked really decent, so I put a callout on my Instagram asking if anyone wanted to take pictures and a lot of people replied.
Do you tend to meet up with people specifically to take pictures, or are you also stopping people on the street?
I meet with quite a lot of people and then I mix it in with people I see if I'm hanging around. I get nervous asking people but I do love when you see someone and you just need to get a picture.
Do the people you photograph tend to know each other? Or are they individuals who all have the same kind of style references?
I've noticed the more pictures I've taken, the more connections you make — people knowing other people. Especially because it's so online, those people all just connect. Sometimes you end up shooting all the people in a little subgroup which is really nice. I've noticed that everyone seems to go to Las Vegas Arcade in Soho, that's the spot. I love knowing that groups are still doing that, I think it’s really cute.
What’s Camden like these days?
I've noticed that more kids are starting to go there again. When I say kids I mean like eight-year-olds wearing Hatsune Miku cosplay – really cute! And there's a few new shops that have opened. An anime store and a gothy kind of shop that everyone seems to go to. More and more, you’ll see e-girls going there in groups. I think they’ve seen it online and it's become a bit of a hangout spot. I saw this really cute group of goths there the other day, they must have been 17 and I just thought, ‘Yes! This is so good!’ People are actually meeting up and hanging out there again. It's so nice that it doesn’t involve spending any money, you can just go there and look at stuff.
How do you think subculture works these days?
It's weird when it's online. It's not the same as subcultures in the 2000s, where you'd go to a very particular club and everyone that was there was in that subculture. But there are definitely subcultures now. I feel like you can even see it in who people will know. This person might live in Manchester, but then they know these people here [in London] and they will have a very similar vibe. The younger kids don't really have any interest in going to clubs, I don't think they even want to drink — it's not that energy anymore. It’s much more like, if we're going to communicate and be part of a ‘thing’, you can be in that and live miles away. It's just a different form of subculture.