sink the pink invite the freaks and the fabulous into their new romantic world
From fashion designers to Cambridge graduates, the Sink the Pink collective has rounded up everyone from the superfreaks to the superfabulous to create a New Romantic community that hasn’t been seen since the days of The Blitz Club.
It's 1980 and doorman Steve Strange is assessing your homemade outfit. He's deciding whether or not you fit the New Romantic mould to enter The Blitz Club: their once inventive lair of liberal loveliness and artistic astoundment. Everyone wanted in, but not everyone was worthy. A community developed fast, seducing the most creative of crazies that London had ever seen. It was bloody beautiful. Members included much-loved i-D contributors and collaborators such as Princess Julia, Judy Blame and Pam Hogg. Their legacy has disseminated and dissipated through time, living unknowingly in fashion shoots, designers' collections, books and music.
Sink The Pink are the latest subculture to match the New Romantic's fervent energy. These Pink Romantics dish out as much as Blitz's club-kid collective, it is a serendipitous creation that has effortlessly done what others have tried and failed to recreate.
But how does one round 'em up to create such a community? Lots of luck, bucket loads of innovation and a give-a-shit attitude. We dig deep into the inspiring universe of Sink the Pink with co-founder (alongside Glyn Fussell) Amy Zing…
How did Sink The Pink begin?
It was planned, in that we wrote a list of all the things we love in a night out and wanted to make them happen. It was a reaction to terrible nights out we'd had and a longing for a friendly, welcoming and silly space to party!
Did you ever think it would gain as much attention?
We never thought any of this could ever happen! Who could plan such a beautiful and wonderful thing? It fills us with such pride. Honestly, I have life-orgasms - constantly. To have created a space where all these fabulous people choose to come and let their hair down gives me such deep honour and love. Every year it keeps getting better, and you're right, it does almost feel like a happy cult of ridiculous outfits and liberal, open-minded people and a shitload of glitter! We keep putting on parties and people love them. It's like an upward-spiral of love.
What about the outfits and make-up, where does that come from?
I think there is strength in numbers. You build an other-worldly confidence when you know you're going to go somewhere wearing the most ridiculous outfit imaginable, but there will always be someone out ridiculous-ing you! There's something playful and experimental about knowing that. And the safety and acceptance within the STP community means everybody knows we're all in this fun space together. It's half-deeply philosophical, half-complete, accidental lunacy. But maybe that's where the magical equation lies? All things absurd and ground-breaking have to straddle that line.
The New Romantics spent each week working hard on their outfits. Out-doing each other was part of it! What do you think about social media and its influence on creativity and our desire to "fit in"?
I think there's such an open honesty and playful nature in which we create and represent ourselves that perhaps it is comparable to the New Romantic era. There will always be queer, alternative kids wanting to create. That's what's so wonderful about subcultures. They make the world go round -imagine if we all shopped at Next! Shock! Social media has given us a place to share ideas with like-minded people. We get fabulous freaks from all over the world getting in touch on Twitter, Facebook and our Instagram. We are a very colourful bunch so we're a social-media dream! Maybe in the early stages of Facebook we went through the process of realising that vulnerability of being our true selves. Social media forces you to confront something in yourself that maybe you wouldn't have had to, at least immediately, in previous generations. As humans, we've never shared so much so openly with the whole world, and in so many ways this is an incredibly liberating thing. If a young queer-kid somewhere in the world stumbles on our Instagram, and ends up being inspired to be his true self, then how incredible is that?
That's more important than anything. Where do you see STP going? Is there anything specific you want to achieve?
It's not really our baby anymore: it's everyone's. We created it, but it lives and breathes as a community. We are always talking to people that attend and we check what works and what doesn't to ensure every person in the STP family feels it is working for them and the greater community. It is a surprisingly easy thing to stay democratic with, as its core values are so simple: be nice, be creative and most importantly, nothing needs to be hard, except willies!
What sort of music/artists/designers inspire you and the STP community?
We have dancers, like Jono Kitchens - he teaches a class called Hot Heels for both sexes to dance fabulous, life-giving routines in heels! And Julian Smith, aka Jacqui Potato, is an incredible fashion designer. Declan Shiels - he's doing huge things in the hair industry; working on all the big fashion shows, and is renowned for having the biggest hair at Sink The Pink. Original Sink The Pinker and photographer Jacob Love is creating incredible artwork from images found on Grindr. Andrew Glover, aka Jonbenet Blonde, models for huge magazines and styles for shoots too. Then there's fashion photographer Louie Banks, he's one of our gang too - amazing party soldier in a crop top! One fabulous freak we've nurtured, and are very proud of, is Oozing Gloop, a politics student that started painting himself green and turning up at STP with a fish tied to his willy and heels gaffa-taped on. He caught our attention immediately and it was love! He's gone on to start his own cabaret collective called Yeast London Cabaret, which we love and support massively, it helps us keep up with all the beautiful new queens coming to London. There's always something extreme and breaking new ground with that lot. And Jacob Mallinson Bird is a massive inspiration; in drag he is Dinah Lux, a model in and out of drag and a Cambridge graduate that got a first writing his dissertation on STP! Long time Sink The Pink family and hot boyfriends Jordan and Luca created and nailed their incredible clothing line 8DIX; a creative crew making amazing things happen! We are so blessed to know so many beautiful humans that make up the STP family - I am beyond proud of them all. And it continues to grow. It's like some magical power that makes us all stronger together. We've always got each other, and that seems to make the rest of the crazy world ok somehow.
Text Lewis Firth
Photography Peter Fingleton