original 90s revival r&b club night ‘work it’ turns seven
Ahead of tonight’s party, we chat big tunes and even bigger looks with founders Loren and Sara.
, the original east London 90s revival club night, is celebrating its 7th birthday tonight. From the 'J Lo vs P Diddy' night to the Chloë Sevigny party and the Sisqo "Unleash the Dragon" special, the eclectic club night has covered a lot of musical and cultural ground while retaining it's all night dance party vibe and dedicated full-look tribe. On their 7th birthday, we speak to founders Loren Platt and Sara El Dabi about the enduring appeal of 90s R&B and the creation of an east London cultural phenomenon.
Why did you start WORK IT?
It was early 2008, we lived in hackney and wanted to go to a party and dance to R&B all night without having to get three night buses home. West End clubs were our only option at the time so I guess we were motivated by our own needs; purely selfish! We had never promoted a club night before so we booked a date made a logo printed some flyers and that was that.
How does it feel to be celebrating seven years of WORK IT?
We can't believe it's been seven years. It started as a side project for fun so it feels really good to still be going strong after all this time. Honestly we still look forward to each one, things get so busy and everyone is doing there own thing and working on different projects so it's the one moment in the month when most of our crew get together and have a moment on the dance floor.
Planning this birthday has been a good time to reflect on all the old photos. WOW let's just say we really went in hard on the outfits over the years. There was a lot of looks. It was inevitable that this would be a big part of things - planning the outfit for a function has always been our going out ritual.
How has the night developed since you started?
The music policy is constantly evolving, it very much started with 90s R&B but as the 90s trend filtered into the mainstream so did the music and our DJs evolved and their broader taste and influences came through in their selections. There will always be a 90s R&B and Hip Hop influence coming through, but you will now hear lots of new stuff mixed in as well as 00s, remixes and everything in between. It's not so much about the 90s but about the vibe. WORK IT has always been a party that doesn't take itself too seriously, where lots of different types of people can come and truly let their hair down without the risk of receiving side eye. Dress up or down, bring a comfortable shoe (even if you start in a heel) because dancing all night is very much on the agenda. That is the bit that has somehow stayed consistent over the years.
WORK IT parties often have themes - which one was your favourite?
We have had lots of specials and collabs over the years, throwing parties with all our London family: Livin' Proof, PDA, Nobodies Biz, Purple Ferdinand, James Massiah, Ted's Draws, Larry B, the list goes on... Our flyer archive is probably one of our most favourite things in life. lol. Moschino March was pretty special, another personal fave!
We recently collaborated with "Drake Night" and played Drake for seven hours straight. You think that it could get trying after the first two hours but it didn't, people including us went crazy. There was some good Drake outfit homages too, a whole lotta Frakes.
Which party sparked the best looks?
Each and every one has some mouth watering looks. People seem to be very free to wear what they feel at WORK IT and we like it that way too. Halloween always brings out the freakiest R&B looks. A full Spice Girls line up never fails to impress. Our friend Mischa once sashayed into the club in a full flesh coloured body suit, gold wig, black lip liner and Versace sunglasses. It was the best Lil Kim we've had the pleasure to witness… and we've seen a lot!
Did you start the 90s revival?!
We like to think we played a major part in re-lighting that fire ;-) You only need to look into our archive of photos to see we were dedicated to the look. Crop tops and mosch everywhere. We're looking forward to see what the next years bring!
WORK IT 7 - Saturday 2 May, The Victoria Pub, 451 Queensbridge Road, London, E8 3AS