Meet Eddy, the kitschest bitsch in London
Welcome to a world where fashion is playful and fierce. Toys are transformed into handcrafted earrings, necklaces and caps in Bitsch Kitsch London, a shop that's like Disneyland for the extravagant style seekers.
Right in the middle of Brick Lane, in Shoreditch, a small sign with an arrow pointing towards a door on the corner stands out mysteriously. Following a narrow hallway, you enter a bonkers world where fashion meets Toys’R’Us with a hip hop soundtrack. Bienvenidas a Bitsch Kitsch, bitches!
Hanging from the ceiling and surrounding you in every wall there are earrings, necklaces and caps made of toys. Hand painted tops and denim jackets with sequins and other wondrous things, patches and mind boggling sweatshirts with dinosaurs and tulle. There is so much to see that the eye seems unable to take in any piece as singular focusing on the entire crazy mix instead.
“I became a kitsch jewellery maker because in England I don’t have a workshop where I can work with metal and chemicals”, explains Eddy, who used to work with silver before coming to the UK. Originally from Thailand, Eddy moved to London in 2006 to study jewellery in Camberwell College of Arts. A project on kitsch made him realise that toy shops could provide a handy raw material. “People don’t like to spend £200 or £300 on one piece. That’s why I use cheap stuff to create my artwork”, he says.
Pez dispensers, Barbie doll heads, Lego, anything can be transformed into a dashing style statement in his hands. “Who buys my work? People who like art and are into fashion and want something to take to a party”. Eddy himself doesn’t wear the pieces he creates. “I wore one of my caps when I went out with friends and people were staring at me. I don’t like it when people are looking at me”. Although his work is loud and extravagant, Eddy is far more discreet.
On winter days you’ll find him shivering inside the cold shop trying to save on electricity, on warm summer days he’s stressing out over the tourists that take pictures of his work and local shoplifters. “There’s a lot of people stealing. I go many times to the police station because people steal my stuff to sell in the street”, he says with several breaks in between. English doesn’t come easy to him and that’s one of his main obstacles to grow his business.
In a particularly bad winter day he said he was thinking about giving up on his work. Today, however, the sun is shining and he’s feeling more confident. “I sometimes think about going to work for someone else, but I know myself and I can’t do it.” After asking a regular shoplifter to get out, he struggles to find the words to tells us he is content. “I used to dream about being a big designer, but now I don’t think like that anymore. It’s okay now. If it has to happen, it’s going to happen”.