You might assume this humdrum 1950s office block is home to an under-performing community college or a litter-strewn squat.
And for many years it was – so what could the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Lady Gaga and electro band Dépêche Mode want with Netil House now?
A-list stars have been coming and going from the 50,000sqft building on the junction of Mare and Westgate Street since its re-opening as an artisan hub in 2010, popping in to visit the dozens of creative companies that have gradually colonised the space.
The place is teeming with over 100 bright young designers, photographers, directors, acrobats and radio jockeys. We had a look at some of the most successful outfits behind those closed grey doors…
Design duo Fanny and Jessy’s androgynous but sexy label has not only caught the fake-eye-lashed peepers of Lady Gaga but also attracted pop-vixens Rhianna, Jessie J and singer-songwriter MIA.
The racy designs – influenced by rubber-holic label PPQ and the ‘experimental vibe’ of London – are surprisingly inspired by the pretty pair’s Somerset upbringing.
After performing post-mortems on chickens for inspiration, the latest ‘dissection’ collection was born, with mock ‘animal’ seams running through the clothes and colours and textures matched to the insides of animals.
But there’s no chance the fashion pack will say ‘I wouldn’t be seen dead in that’, as the label has already graced the pages of industry bible Vogue following its meteoric rise from the workshops of the London College of Fashion in 2009.
Fanny and Jessy have recently moved to a bigger Shoreditch studio.
“Cause you’re gold”
Visual artist Memo Akten’s talent for fusing art and technology is so desirable celebs have decided to wear it.
At the 2010 Grammy awards singer Imogen Heap wore a futuristic ‘Twitter’ dress designed to take her fans on stage with her, displaying their tweets and photos in real time.
Istanbul-born Memo, founder of The Mega Super Awesome Visuals Company, has been creating new ways of presenting music and sound since he was eight years old.
Another memorable piece is an interactive ‘magic mirror’ that featured in Dépêche Mode’s video ‘Fragile Tension’.
The installation turns reflections into gold dust before the image collapses away, representing our 21st century obsession with super stardom.
Memo now works in Hackney Wick, Oslo house.
Dizzee heights of success
Chris Barrett and Luke Taylor are the brains behind Us Design, an agency that has directed music videos for rap superstars Tinie Tempah and Wiley and picked up the Best New Directors award and Best Urban Video Award at the UK Music Video Awards in the process.
…and as we’re on the subject, Netil House’s own ground-floor events space has also played host to Dizzee Rascal’s record label, Dirtee Stank, to shoot his protégée Pepper’s music video in 2011.
Netil House market showcases the best studio work every Saturday from 11am-6pm at 13-23 Westgate St, London Fields, E8.