Lanvin store, New York

A Store Is Born: Lanvin

It's a testament to Alber Elbaz’s magic that those notoriously fastidious ladies-who-lunch were willing to forego lighting and air conditioning (in triple-digit heat, no less) to peruse the racks of a not-yet-open Lanvin boutique over the weekend. It seems the stuff of fashion legend that they would brave heatstroke and even sweat to get their manicured hands on the newly arrived fall merch, but these are the rumors swirling around the new Upper East Side location, Lanvin's first in New York.

Fortunately, the new store has now thrown open its doors officially, and under much more humane conditions. Occupying a lofty Madison Avenue brownstone, the space offers three glorious levels of pure Lanvin opulence, packed with the signature collection, accessories, menswear, a denim capsule collection and, of course, a few whimsical Elbaz-flavored touches, such as umbrellas, stationery and playing cards.

In typical Lanvin style, the space itself is a study in contrasts, with wrought-iron fixtures and art-deco flair putting it somewhere between Edith Wharton elegance and film noir perversion. We suggest you make the trek as soon as possible, as fall’s savage luxury is already calling from the windows. Are you fit enough to survive?

Jul 26, 2010 00:00:00
ACNE London

A Store Is Born: ACNE in London

Swedish denim powerhouse ACNE is classing things up with its new London shoppe, sidestepping the usual hipster hideouts for decidedly posh Mayfair. But with a full range of ready-to-wear, footwear, accessories, and a Lanvin collaboration to boot, ACNE is hardly just another fancy denim dealer. A sort of coming-of-age, the raw multi-level space translates the brand’s effortless, Godard-style chic into spare industrial design and sleek, functional accents (they’re Swedish after all). It's the type of dapper, grown-up austerity usually reserved for Chelsea galleries—and art is, in fact, a point of inspiration. Along with a piano for live music on weekends, the store’s pièce de résistance is a large-scale Helmut Lang sculpture (a trisected eagle), perhaps a nod to that pioneer of Euro cool.

Jul 17, 2010 00:00:00
Lanvin store in St Tropez

A Store Is Born: Lanvin in St. Tropez

Because clearly the South of France is in need of more luxury, Lanvin is descending on Saint Tropez for the summer to spruce up the joint with a special retail project. Fret not, mes amies, this is no gauche pop-up store, but a refined boutique ephémère just a languid (i.e. boozy) stroll from the beach. Shedding neither caftan nor speedo, one can browse through summer and pre-fall offerings, or pick up a feathery thing or two en route back to the city.

The outing comes on the heels of Chanel and Louis Vuitton’s lavish productions in the seaside resort. But Lanvin opts for modesty over opulence, with a whimsical decor that includes Monsieur Elbaz’s fanciful calligraphy, stickers with his charming illustrations, and even those oddly seductive little Lanvin miniature dolls, which secretly make us want a curio cabinet à la& Kathy Bates' in Misery. But of course, like suntans and pool boy flings, this too will fade, in October.

Jul 02, 2010 00:00:00
Balenciaga men's store, Paris

Balenciaga Men's Store Opens in Paris

Under the exacting vision of Monsieur Ghesquière, the Balenciaga man is becoming ever more intrepid. Case in point: the house's first men's store in Paris (5 rue de Varenne, 75007), just a stone’s throw from the company headquarters. The slick new space comes courtesy of Nicolas and French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, known for her graphic and stark installations (such as filling the Tate Modern turbine hall with metal bunk beds). For this latest effort, the two—who also teamed up for Balenciaga's Los Angeles outpost—took inspiration from the deep-sea world of submarines. But no cheesy mermen or sea creatures here. Instead, the reference was distilled to a splashy yet masculine essence of line, geometry and color. The result is a luminous bilevel space, a studied juxtaposition between luxury and technology, featuring tropical underwater hues, a gangway-like staircase and a second level with lit floors. In its retro-futurism, the space embodies the core of the house and its aquatic adventures in materials, cut and proportion, as well as its sporty efforts, such as spring 2011’s techno dandies. We’ll be diving headfirst for those goggle-sunglass hybrids—no scuba suit needed.

Jun 25, 2010 00:00:00
A.F. Vandevorst spring 10

A Store Is Born

It’s gonna be a busy summer for Belgian-based A.F. Vandevorst. They’re following the success of their Antwerp guerrilla store, Aktion, with a second installment. Aptly named Aktion II, the latest incarnation takes the show on the road—all the way to the Belgian Riviera, partnering with the Hoet Bekaert Gallery for a fashion-art collaboration as native to the region as fishing boats. Mixed with all sorts of conceptual wares, you’ll find a selection of A.F.’s subversive classics, with all their subtle perverse twists. Later this year, the duo will continue the fun with a new lingerie line with Marie Jo L’Aventure, concocting a series of “mini-garments”—suggestive, gauzy bits to keep all your naughties cozy and fashionable year-round.

Jun 23, 2010 00:00:00
YSL store in Casablanca

Yves Saint Laurent Opens in Casablanca

Which actually makes perfect sense when you consider the Algerian-born couturier famously vacationed in Morocco's other oasis, Marrakech. If you don't know what we're talking about, you have to read Alicia Drake's The Beautiful Fall

Jun 02, 2010 00:00:00
Louis Vuitton London

Louis Vuitton's London Grand Opening

Louis Vuitton is no stranger to jolly old England. In fact, when the French luxury goods house first set up shop in London, a still nubile Queen Victoria was able to peruse the monogrammed trunks and tiara cases. With such an illustrious history, we could expect nothing less than a grand debut for LV’s palatial new flagship in the heart of London’s retail mecca, New Bond Street.

Sprawled over three levels, the boutique honors Old World opulence, yet streamlined by the vision of architect Peter Marino. With his signature historical mash-up, the store’s regalia is polished off with modernist details such as a slick LED display, artist collaborations (Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince) and endless glass halls. But of course the main attraction is the sumptuous Vuitton offerings, from suitcases to jewelry, as well as a full array of fall’s wasp waists and ample bosoms. And in an ode to the Oxford scholar, the store also houses a library that showcases the best in contemporary British art, i.e. Anish Kapoor, Chris Ofili and Gary Hume.

Of course, it wouldn’t be England without a few strict class divisions. To wit, the second floor is dedicated exclusively to VIP services, including a luminous client suite. Such sumptuous settings were clearly begging for a fete, and LV delivered, pre-recession-style, shutting down the street and hosting a Victoriana-themed banquet, featuring a gentleman’s smoking room straight out of a Dickens novel and a forest recreated indoors. The topper: a rare performance by Donna Summer, who brought down the house with Marc Jacobs himself as backup. One queen bowing to another, that’s what we call the royal treatment.

May 26, 2010 00:00:00
United Nude

United Nude Gets a Koolhaas in New York

Architects have been known to dwell on the smaller things in life: chairs, faucets, glasses and, evidently, shoes. Take, for example, United Nude's new store at 25 Bond Street, New York. With a wall of light designed by creative director and architect Rem D. Koolhaas, nephew of the notorious Rem L. Koolhaas, the "dark shop" concept renders the space pitch black—like the original Amsterdam flagship—save for an LED wall of shelves displaying row upon row of shoes, each one a miniature gravity-defying, carbon fiber edifice. Rising high on an wooden block heel, the humble pump reaches new heights.

May 25, 2010 00:00:00
Freemans Sporting Club

A Store Is Born

Trafficking in its own unique brand of butch realness, Freemans Sporting Club has become quite the style epicenter with its barbershop-boutique-restaurant combo. The LES gent’s club eschews all that’s fey and foppish, opting for a refreshingly rustic edge where everything is adorned with antlers and plaid—and Field and Stream is touted as a style bible. It’s a lesson in old-school manliness. Now, with their latest outpost, the Freemans boys are braving a whole new wilderness, the West Village, land of piano bars and candle shops. Converted out of an old bodega on Christopher and Bleecker Streets, the second location is jam-packed with Freemans' staples in all their rugged variations, including not just suits and oxfords, but an assortment of manly accoutrement that might come in handy on a safari or an unexpected hunting trip. Think handmade compasses, dry bags, solar radios, whittling knives and a selection of sporting mags. It may not be enough to cure a limp wrist, but it makes for fantastic man drag.

Apr 25, 2010 00:00:00

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