Opening Ceremony just keeps opening. The sprawling chain's latest outpost sits in the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, London, designed by Max Lamb. The British interior designer employed Dadaistic elements like stone tables that are not stone, but foam, and a cocoon-like white latex curtain that ripples all around the store, doing away with right angles. The racks, too, are not what they seem. One continuous blue rack curves around the space, inspired by — and made in the same factory as — the blue handrails of the Victoria Line tube.
Mixed with international labels marqueed by Raf Simons, local brands include Faustine Steinmetz, Helen Lawrence and Marques'Almeda, and Nicomede Talavera.
Opening Ceremony Shoreditch, 106 Shoreditch High Street, London
Alexander McQueen is planting roots in Tokyo with a new store in the Aoyama district, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Prada. While the brand has been operating smaller shop-in-shops in Tokyo and Osaka, some of them accessories-only, the two-story new outlet — designed by creative director Sarah Burton and David Collins Studio — is its first comprehensive flagship in all of Japan.
As for design influences, the label cites “flora and fauna, real and imagined; the warped perspective of Francis Bacon’s paintings of Popes; the Surrealist artist HR Giger; the Eighteenth Century salon and Rorschach ink blots; primitivism, the human skeleton and the female form." Now imagine those motley things scaled down and paired with dove-gray leather furnishings and loads of marble — artwork by Takeo Hanazawa and Takao Togashi provide the Japanese element.
This week Céline opened a flagship in the Mayfair district of London, where, surely no coincidence, creative director Phoebe Philo resides. Bags, shoes and ready-to-wear are given ample room in the minimally designed space, which emphasizes unconventional materials, many of them rare and left raw. The windows in the facade, for example, are framed in dark Iroko wood from Africa, while the interior is divided by walls covered in clear gray Marmorino plaster from Italy. The floor may look like parquet but in fact comprises 6000 marble tiles inlaid with semi-precious stones.
Philo and the Céline team also collaborated with Danish artist FOS — a recent participant in the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, and Frieze Art Fair, where he installed an ice-cream stand — to create several unique pieces: cast-iron door handles, floor lamps and a Calderesque brass chandelier. Banana plants in amorphous terracotta pots round out the vaguely tropical aesthetic.
Céline, 103 Mount Street, London
In the 17 seconds you'll have between the shows and parties of Fashion Week, pop into one of these pop-ups...
Fans of obscure Japanese style, take note. During Fashion Week, Nipponista will sell the island nation's more cultish labels — i.e. N.Hoolywood, Anrealage, Mint Designs, Daisy Balloon, Facetasm, Tokyobike, and the current collection of Kansai Yamamoto, early costume designer for David Bowie. The famed department store Isetan, Japan's answer to Barneys, is putting the pop-up together as part of the Cool Japan government initiative.
Nipponista, February 6-13, 47 Greene Street, NYC
Daisy Tweet Shop
Some months ago, Marc Jacobs made news by adding a beauty store to his cluster of shops on Bleecker Street. Now he's raking in headlines with Daisy Tweet Shop, a pop-up during Fashion Week that will accept "social currency" in lieu of money. In exchange for tweets, Instagrams, and Facebook posts tagged with #MJDaisyChain, and depending on the size and reach of shoppers' social presence, they can walk out with free fragrances and small accessories.
Daisy Tweet Shop, February 7-9, 462 West Broadway, NYC
Shipley & Halmos
Shipley & Halmos is the proud owner of a pop-up on Canal Street, the men's label's first-ever retail effort. Among its spring wares and accessories is a clever assortment of souvenir-like items, a la beer cozies, keyrings, and slogan mugs.
Shipley & Halmos, through February 23, 385 Canal Street, NYC
Deth Killers of Bushwick
Greg Minnig and Scott Campbell of Deth Killers, the Brooklyn-based makers of "asphalt-resisistant" jeans and jackets for motorcyclists, are opening a pop-up during New York Fashion Week. Not for the faint-of-heart.
Deth Killers, launching February 11, 348 Bowery Street, NYC
Holding their press preview just days before Christmas, Dover Street Market is finally open in New York. We went, we saw, we took mental notes...
- It's pretty much identical to the original DSM in London — thank god! — but with a slightly different roster of labels.
- The most jaw-dropping of the site-specific artworks is Magda Sayek's yarn installation, where she covered a giant column with a rainbow-colored knit like a column cozy!
- Apparently Rei Kawakubo herself envisioned (read micro-managed) the architecture elements and interior design. She was spotted darting around the space — convening with the designers, artists, and movers — days and hours before opening.
- Like the DSM in London and Tokyo, labels are invited to personalize their own space, or rooms. Which makes sense, since designers tend to be perfectionists — like Thom Browne, who created what looks like a private detective's office from film noir.
- You could seriously go nuts here. In addition to its own 15 lines, Comme des Garçons shares the multi-floor space with the likes of Rick Owens, Yves Saint Laurent, and Azzedine Alaïa. (Plus, there is a fall/winter sale going on at the moment!)
- Prada — known for its art collaborations, not fashion — has created a capsule collection exclusively for the store, called Prada at Dover Street Market.
- Louis Vuitton, too, has assembled a space. Except theirs is extra-special as it's the only one on the first floor. It's a pop-up that lasts three months, featuring Kim Jones’ men’s line first, followed by women’s.
- So nice of Rose Bakery to provide nibbly bits. Delicious!
- A staff member told us we'd get younger if we went up a staircase that looked like a purple cocoon. We tried, it didn't work.
It may sound like a geriatric creeping maneuver, but no. Gray felt is the concept of Viktor & Rolf's new and first Paris store.
The interior is made up of curved steel covered in tactile gray felting. "We said to the architects we want a shop that's invisible, like ghost architecture. When you enter you don't expect the huge space that opens up suddenly."
The color gray was chosen to celebrate the Dutch label's 20th anniversary. The duo's first collection, in 1993, was an all-gray affair, as was their couture show earlier this year, their first in 13 years.
Viktor & Rolf, 370 Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris
In other Breaking Good News...
It's one month from now: December 21, 2013. You might be out of town for the holidays, but tourists in hair-pulling, children-pushing shopping mode will be trolling the city in force. Here's a list of all the labels that will be carried there.
As previously reported, the new Dover will occupy the century-old museum-like structure at Lexington and 30th in Murray Hill, in the newly-christened NoMad district of Manhattan. The site is near Ace Hotel, Kitsuné, and Marc Jacobs' preferred show venue, the Lexington Avenue Armory. The opening of Dover in the area could very well trigger a mass migration of other designer boutiques, as the opening of Comme des Garçons in Chelsea did years ago.
Riccardo Tisci never runs out of ways to make you feel special. His new Givenchy women's boutique in Paris, a collaboration with architect Joseph Dirand, is a reinterpretation of the Givenchy boxes used to deliver haute couture items to the house's most moneyed clientele. Each room is its own box, decked out in felt walls, dark green breccia marble, golden mirroring, black lacquer, anthracite, and ceppo stone. A round marble staircase connects the rooms, which naturally includes a VIP salon.
And, if you're still unsure of the house's dark, aristocratic elegance, a limited edition of the HDG (House de Givenchy) bag has been produced — specifically, five — in beige ostrich, white python, and black lizard. Should you be interested in the price, ask at the store.
Givenchy, 36 avenue Montaigne, Paris
Alexander McQueen opened its doors on Manhattan's Madison Avenue yesterday, after movin' on up from the Meatpacking District, the brand's flagship home for the last decade.
The nearly 3,500-square-foot store — designed by Sarah Burton, the label's creative director, in conjunction with David Collins Studio — fits right in among its ritzy neighbors. Mirroring the brand's dark opulence, the custom interior features polished marble floors and natural motifs — feathers, shells, mushroom gills, and tangled leaves — among the molded plaster details, echoing the historical bent and naturalism Burton has emphasized since taking over from the late Lee McQueen. "It's important to us that everything in the store feels very precious," she said of the jewel-box space.
The move marks another stylish coup for the tony uptown stretch, which has recently seen the arrival of Fivestory and Proenza Schouler, who threw shoppers for a loop by opening far from the expected downtown corridors. McQueen's 15-year, $65-million lease on 747 Madison Avenue, the former home of Valentino, ensures that the revival of city's newest (and most old-school) shopping strip is just getting started.