Saint Laurent has a tony new home in New York — a remodeling, to be exact, of the Upper East Side flagship that originally opened in 2003. The new boutique, overtaking the Los Angeles outlet as the largest in the U.S., illustrates creative director Hedi Slimane's rigorous and straight-edged retail vision for the house, a total concept that utilizes marble and brass almost exclusively.
A complement to the house's Soho location, the renovated UES address has also added a third floor, where menswear is housed, in addition to women's on the second floor and lifestyle on the ground floor.
Saint Laurent, 3 East 57th Street, NYC
Though he's originally from Fresno, Rick Owens spent much of his misspent youth in L.A. How apropos that he's just opened his first store there, just down the street from, he says, "a Mexican drag bar where I spent a lot of late, boozy nights 20 years ago."
More than anything, he wanted the space to reflect his twisted view of Hollywood — a kind of brutalist Cecil B. Demille — which he achieved with the help of longtime architect Anna Tumaini. Together they installed a large-scale fog machine, the kind he has in his New York and Seoul stores. And they even incorporated what he calls a swimming pool (pools are big in the movies, right?), but which is more akin to a floor-to-ceiling tank in which bubbles, one at a time, rise to the surface.
Rick Owens has opened an expansive store in Hong Kong — his largest in Asia, made in collaboration with Joyce Boutique — and it's a reminder of his peculiar self-idolatry. Inside the three-story space — which stocks his complete men's and women's collections, as well as his DRKSHDW second line — sits a vérité statue of himself. On hands and knees, the piece serves as a coffee table, literally, complete with Owens' own coffee-table book, the gargantuan Rizzoli publication from a few years ago.
Designers often use the self as muse, but Owens takes the notion to a bizarre and bizarrely captivating new level. Consider his giant outdoor sculpture for Selfridges last year (putting the self in Selfridges) or his urinating statue at Pitti Uomo in Florence in 2006 (putting the pee in Pitti). He's long said he doesn't believe in muses; unless, apparently, the muse is meta.
Rick Owens, 18 On Lan Street, Hong KongRead More
Hedi Slimane's unlikely love affair with Los Angeles shows no signs of cooling off. Not only did he relocate Saint Laurent's atelier to Tinseltown — a major move, to say the least — upon becoming creative director of the French house last year, now he's opening the brand's largest women's store on Rodeo Drive, smack in the middle of Beverly Hills. This effectively snatches the title of global flagship from Paris.
The three-level, 10,000-square-foot space will launch in September, according to WSJ magazine, with the top floor dedicated to VIPs and, perhaps more importantly, their stylish progeny — this is Hollywood, after all. There's going to be a secret back entrance and everything. The news comes on the heels of financial reports suggesting Saint Laurent has become very profitable for parent company Kering (formerly PPR), perhaps its most profitable label. It would seem Slimane's reboot has found traction.
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