August '08
We pay attention to retail
By Franklin Melendez

colette x GAP
For its latest venture, Gap has skimmed the crème de la crème, tapping the curatorial pedigree of legendary Parisienne retailer-cum-gallery colette. The unlikely duo will produce colette x GAP, a month-long pop-up installation in Gap’s concept space adjacent to its New York flagship on 54th and 5th. For those rattled by the coupling of “Gap” and “concept store,” it’s worth noting that Gap's reach has extended well beyond waffle knits in recent years. With a series of successful, high-profile collaborations—i.e. Mulberry, Pierre Hardy—the cornerstone of the American high street continues to up the ante. The current project provides a new benchmark, honoring that French cry for l’egalite by bringing a taste of colette’s exclusivity to the clamoring masses. An array of colette signature items will be on hand, as well as a wide range of exclusive products from Oakley, Adam Kimmel, Longchamp and Repetto, to name just a few. Also look for limited-edition art tees and, of course, a few French twist on Gap staples, including a hand-painted trench and a series of nouveaux classics rendered in miniature by French artist Anne-Marie Herckes. Sure, it may not be the second storming of the Bastille, but a democratic experiment nevertheless—and a sure sign of the times, even if the time is limited to September 6 - October 5.
Miguel Adrover, Hess Natur
Don’t call Miguel Adrover's return to New York Fashion Week this September a comeback; it's fashion-conscious recycling. After a four-year hiatus, the worldly wunderkind has been snapped up by Hess Natur, an environmentally friendly German mail-order company. The partnership is a perfect fit for the man who made his splash in 2000 with reworked pieces, including those ubiquitous “I Heart NY” tees, an unforgettable Burberry trench and a Louis Vuitton suitcase turned into a miniskirt—not to mention that coat made from Quentin Crisp's used mattress. Boasting organic sourcing and an award-winning African cotton project, Hess Natur promises to be fertile ground for the Spanish-born talent. So much so that he signed on for a five-year stint as creative director and quickly debuting his initial offerings online. Don’t expect a repeat of his United Nations-printed caftan from 2002; these will be tailored pieces in green materials, filtered through his unique global vision. Highlights include drop-crotch dhoti-inspired trousers (a current fashion obsession), wool crepe jodhpurs and a hypoallergenic lambskin vest for the nomad in the rest of us.

  The Convenience Store
The Beijing games may be coming to a close, but Opening Ceremony keeps the Olympic spirit aflame with the announcement of its next international theme: Japan. The OC will pit its hand-picked selection of domestic brands against the best from the fashion heavyweight of a country. Available for the first time stateside are Green, G.V.G.V, Hiromi Tsuyoshi, Lad Musician, Porter, Vlas Bloome, End Pin, United Arrows (Beauty and Youth) and Sabatino, as well as special collaborations with Comme and Sanrio. So sprint, summersault or swim to either OC location (Howard St. in New York, La Cienega in L.A.) and don’t settle for anything less than gold….Mischievous fashion provocateur, Moschino, unveils its New York flagship in the heart of the Meatpacking District at 401 W. 14th Street. Quintessentially tongue-in-cheek, the space transforms the former Quality Meats building into a massive boutique that will house all of Moschino’s lines… Style may be a vital necessity, but it needn’t be an inconvenience. London’s The Convenience Store (seen here) knows that all too well. Nestled in the basement of a West London high-rise, it offers the latest in cutting-edge design for the shopper-on-the-go. Offerings include Jens Laugesen, Gustavo Lins, Clare Tough, Hannah Marshall and Sophie Hulme. It’s the perfect rest stop on the way to the Tube.
Dover Street Market, Rogues Gallery
Two new virtual venues beckon with their siren calls—an ocean apart, but united by style. The tide is high for Rogues Gallery, the New England-inspired retailer that’s been transforming nautical gear into fashion must-haves since 2002. In January, Rogues unveiled its first dry-land outpost in Portland (Maine, that is, suitably on Wharf Street) and now follows up with an e-shop, carrying sailing sweaters, bateau-striped Henleys and its cult faves: art tees screen-printed with aquatic mysteries of the deep. Indulge those Cousteau fantasies and pick up a giant squid version (harpoon and tackle not included). And for the lasses, Rogues will debut women’s looks in 2009… Across the pond, Dover Street Market is making its own waves. Since its launch, this avant-garde mecca has brought Rei Kawakubo’s uncompromising vision to life, offering an awe-inspiring assortment of cutting-edge designers alongside Comme’s numerous lines. For those unable to make the transatlantic journey, Dover is making its full PLAY line available online for the first time. The collection of whimsical basics for adults and adventuresome tykes is stamped with Comme’s iconic heart with eyes—and that’s enough to drain our wallets.

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