January '07
We pay attention to retail

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Getting an early start on its 10th anniversary celebrations planned for March, colette recruited a bevy of artists, illustrators and graphic designers to express their feelings about the new year in My 2007, an exhibition (above) on view in the store gallery through January 27. Most of the single images are happy, many are not. Visit colette above for a look at all the contributions… Fashion minimalists across Germany—and there are many—have undoubtedly started mixing and matching their black-on-black party clothes to celebrate the February opening of the Jil Sander store in Frankfurt, where the company went public in 1989. Of course, Raf Simons is at the helm now, and although it's unknown yet whether he'll attend the launch, we've been hearing more and more about his revolutionary store concept debuting later this year... He has no problem incorporating what most people would consider trash with gold, silver and black pearls for his punk jewelry line, but Tom Binns apparently draws the line at being late. The self-described Dadaist and former Westwood/McLaren collaborator, whose bulky, webby baubles have been a cult phenomenon in his native England for over two decades, has already shipped a large portion of his spring Raj collection, featuring vintage crystals and glass found on beaches, to stores worldwide. Among the first is the multibrand jewelry boutique Kabiri (37 Marylebone, High Street, London, +44 (0) 20 7224 1808), but soon enough you can expect to see bits of broken bottles glinting at you from the windows of colette in Paris, Paul Smith in New York, 10 Corso Como in Milan and Loveless in Tokyo.

It's hardly a surprise that Alexandre Herchcovitch is big in Japan. After all, his trippy creations seem tailormade for a pop-loving nation of fearless dressers, making it an ideal market for the Brazilian's offbeat sensibility, bold prints and vibrant colors. But it turns out the fond feelings flow both ways: the designer is showing some of this love with the opening of his first store in Tokyo (25-8 Saragukucho, Shibuya-Ku), his first boutique outside of Brazil. The freestanding boutique, located in the hip Daikanyama area and set to open in March (pardon the early heads-up and pre-renovation photo—we thought you'd want to plan ahead), will carry Herchcovitch's women's, men's and denim lines, as well as his collaboration with that other irreverent genius who marches to his own drum, Judy Blame. But we especially can't wait to get our hands on Black, a collection of Herchcovitch highlights from past seasons, dyed in black and sold exclusively in the Tokyo store. These ebony babies, while not from Malawi, are bound to fly off the shelves before you can say "How many yen?" –Suleman Anaya
The organizers of Madrid Fashion Week caused a super-sized brouhaha last year by requiring scarily skinny models to fatten up before hitting the catwalks. As it happened, we attended the spring '07 collections at the time of the announcement and actually witnessed human hangers popping empanadas backstage to "make weight." Hilarious, but you can forget about the undernourished set—they'll be just fine (exactly how old is that debate anyway?). More importantly, here are the only two things you need to know (no hate mail, please) about Spanish fashion: Spastor and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada—and they couldn't be more different from each other. For men, Spastor designers Sergio Pastor Salcedo and Ismael Alcaina Guerrero proposed an exquisitely tailored, masterfully moody wardrobe of shadowy shapes and dark monochromatic layers (pictured left), while Agatha Ruiz de la Prada delivered a virtual color wheel of unapologetically happy clothes for women. Recently, Spain's version of Betsey Johnson collaborated with Yoox.com to create an even more jubilant lifestyle collection for the whole family, ranging from toys and shoes to knits and jewelry, all ablaze in the designer's signature, eye-popping colors. It's enough to make even Pedro Almodóvar want shades. –Anh Tuan Pham

Presumably after a lot of coitus, Hôtel Amour has given birth. The quirky twenty-room Parisian inn launched last year by a threesome that included André, the single-named mastermind of Le Paris Paris club, and designed by famous friends (Marc Newson, Sophie Calle, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott) has spawned a threesome of its own. Former employees Nathalie Benezet, Tiara Comte, Hélène Cristofani have recently opened a kitschy little boutique called, suitably, Ménage à Trois, selling mostly vintage, but also brands like Tsubi, Ella Moss and Simple, as well as plenty of Argentinian brands Cristofani scooped up on a recent trip. "We wanted to create a cool and cozy place for shopping and hanging out," she tells us. "We have a lot of '50's furniture and we love our original David Hicks '70s rug." That's a lot of shag.

While rumors have her linked with a certain sexy someone, we at Hint can assure you Scarlett Johansson is getting physical with another player: Reebok. Her debut spring line for the kicks company, Scarlett "Hearts" Rbk, is a throwback to the year she was born, 1984, when Madonna and Cyndi Lauper owned the airwaves and magazines with their DIY style. The affordable collection of off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, leggings, mini skirts, track jackets and hooded tunics are as bright as a Rubik's Cube in citron, azure, teal, pink and heather grey—and nearly as manic. The era was also when working women began proudly stomping to work with gym shoes worn over their hose. We doubt the pouty-lipped siren recalls that peculiar craze, but thank goodness the company has used the new line as an excuse to bring them back. At only $85, the sneaks—in aerobics-reminiscent colors—can really work you into a sweat. At Reebok outlets worldwide. –Lisa Weatherby
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In his latest designer homage for Hint, Polish illustrator (and V&A Award winner) Przemek Sobocki turns his colored pencils to Balenciaga, blending the house's futuristic spring collection with its more history-steeped prior collection. To create the Aeon Flux-like stills, Sobocki says he was inspired by a range of classic sci-fi films, from Star Wars and Tron (which Nicolas Ghesquière also cites as an inspiration) to Fritz Lang's 1927 silent masterpiece Metropolis and the Japanese anime flick Ghost in the Shell—fitting, considering Sobocki has been living in Tokyo on assignment. We knew a flagship there is in the works, but is he trying to tell us something? For a list of existing outlets, visit Balenciaga.
Canadian fashion. There, we said it, and we won't apologize. And neither will Jeremy Laing, a 26-year-old Torontonian who, before starting his own women's line, stitched together the showpieces of another fashion un-apologist, Alexander McQueen. (Laing recalls, laughingly, having to create a 30-foot-long inflatable cape the night before a show.) And like Britain's former bad boy, Laing says his experimental collections, which he shows in New York, "evolve in an organic way, where one inspiration will permeate throughout." For spring, that inspiration was the "hitch" silhouette, he says, "where an exterior layer is suspended from an interior one, creating captive volume that floats around the body." Laing also worked with an indie musician and Toronto native, Wyrd Visions, on a soundtrack for the show that, like the collection, evoked a quiet and eerie Northern sensibility, but with flashes of acid green. So, no more blaming Canada. Available, beginning February 1, at Kirna Zabête in New York, Ron Herman in L.A. and Holt Renfrew in Toronto and Vancouver.