July '07
We pay attention to retail

London menswear designers
No longer slim pickings, menswear has exploded into a wide variety of shapes and ideas lately, particularly in London, the focus of this four-part quick study. First up is Argentina-born Aitor Throup, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art who creates sharp military-style suits that, with skull-shaped satchels spilling over them, take on Elephant Man proportions and spook appeal (pictured upper left). His design technique involves sculpting figurines out of clay, upon which he fashions mini-versions of his clothes. Also from the darker side comes Licentious (upper right), designed by Michael Ellis and Matthew Crowley, who pair preppy schoolboy blazers with grungy knits, gin-soaked-style. Cue hangover cure Deryck Walker (lower left), a Scotsman who, with his windmill motifs, offers a breath of fresh air to all who gaze upon his transparent shirting, spearmint leathers and mirrored headbands. Finally, for their Kirchhoff Meadham label (lower right), Benjamin Kirchhoff and Edward Meadham have replaced their trademark black with electric blue and peachy hues, as well as severe corsets with roomy anoraks. And there you have it: four new men's names to scribble down on your ever-growing wish list. Visits websites for stockists. –Erica Crompton

Look at this cute critter we found lurking at Wesoldout.com. Named Regret Monster, the vinyl doll was created in celebration of the third anniversary of Loveless, the Japanese concept store. And although you may indeed regret paying over $170 for the 10-inch-tall horned figure, who seems to have a thing for Kiss make-up, at least it comes with a helmet accessory and fur body suit… The krazy kids at Kitsuné, Parisian purveyors of edgy pop (see the various mentions in our music column, Deck-Brained), continue to expand into fashion with their 5-pocket jeans, a new classic made from Japanese denim specially woven on vintage American machines. Available by appointment at the Paris shop… As we reported in Daily Hint earlier this month, Hussein Chalayan now sells limited-edition T-shirts (around $90) on his website, inspired by the same themes of surveillance and identity that characterize his main line. Particularly alluring (and educational) is a tee with an image of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president of modern Turkey, and his biography on the back… Despite his feather-soft touch, Nina Ricci designer Olivier Theyskens is on a tear when it comes to retail. He's developing a new concept for the Avenue Montaigne flagship and installing stores-within-stores at Harvey Nichols in London and Galeries Lafayette in Paris (complementing the one in Bergdorf Goodman that opened last month). In the pipeline, meanwhile, are freestanding boutiques in Moscow and New York (finally!)… As we've mentioned, once-secret L.A. boutique Mameg (one of few places in the sunny megalopolis to nab conceptual labels like Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons and Balenciaga) will move into a Beverly Hills space with Maison Martin Margiela later this summer. Hint has now learned the location of the clever cohabitation will be on Little Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills, followed in September by the launch of MMM's first Italian store, on Milan's Via Della Spiga... It beautifies the scenery across Europe. Now Iris is sprouting its first store on American soil (827 Washington St., 212-645-0950). And the Italian shoemaker won't just carry a garden variety of the footwear it makes for Chloé, John Galliano, Marc Jacobs, Viktor & Rolf and oodles more, but the complete lines, including exotic styles never seen before.
Ronald Pineau
Ronald Pineau We can't put our finger on what the mutual attraction between leather and music is, exactly, but we're all over these punk- and new-romantic-inspired men's accessories from French designer and DJ Ronald Pineau. (If you're in Paris, or have plans to be, check out his Rock 'n' Ron sets at monthly party Nu Modern, or have a listen on his site.) Hand-produced by the same makers of Hermès and Chanel belts, the line consists of neck straps, cuffs, ties and belts—all piled high with vintage metallic studs and spikes, charms, foxtails or black crystals. And we're not just talking cow leather, but crocodile and python skins, as well as leopard- and zebra-printed pony hide. Like The Ramones, a favorite of Pineau's, the artisanal pieces are built to last. Not available online, only in very limited quantities at Barneys New York, L'Eclaireur in Paris, Isetan in Japan and Seibu in Hong Kong.

  Miu Miu
In grandma's arthritic hands, the green-gold brocade wallpaper (and, by extension, ceilingpaper) of the redesigned Miu Miu store in Soho (100 Prince Street, 212-334-5156) would look bouffant-era cheesy, but in the skilled hands of Roberto Baciocchi, it oozes ironic chic. The Italian architect has even worked it so that the various layers of fabric—remember, Miuccia Prada is all about fabric innovation—can be shed to reveal a new layer underneath, in keeping with the changing merch (women's only). But it's not just the so-wrong-it's-right wall treatment that makes the space work. Baciochi, who's designed all of Miu Miu's boutiques, has also brought in ample steel and glass to complete the eclectic interior. Watch for new Miu Miu shops in New York and L.A. this fall.
So, guys, you want to experiment this summer with a slimmer bathing suit, Euro-style, but you're not down with the hanging basket look. We have good news. William Baker (Kylie Minogue's trusted stylist who put the pop princess in those gold hot pants) has updated the no-secrets Speedo silhouette with his more squarish B*Boy line of side-slit nylon shorts, 80s-inspired neon-paneled briefs and bright mesh tanks, should you suddenly decide to cover up a little. Needless to say, this is not for shrinking violets. From $100 at Selfridges London, 400 Oxford St., 0800 123 400. –Stephen Morriss

Read previous store news in Shoptart Archives

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