June '09
We pay attention to retail
By Franklin Melendez
Comme des Garçons, Japanese Vogue
With its rabid yen for collaboration, Comme des Garçons recently celebrated Japanese Vogue's tenth anniversary with the Tokyo launch of another concept store. As adorable as it is fashion-forward, Magazine Alive, as it's called, mixes fashion and accessories from all of our favorites, including Maison Martin Margiela and Undercover, as well as Comme’s new Black label, which commemorates the label’s fortieth year of avant-garde realness. And since this is for Japanese Vogue’s manga-themed July issue, the store also carries tees with anime versions of fashion greats, such as Hedi Slimane, Marc Jacobs and a to-die-for Donatella Versace. In addition, the boutique will introduce a few under-the-radar talents, including rising star Asli Filinta, also available at Dover Street Market. Spotted in New York by one of the mag's editors, the Turkish designer was quickly added to next month's issue and asked if she’d like to participate in the 10th anniversary collaboration. Like, duh!
We know what you're thinking: Just what the world needs, another hipster with oversized glasses. This, too, was our thought, until the folks at Prism London made us change our tune. The brainchild of Anna Laub, the line takes its inspiration from classic 50's and 60's shapes, as well as more esoteric references such as minimalist sculpture and the Bauhaus architecture of Mexico City. Not one to bother with seasons, Prism offers perennial classics, not throwaway fads—and a far cry from those crappy, rusty versions you’re likely to get in LES consignment shops. The line also takes the notion of “hand-finishing” quite seriously, with each frame carved from archived blocks of acetate and polished to perfection. The results are as sleek and architectural as the cities they’re named after. Available for order now on the site (£205), or at Browns in July and select U.S. stores in late summer.
Jiwon Jahng
An extension of the culty Not Just A Label project, new online guerrilla store The Shop lends fledgling fashion talents a global platform to peddle their goods. Scouring fashion schools at all the major capitals, the etailer provides unique pieces and a chance to snap up the next fashion sensation—perhaps Central St Martins grad Jiwon Jahng, pictured here?—before the inevitable department store mark-up... Just in time for your tropical getaway, Marc Jacobs is partnering with milliner Frenel Morris for a line of hand-crafted fedoras and panamas, exclusively at Marc Jacobs boutiques... Magnetic mogulette Kate Moss is expanding her empire with—what else?—a fragrance. In September, the gamine will introduce Vintage by Kate Moss, comprised of floral notes undercut by a dose of attitude… For his just-launched New Vintage collection for Yves Saint Laurent, Stefano Pilati has taken excess fabrics from the last ten years and whipped up a capsule collection of limited-edition basics. How better to say recession chic than recycling Tom Ford’s reign of excess?
Tim Hamilton
It was a cruel blow when Tim Hamilton crossed the pond to set up shop in Paris like some smug ex-pat, depriving the New York calendar of one of its brightest stars (and not just because his presentations draw all the cute boys who get boozy and swoony). Adding insult to injury, he'll follow the debut of his scrumptiously sculptural women’s line by staging his first ever runway show in the City of Light later this month. But alas, as a small consolation, he's left us with Redux, a new sub-collection (not quite diffusion) that reissues some of his much-coveted staples. Highlights include a snuggly and furry snorkel coat and his all-American striped knits—and reasonably priced at about 20% less than the main line. Here's one more reason to smile: although Hamilton’s runway debut will take place in Paris, he'll stage a mixed men’s and women’s presentation for his New York devotees in September. You heard it here first. (photo: Elissa Wiehn for men.style.com)
Zero Maria Cornejo
According to Blair Waldorf, “Summer flings are like Kleenex—use them once and discard.” These callous yet true words might have inspired a variety of brands to take a similar approach this summer, setting up temporary pop-up shops far and wide. For its part, and just in time for the resort season, Hermès is popping up in East Hampton. For four weeks, those iconic orange ribbons will coax many a townie and tourist into handing over their (hardly) hard-earned plastic for a deliciously draped caftan. Or, if you're going very far east, as in Moscow, pop into Chanel’s new pop-up, offering a selection from fall’s Kremlin-inspired collection—just watch out for oligarch wives in full sable wielding Balmain shoulders. Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton will take over a temporary space in Tokyo, the site of its previous collaboration with Comme des Garçons. But our favorite pop-up this summer has to be Maria Cornejo’s exhibition at the Brachfeld Gallery in Paris (June 20 - July 11). Along with archived styles and pre-fall (seen here), the venue will offer a thoughtful exploration of Cornejo's adventures in geometry for Zero.

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