March '07
We pay attention to retail

Move over, Lil' Kim; there's a new diminutive in town—or Berlin, rather, among the gritty galleries, squatters and Asian import shops of the Mitte district. Lil* Shop (Brunnenstraße 184, +49 (30) 280 45 338)—not to be confused with Little Shop of Horrors—is Comme des Garçons' permanent new retail home in the German capital and the brainchild of Lil Schlichting-Stegemann, who conceived the brand's three now-vacated Guerrilla pop-up stores in the city. As the name implies, only a limited selection of current and vintage Comme clothing, as well as fragrances and accessories, will be available—in addition to Junya Watanabe. For the recent launch party, Reiko Yuyuma, Japan's first female sushi chef, cooked up Japanese crudités alongside Maki Nomiya, singer of the now disbanded Tokyo pop sensation Pizzicato Five. Hintsters, however, will love the new shop for another reason: the wall graphics and overall art direction were done by none other than Hint contributor Thomas Zeitlberger. It's a small, a lil* world.

It's not easy being green. No one—save for Kermit—knows that better than Katharine Hamnett, whose pro-environment, anti-war battles stretch back over twenty years. But it's just gotten a lot easier for the rest of us. For spring, the London designer and fashion ethicist has revived the slogan tees—Choose Life, Clean Up Or Die, Use a Condom—she invented in the '80s (and which appear on a bouncing George Michael in Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" video). While the shirts are available worldwide at, you'll need to head to Selfridges in London for other pieces in the mostly men's line: suits, sweats and knits (in collaboration with John Smedley) and the occasional polka dot dress—all made with organically grown fibers, assembled by legally-protected workers, packaged in sustainable materials and transported by boat. With an eco-warrior like this, who needs an eco-friendly fad? –Frances Pollitzer

So you knew that Belgian designer Bruno Pieters, winner of the 2006 Stella Awards in Switzerland, is launching a men's line for fall, but did you know he also put together a mini men's collection for spring (pictured left), inspired by artist Max Ernst? By special order at Seven New York, 646-654-0155... Remember that tobacco-dyed leather wrap jacket from Rick Owens's spring collection that you craved so much you had to go outside for a smoke? Well, crave no more. It's among the new arrivals at Net-a-Porter, shippable worldwide… It seems there's been a plot twist in Tom Ford's film leanings. Despite offices in L.A., the only premiere in his forseeable future is the simultaneous launch of a luxury men's line and his first store, a massive 3-floor flagship at 845 Madison Avenue, New York. The fashionable return happens April 12. But wait, if Harvey "I just bought Halston" Weinstein can do both… Slobbering fans of Umbro by Kim Jones and u by Umbro, with their teen models and barely-legal aesthetic, can finally get a piece online at Shotgun... Moshi moshi, Marni! Designer Consuelo Castiglioni has, with the debut of a virtual store, answered calls to bring the rising-star Italian label to the land of the rising sun. The new Yoox-powered e-shop, however, had been operational in the US and Europe for six months before hitting Japan, begging the question: Is that even possible?

Giles Deacon—the unofficial star of London's fashion scene and, officially, British Fashion Designer of 2006—brings his high-concept message to the masses with the launch of Gold by Giles at fast-fashion chain New Look. The first collection hit stores earlier this month amid scenes even more frenzied than those outside his London Fashion Week shows. Oversized polka dots and geometric prints feature prominently on bell-sleeved dresses, jaunty jackets, tulip skirts and slouchy-cool knits, but it's the signature gold that you'll most want to stuff in your cart. And although the campaign is modeled by Drew Barrymore (styled by Katie Grand, shot by Solve Sunsbo), apparently chosen for her adorableness, this is reportedly no one-off publicity grab, but a long-term collaboration that will see the arrival of a new collection four times a year. Prices range from $8 for chunky jewelry to $120 for thick coats, so even if you live outside the UK (or Paris, Antwerp, Dublin and Dubai, where New Look has outlets), just hop on a plane. –Stephen Morriss

A stone's throw from his Privé client showroom—and directly opposite the Plaza Athénée, in a clever move to cash in on the couture-seekers streaming in and out of the haute hotel—Giorgio Armani has opened his new two-floor Paris flagship at 18 Avenue Montaigne. Influenced by the history of the avenue, the Italian maestro says, "I wanted to provide a modern rendition of a bygone era in an intimate space." The onyx-themed interior and low lighting make for a hushed, luxe atmosphere, while the authentic trunks, wardrobes and display cases evoke a feeling of old-world chic. The vibe is calm and collected, not unlike the perma-bronzed designer himself, who, for his couture collection held at the Musée d'Art Moderne following the store launch, looked to India for serene inspiration. The full men's and women's collections are available—and maybe, if you're lucky, the staff of Greek gods, too. –Claire Thomson