May '05
Hint pays attention to retail

Flash back to 2002. Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane had just devised iPod and Apple laptop cases to more than a few raised—and no doubt sculpted—men's eyebrows. Afterall, could the nerdy world of electronics fit with fashion's technophobic tastes? (Insert smiley emoticon to indicate yes.) Three years later, chasing up the success of that debut, as well as the continued iPod phenomenon, comes Dior Digital, a full range of cases for digital cameras, flash memory cards, USB keys, Palm Treo cell phones and even Powerbooks. Each piece comes in either classic Dior all-over printed canvas or in soft calfskin. Slimane says it's about keeping up with a mobile lifestyle; we'll go with him on that. In London at Harrods and in New York at Dior Homme, 17 E. 57th Street, 212-421-6009. (T-B: digital camera, iPod and Powerbook cases)

On a small side street of the ever-changing Mitte district of East Berlin, Berlin Industrie, a cultish label known for a gray palette that all but merges with the pavement, just opened its first shop. Hidden though it is, fans will surely flock to the sparse concrete and glass store to stock up on the German label's two ranges, the 77. premium line and the 44. diffusion line. "A concrete interior is perfect for our lines," explains designer and co-owner Oliver Kroll. "The concrete plates had small holes for transport, so we just turned them into clothes racks. We basically just left it in its actual state." Nike Escape shoes and T-shirts with a picture language of little black silhouettes—i.e. fists, raptors—that Kroll designed with Berlin-based graphic designer Marek Polewski are particularly trip-worthy. Berlin Industrie Shop, Bergstr. 75, 10115. -Rike Doepp

There's high camp, then there's haute camp. This over-the-top bag from the UK-based Pauric Sweeney falls into the latter. Handmade from equestrian leather strapping with chunky solid brass hardware, and finished with 80's-style metallics and contrasting snakeskin, the broad range of totes, carryalls and duffels oozes wink-wink decadence. The Irish-born Sweeney initially trained as an architect in Philadelphia, but relocated to London where he quickly rose as a women's designer before shifting to accessories. With spring marking his foray into menswear, he also designed the trophy for the Fashion Fringe competition last year and has created a limited-edition selection for Comme des Garçons' Dover Street Market. Is there anything he can't do? In London at Selfridges, in Tokyo at Isetan, in Paris at Les Galeries Lafayette, and Barneys New York.


We know you can't live without your Gettin' Lucky in Kentucky tee, but don't you think it's time to trade the tattered relic in for a piece of subtler sartorial irony, Old World-style? Enter the Burberry online boutique, where designer Christopher Bailey's tongue-in-cheek riffs on the label's signature looks can be yours faster than you can say "counterfeit crackdown." Delight in his metallic silver take on the house's classic trench, or be first in your dry county to sport his gold leather iPod case embossed with those classic checks. Equally covetable are the site's python-print ballet flats and fox-trimmed toggle capes. Or just browse the catalog for a sneak peek at Bailey's deliciously dark Marianne Faithfull-inspired fall collection. All this, and not a bible belt in sight. -Carolyn Martins Bonilha

Jun Takahashi of Undercover often finds himself obsessively preoccupied with a theme, no matter how small, as few Western designers can manage. Take, for example, his debut Paris collection in 2002 which he based on scabs?es, scabs, represented by torn fabric and dangling red thread. So it's no surprise—though a bit of shock—that for his spring 05 collection, inspired by the Czech surrealist director Jan Svankmajer, the punk-reared Japanese provocateur dissected dozens of cotton crew-neck tees and reassembled them into the deceptively haphazard arrangement seen here ($1,050). We've never been able to get enough of Undercover, but then, we've always felt too much of a good thing is even better. In New York at Atelier, 125 Crosby St., 212-941-8435.