October '08
We pay attention to retail
By Franklin Melendez

Maison Martin Margiela
01, 22, 16. Nope, it’s not bingo night; it's the filing system at Maison Martin Margiela, where each line has its very own numerical value. Adding to the mathematical fun this fall is a new line of fine jewelry, produced with Italy’s Damiani Group. But don’t expect dangly chandeliers from the bastion of la mode intellectuelle (well, unless they're actual chandeliers). Following previous mind-fricks, the twelve new pieces come in absurdist proportions and Wonderland-esque scale. Bracelets look like super-sized rings, rings look like enormous necklaces, earrings look like…well, you get the idea. We half expect to find a manifesto with a title like On the Deconstruction of Metallic Adornment in the Age of Capitalist Gigantism. But who cares? They’re pretty and shiny, and as covetable as anything else the house has conjured up in the last twenty years. Prices range from $925 to $83,000 (how's that for size?), at Margiela boutiques worldwide, Maxfield in Los Angeles and 10 Corso Como in Milan.
Comme de Garcons, H&M Never mind the presidential election. H&M gives you real reason to line up this November (the 13th, to be exact), teaming up with the Queen of Conceptual herself, Rei Kawakubo, to produce its latest designer capsule collection. Comme de Garçons for H&M revisits some of the greatest hits for both men and women from the Japanese avant-garde arsenal. Droopy dhoti drawers? Check. Vertigo-inducing, polka-dot clash? Check. Gravity-defying, mind-bending tailoring? Check. At competitive prices (though not as competitive as previous collaborations), it’s enough to make informed masses turn into savage mobs, the kind that would throw down over a twisty cardigan. So plan your assault wisely and approach with caution. Mouth guards and crotch cups suggested.
Seven New York, Henrik Vibskov
Since launching in 2000, Seven New York has been the go-to shop for all things experimental, progressive and perplexing. But that’s been cold comfort for those outside the tri-state area who pine for sleeveless goat fur coats by Gareth Pugh, batik-print oversized sweatshirts by Bernhard Willhelm or these polka-dot jumpsuits by Henrik Vibskov. But Seven's new-and-improved e-shop is changing all that, bringing conceptual realness to everyone's fingertips. Look for real-time inventory (you’ll always know if they have your size!), high-zoom technology and insider-y designer blogs. It's everything you ever wanted. If we were to make a single suggestion, it would be to have video instructions for the more challenging of pieces.

  Yohji Yamamoto
Almost thirty years after storming Paris with his mannish proportions and somber color palette, Yohji Yamamoto is set to unveil a flagship on Rue de Cambon, just a camellia’s throw from Coco Chanel’s famous apartment-atelier, fulfilling a lifelong dream for the black-loving black-belt. Mademoiselle was, after all, among the first to elevate the color from funerary dourness to sublime chic. It’s a suitable homage for Chanel, almost making up for Shirley McClain's turn in that Lifetime biopic… Paul Smith heads to the heart of Williamsburg with one of his popular “sales shops” at 280 Grand Street, carrying men's and women’s, as well as shoes and accessories—all at 30% off. Just don’t call it an outlet, even if it sounds suspiciously like one… We know, we know, not another celebrity line! But rest assured, Louis Vuitton’s recently announced collaboration with Marc Jacobs' longtime muse Sofia Coppola won't be anything like Heidiwood at Kitson. With her oft-described innate sense of style, Coppola is infusing her California ease into Louis Vuitton classics, mixing in 70's throwback for good measure. Expect supple leathers in luxurious tones—and not a rhinestone in sight.
Galerie Kreo, Karl Lagerfeld, Azzedine Alaïa
We have a saying here at Hint: if it’s good enough for Karl, it’s good enough for us. So when the Kaiser braves the outskirts of Paris and heads to Galerie Kreo, we duly take note. The housewares haven specializes in the kind of forward-thinking furniture that transforms the most humble abode into a museum-quality installation. Never mind if you need a curatorial walk-through. Is it a lamp? Couch? Wall unit? Ignore these vulgar concerns and embrace a new total vision. Azzedine Alaïa has, snapping up Jersey Seymour's Metal Scum lamp and Marc Newson's black carbon ladder (again, we're not really sure of its function, but it looks amaaaazing). With a new outlet in posh Saint Germain opening this month, Galerie Kreo brings its adventures in form and function a little closer to the general public, who just might bump into Karl himself, who, we guarantee, you’ll never find browsing the bath mats at IKEA.

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