Dover Street Market, Lexington Ave., NYC--Notice how nicely the hair color matches the Adidas shoes on that man!
The bold, the beautiful and the fanciest of New York's fashion fiends flock to Kips Bay this weekend to partake in the public debut of NYC's mega-iteration of London's Dover Street Market (DSMNY). Though shop-in-shops are not novel to the city's style scene, Rei Kawakubo's 'new school' take on this 'old school' concept is markedly revolutionary. With proper planning, the Beaux-Arts building on the corner of Lexington Ave. (and 30th St.) has transformed from an applied design school for women into a luxe shopping paradise, complete with physical and extra-sensory experiences. A hybrid of Anthropologie (decor) and Bergdorf Goodman (merchandise) has emerged, with a touch of Urban Outfitters and Alexander Wang (staff).
View from the second level café seating area
Simultaneously delightful and disorienting, the juxtaposition of color, chaos and minimalism exhibit underpinnings of the Commes des Garçons fingerprint. With rebellious fervor, Kawakubo has creatively assembled a menagerie of art and design in an albeit erratic assortment of themes permeating the 18,000 square foot space. Case in point--Prada shares the top floor space with Supreme, André Walker and others, while J.W Anderson borders several Commes des Garçons labels and Saint Laurent on the fifth floor. Altogether, seven floors of funk, fantasy and clandestine chaos is intertwined with fashion's most illustrious artists, architects and designers. Though conceptually challenging, the outcome is undeniably impressive.
The second level balcony overlooks the ground floor and has a Moscot booth
Highlights on the ground floor include Rose Bakery--a resting spot for weary shoppers to indulge in French, predominantly vegetarian fare--and Louis Vuitton's 3-month-long pop-up encased in an open-weave dome, the shape of a crinoline skirt. A glass elevator cuts vertically through the middle of each floor--a mode of transport that doubles as a viewing room. Alternately piercing the length of the store are three pillars--one embellished in wood by London Fieldworks, one clothed in a 60-foot yarn sock by Magda Sayeg (+ 8 craftswomen) and one smothered with random odds and ends at the hands of Leo Sewell.
Different treatments of wood are interlaced throughout the space. Sound sculptures subtly emit audio enlightenment
Moving upwards, audio enlightenment is subtly channeled via sound sculptures on floors 2-7 thanks to Brooklyn artist Calx Vive. The bathrooms found in the basement and on floors 3 and 6 provide comfortable convenience with unexpectedly automated features. Catering to the theme of androgyny found throughout the offerings, the dressing rooms are subtly built into the overall space design and cater ambiguously to male or female.
Dover Street Market x Nike exclusive capsule collection (second floor)
In the words of Nike's spokesperson Mike Kneller, "New York is basketball."Fittingly, Nike's exclusive DSM x Air Python capsule collection--including a remake of the 1987 Nike Air Python sneaker--is situated on the second floor alongside Junya Watanabe, Gitman Brothers and Stutterheim. Notable designer offerings on subsequent levels include Commes des Garçons (Play, Black and Shirt) and an edited mix of Simone Rocha, Rick Owens, André Walker, Supreme, APC, Thom Browne, Raf Simons, Erdem, Ann Demeulemeester, among others.
Graffiti Wall accents the clothes
Exclusive offerings include jewelry by Gaia Repossi for DSM on the first floor, specially branded 'Prada at Dover Street Market' pieces and a selection of Visvim for DSM, both on the seventh floor. Topping it off, looks straight from the Commes des Garçons 2014 Spring runway collection are available on the sixth floor.
5 additional Must-See highlights include:
1.) Prada's seventh floor space with mannequins and murals painted by Gabriel Specter
2.) The fourth floor Energy Showroom, showcasing emerging designers such as 1205, Phoebe English, Sibling and more
3.) The installation connecting the third and fourth floors entitled Biotopological Scale-Juggling Escalator designed by Arakawa and Gins
4.) The fitting rooms on any floor
5.) The Second floor World Archive curated by Michael Costiff containing kimonos, wooden nose plugs, pillows and other amazing artifacts from around the world
Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins' "Biotopological Scale-Juggling Escalator" between the third and fourth floors
Proper Gang section on the fourth floor
Jacquemus clothing on the fourth floor, home of the "Energy Showroom" dedicated to emerging designers; Leo Sewell-designed pillar
Simple wooden lattice decor
Simple wooden lattice decor
Colorful Commes des Garçons Play on the third floor, across from Alaia's mostly black display
Commes des Garçons Spring 2014 RTW (sixth floor)
J.W. Anderson space (5th floor)
Metal and Wooden Structures (5th floor)
Navy blue + white motif
Mixtures of wood + metal… and fashion forward sales staff (sixth floor)
Prada on 7, with mannequins painted by Gabriel Specter
Murals, sculpture and other artwork make for a scenic shopping experience (seventh floor)
Details, Details… (second floor)
Michael Costiff's "World Archive" includes a golden headpiece from Thailand (second floor)
Close up of Leo Sewell's handiwork
A lot of luxe Men's offerings…
A modern closet showcase
Inside LV's giant crinoline (ground level)