Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Dover Street - Fashion for advanced shoppers

I started writing for Glam and this is my first column from last week:

The recent opening of the new branch of Wolf & Badger put Dover Street back on my shopping radar. The new Mayfair shopping hotspot is perfect for lazy shoppers like me. With unpredictable weather conditions and an unwillingness to walk long distances in heels there is nothing more inviting than a whole street full of great shops

Their Notting Hill boutique already made headlines through their innovative retail concept. “The Lab” as they call it rents out retail space to up-and-coming designers and currently supports with this model 70 independent luxury labels from the UK and abroad. For many this was the launch pad for international success. For us it’s the chance to invest into new designers while they are still affordable.

After the huge success of the boutique in Ledbury Road the opening of the new store looks like a natural step up the ladder.  Dover Street ‘s focus is on UK based brands featuring a mix of emerging young designers such as Georgia Harding including NEWGEN winners like Bora Aksu, Mark Fast and J JS Lee. The store buys the collections and in some cases continues the support of their protégés that have outgrown the little sister in Notting Hill.

Highlight of the store is the very unique jewellery collection. With prices ranging from £47 for Maria Black’s Monocle ring to the hero piece of the store, a £13,000 diamond ring from Tomasz Donocik ‘s fine jewellery line there is something for every budget.  Super cute are Anabel Campbells brightly coloured Navajo Cuffs. The handmade cuffs are made of glass pearls and a snap at £160.

If you love bright colours then you’ll adore Ekaterina Kukhareva’s collection. The Ukrainian born designer graduated from Central Saint Martin’s College and is specialised in knitwear. Also not to be missed is Brit label Vol One.  Contemporary paintings digitally printed onto silk t-shirt dresses create wearable works of art and make you want to become an art collector straight away. Both labels can be yours for less than £300.

Wolf & Badger isn’t a huge store compared to its neighbours DSM and Acne but it’s certainly packed full of exciting brands. And, it has the added value that you ‘invest’ into brands and support them on their way to success; Economical shopping at its best.

Further info click here 

If you’re keeping an eye on fashion weeks, regularly watch the latest fashion shows and belong to the people who set trends rather than follow them then you’ll love DSM. Spreading out over six floors in a converted Georgian building the store houses cutting edge fashion including the most important looks of the season and London’s largest Azzedine Alaia collection.

The store itself consists of interior spaces that appear unfinished almost like you’re on a building site. There are concrete floors with single Alaia shoes dotted around as if Cinderella lost them on her way home, a favela style shed serves as a storage room, 18 red rabbits welcome you on the 3rd floor and cabinets displaying everything from conserved insects to statement jewellery let you shriek or shudder. It sounds bonkers but is the perfect backdrop to see all of your favourite catwalk looks and makes you feel you’re wandering around in an art gallery space.  

On the 2nd floor you’ll find a sort of dress me up corner with everything from hand-embroidered Inca dresses to feather headpieces ranging from Brazilian Carnival looks to an impressive Indian Chief headpiece. It is the World Archive space by Michael Costiff who redesigns vintage ethnic finds and brings them to new glory. With Mexicana a hot trend right now and prices around £200 this is definitely worth a look.

Everyone wanders up and down in a plain white and soulless staircase. I suspect its intention is to reset your culminating excitement and prepare you to enter another level of this fashion wonderland filled with couture and artful installations.

No matter whether you can or can’t afford to go wild at DSM (in shopping terms obviously…) this store is a feast for your eyes.

Once you’ve reached the Designer Olympus on the 4th floor you’ll be pleased to find an outpost of Rose Bakery for a well-deserved tea break.

Further info click here 

The Acne ‘Pistol’ has made the brand a (fashion-) household name with bloggers going wild, waiting lists getting longer and us frantically searching the web for a last pair. Luckily the Swedes were clever and adapted to the high demand and presented the bootees in a whole lot of new desirable colours with every coming season.

These very boots lured me into the studios some two years ago, just after their opening in 2010. Since then I’ve been there many times. Despite its high fashion approach everything I ever bought is timeless enough to be integrated into my wardrobe as staple piece. The fact that everything is great quality and the cuts give you this certain Scandinavian coolness look certainly helps.

The shop needs a bit of guidance. Ground floor is men, first women, second might be mistaken for the stockroom because of its long corridor with black walls but is in fact the denim floor. Not sure why they build it that way but once you slid through the wall openings - ta dah! there is more Acne. What you shouldn’t miss is the final -shoe - floor. It's the most beautiful of all using up the entire top floor space with high ceilings and a cute little roof terrace complete with chairs and flowers.

And here the story ends like it began with the pistol boot. It sits on a white wooden staircase in four colours bathed in the golden evening sun and waiting for you to take it home.

Further info click here