London is an expensive city to visit. There is quite possibly no way around completely loosing your soul to its charm. Wither you fancy high-end designers, high street fashion, or the eclectic treasures of the markets, there is always something to be bought. I took a trend forecasting class as a part of my studies here. Our professor obviously encouraged us to explore all avenues of retail, which of course all D&M’s welcomed with open arms!
She introduced us to a couple of unique stores. Dover Street Market, frequented by London’s most chic and posh, was quite possibly my favorite. The store is run by Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo and her husband Adrian Joffe. The concept behind the store is not market inspired really at all. It is five floors of pure fashion bliss. The way in which the store is arranged pays each individual piece the proper recognition it deserves. This shop was part store, part art. The displays were quirky and totally intriguing. Featuring designers such as Givenchy and Galliano, this store is far from London’s well know high street fashion. In transit from floor to floor, shoppers are encouraged to use the staircase or ride the lift. Both are completely void of visual stimulation a complete contrast from the intense content. I really loved this idea of washing the customer clean as they climbed the basic staircase. Walking into each room was like waiting for Christmas morning. By the time I had reached the top floor I was so disappointed that there was no more to see. But my frustrations were met with a lazy café setting, encouraging me to buy a souvenir! The best part about this particular visit is that now when I come back to London, whenever that may be, I can stop by the store and see a totally different rendition.
We also visited SHOP, a store created by photographer Nick Knight. This store features props and artwork from various photo shoots, independent projects, and films. We were introduced to Knight’s brainchild by two of his employees. They described how SHOP was Knight’s dream ever since he started to create. It is an environment dedicated to creativity. Exclusive visitors and buyers can come explore and take a peek into some of the quirkiest artists’ collections and even have the chance to own a portion.
Mansion Martin Margiela was also on our list of retailers introduced to us by Basia— her favorite designer. The fascination not only lies in his modern yet timeless designs, but in the mystery behind the designer. Margiela has never been photographed therefore has managed to remain faceless. This whole façade is his trademark for the brand. There is a loyalty from the fashion community to keep the mystique behind the man. The store is completely ahead of its time in all the right ways. There was a feel of mystery to each piece. It’s really interesting to know that his success has never been about self-promotion instead purely about his designs, his influence (which is huge), and his art.