London's designer emporium Dover Street Market has unveiled new spring offerings in its seasonal Tachiagari - and it's another fine season to visit the Comme des Garçons curated space full of designer treasures and exclusive collaborations.
This season the preview event (last Friday) for press was marked with a limited edition book signing for A Bathing Ape founder Nigo's new tome and a resulting 200 deep queue outside the store. Some were queuing for a glimpse of their hero and some were waiting for the UK's first ever Nowhere boutique to open first thing Saturday. Loved the Bathing Ape PR nails that my blogging buddy snapped on Disney Roller Girl.
Hidden away downstairs in the basement at DSM, Nowhere became an underground phenomenon 15 years ago when the tiny collaborative store from Nigo and Jun Takahashi (Undercover) opened in Harajuku, Tokyo. It was a pivotal moment in the early 90s revival of Harajuku's fashion scene. For 2009, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons has invited Takahashi and Nigo to recreate Nowhere in the basement at DSM. Among the initial selection of Nowhere sweats and tees, will be a revival of Last Orgy - the first collection of items that Jun and Nigo made together. The replicated DSM Nowhere boutique takes over from the previous A Bathing Ape store in Soho and acts as the exclusive London stockist for both A Bathing Ape and Billionaire Boys Club - with its own space just opposite Nowhere.
Still in the basement new additions include the second Stuart Vevers for Loewe collection (all bright pop colours, mixed leathers and serious gold hardware on handbags, jewellery and luggage) where the hot London designer is setting the classic Spanish leather goods company alight - alongside the latest Ferragamo vintage shoe display - all one offs from the archive.
Moving upstairs don't miss the striking giant black octopus in the entrance window from interior design collective Les Trois Garçons. The collaborative polystyrene piece was commissioned by Kawakubo who wanted "something dark and futuristic to go with the spring Comme des Garçons collection", according to creative director Hassan Abdullah, who has also curated an antique furniture area on the second floor - shoes and accessories mingle among the art curios and vintage pieces - it's in place until the end of February.
Moving on up check out the refreshed first floor area housing the new Comme des Garçons Shirt collection. I loved the glass casing and new shaded paneled shirting - not to mention the colour pops of Tricker brogues.
And on second there's a raft of firsts from a refreshed Undercover space to a rich, eclectic corner featuring World Archive's vintage wardrobe of costumes from around the world. A treasure trove of global fineries that will keep collectors there browsing for hours. Also new on this floor is Adam Kimmel, Charles Anastase, Moncler Gamme Rouge and Thom Browne.
Up another floor on third and all hail to Alber Elbaz for Lanvin with the brand new Lanvin area where mannequins are lounging around iChatting to each other about their favourite bags (I like to think they are leaving comments on their favourite blogs). Menswear and womenswear join the new denim capsule range alongside a selection of bridal pieces. Fashion and technology mingle in the epitome of hi-fi style. And if that wasn't enough Stephen Jones pours his hat creations onto a neon pink tree hat stand. Just around the corner find newbies at DSM including Sophia Kokosalaki, Rodarte, David Szeto among a newly dressed corner from Hussein Chalayan and an alcove full of brown tickets hiding the Edition 24 by YSL. Meanwhile Pierre Hardy footwear has a new area showcasing the French designer's futuristic sports collection for men and women.
From sneaker and footwear finds such as Visvim or Ferragamo and music/fashion hybrid labels April 77 or Kitsune, DSM houses the creme of current global fashion brands - and the best range of innovative, collaborative designer spaces. In today's current retail climate it's entertainment within retail environments that keeps loyal customers coming back for more - something Rei Kawakubo knows and executes in new ways every season at DSM.