Global shopping: Fabulous flagships
Forget about shopping online when you can tour these new international meccas of art, architecture and fashion in person.
Image of Bosco Pi Mall
RALPH LAUREN Madison Avenue & 72nd Street, New York City In distinct contrast to his leatherand- mahogany Rhinelander mansion (now devoted to menswear) across Madison Avenue, Lauren’s just-opened womenswear emporium is all white stone, rococo mouldings, black-and-white Hollywood portraits and ebony wroughtiron scrollwork. Feel like a star—or look like one, if you actually buy the clothes.
CHANEL CONTEMPORARY ART CONTAINER (set to open March 2011) South of the Seine, next to the Arab World Institute, Paris Cultured fashionistas are sure to flock to the new permanent home of Karl Lagerfeld and Zaha Hadid’s once-mobile art “container.” Likened to a giant white Chanel bag, the museum will feature Chanel-inspired works by 15 international artists. Let’s hope there’s a gift shop.
COMMES DES GARÇONS Seoul, South Korea The giant new flagship is a through-the-looking-glass arrangement of white-lacquer shopping zones accessed via sloping, tunnel-like corridors exhibiting more merch, plus work by artists such as David Lynch. The street out front has been nicknamed “Commes des Garçons Street”—proving that it’s Rei’s world; we just shop in it.
SWAROVSKI Oxford Street, London, England The swooping, wave-shaped crystal chandelier is the least of it. From the gleaming steel stalactites over the entrance to the crystalstudded sofa, this flagship purveyor of jewellery and watches is definitely Bling Central. Wear your sunglasses.
BOSCO PI MALL Vesna shopping centre, Moscow Canada’s Karim Rashid channels Pee-wee’s Playhouse. “Technorganic” niches, racks and displays in a kaleidoscopic palette of aqua, lime, fuchsia and lemon make buying clothes, shoes or anything so much fun!
GIVENCHY Faubourg Saint- Honoré, Paris Find the ultimate LBD in a little black box. That’s the promise of the intimate, modern black-and-white shopping spaces that Canadian-born architect Jamie Fobert has inserted into the fashion house’s wood-panelled flagship boutique.
CHRISTIAN DIOR & PRADA Omotesando, Tokyo Tokyo’s answer to Fifth Avenue is arguably the world nexus of fashion and avant-garde architecture. The Dior flagship’s translucent skin—layers of clear glass and acrylic— sheaths four floors of Galliano goodies. The Prada store is a futuristic glass rhomboid, flooded with natural light, whose canted entrance pulls you down into the store—making Prada as hard to resist as gravity.
– Joan Harting
Image of Louis Vuitton Hotel
LOUIS VUITTON HOTEL VANCOUVER MAISON, The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (set to open December 2010) Shoppers at the new 929-square-metre store will have to divide their attention between the luxe leather totes at the two-storey bag bar and a permanent art installation by Vancouver-based artist Steven Shearer. His Geometric Healing serigraphs will bring a pop of colour to the Maison’s milky-white walls and wood-grained interiors.
ELLE spoke with Shearer about the relationship between modern dressing and modern art.
What do you think of the connection between fashion and art? “When I made Ragpicker’s Rainbow [one of the serigraphs in Geometric Healing] in 2004, I wasn’t thinking about the work in terms of fashion or textiles. But in the context of the Louis Vuitton Maison, I think it reflects how textiles have the potential to become both rags and couture and how these categories are always in flux.”
What kind of inspiration do you find in fashion? “I look at historical paintings, which often use fashion, especially in portraits, to help define a figure’s mood or identity. In my own figure paintings, I sometimes draw parallels between how people were represented in historical paintings and how they present themselves today.”