jacket + skirt: Lou Dalton
Since the hyped-up opening of Dover Street Market in 2013, I had assumed most New Yorkers would have already made the trek to Murray Hill to check out the newest emporium under the CDG Empire. As the topic was broached at a recent dinner party however, I was surprised to find out that many guests had not been. Most claimed that they had been meaning to stop by for ages, but never found themselves without another purpose in that area. Leave it to Rei Kawakubo to choose the most random location possible and turn it into a mecca for the ultra-conceptual.
More so a curated gallery of clothing than a store, the experience of shopping (or in most cases, touching things) at Dover Street is unlike any that previously existed in the city. While the main draw is the Comme Des Garcons collection housed on the sixth floor, the collection of shop-in-shops work to summarize the world of Ms. Kawakubo. At 71, her role is to curate rather than design.
Designer brands such as Saint Laurent, Pheobe English, and Supreme each occupy a small section of one of the seven floors. If it weren’t for the sales associates (of which there are so many, they often outnumber the customers) it would be easy to make-believe you were playing dress up in your fantasy closet. And if the clothing wasn’t enough, a group of well-respected artists have also lent their touch to the space. The kookiest feature are the multi-colored knitted columns that support the structure, a project that reportedly took three straight days of knitting by Magda Sayeg and her small team. Then of course there are the Instagram-famous stairs connecting the fourth and fifth floors, which were specially commissioned from the store.
Despite my desire for practically everything inside the store, the hefty price tags make it a wonder that anyone can actually shops there. As evidenced by the line sheets shown to me by my friend who works there, there are apparently plenty of customers who drop tens of thousands of dollar there on a regular basis. Despite these alleged clients, it seems like Dover Streets main purpose is to allow fans of the brand the chance to truly enter into the brand and see the world through Rei’s rare vision.