Dover Street Market, London

Dover Street Market. The hub of all fashionable creativity. 

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Dover Street Market

Comme des Garçons, Givenchy, Simone Rocha and Giambattista Valli are just a sample of names which appear on the very fashionable labels in this museum-like store in the heart of London’s Mayfair. 

Dover Street Market is one of the most fashionable places around Mayfair, yet it appears so, that some are still unaware of it’s existence. On walking around the market, it’s inevitable, this emporium appeals to a niche-in-the-know. It’s certainly not a high-street fashion store, or a market and is also an unusual landmark. The area of Mayfair, specifically Dover Street, is known for its Georgian architecture, historical links and galleries, and there, in the heart of the street, just a stones throw away from the Ritz and The Wolseley, lies this contemporary menagerie of creative talent.

There is certainly something for everyone, with Giambattista Valli’s detailed garments, Alexandra Jefford’s alphabet collection jewellery or a DSM special tote bag or t-shirt, it is a place for all. And if ever there’s a seat, the top-floor is the best place to be seen, not to mention a great selection of goodies to be found, from great coffees and food at the Rose Bakery, to books and PLAY COMME des GARÇONS pieces. the Rose bakery itself is gem, one created by Rose Carrarini and Jean Charles. “We wanted to create a place where people felt at home, somewhere that people came back to often and the quality of the food shone.”– Carrarini. It’s a great place to sit with your Macciato and brownie in and amongst all these collections. Its all a tad surreal.

With a bi-annual renewal (know as Tachiagari, meaning beginning in Japanese) every January and July to mark the new season-collections appearance in store, an updated version of DSM is revealed. Each time is a joyous surprise as it shuts for three days to install the vision, and it’s the windows which create the most buzz. It’s a gallery space more than a shop window. Art always remains at the heart of the window. Phoebe English took over the window for her SS13 collection. “I wanted to portray the idea of a floating hovering empty mass in the light open space of the Dover Street market window. It is unlike other shop windows as it is open at the back and does not only face forward, so I wanted to design something ‘in the round’ so to speak. Working on a spherical object was the perfect way to embrace this aspect of the space. I liked how the organic, shaggy irregular surface of the beaded glass grid textiles from the SS13 show could contrast to the solid round lunar orb mass of the clear acrylic globe that supports them. I also was interested in the transience of the window as a display space and the permanence of the globe as an object.” – English.

Forget your standard department store, DSM is one big, multi-floor artistic installation with the worlds best designer collections hanging from various planks of wood, bits of plastic, and the odd rail. This eclectic building was taken over by designer Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons) at 17-18 Dover Street; “I want to create a kind of market where various creators from various fields gather together and encounter each other in an ongoing atmosphere of beautiful chaos: the mixing up and coming together of different kindred souls who all share a strong personal vision”

“We hope to make DSML more and more interesting. I enjoy seeing all the customers coming to DSML dressed in their strong, good looking and individual way. I would like for DSML to be the place where fashion becomes fascinating.” Kawakubo

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