Extended until July 31, 2016
It’s easy to walk into the Melissa Galeria and assume you have walked into Moschino boutique. After all, it is Moschino’s creative director Jeremy Scott who has most recently collaborated with Brazilian footwear brand Melissa.
Melissa x Jeremy Scott is one of many current collaborations. Jeremy Scott’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection, as an ode to Hairspray, featured the shoes infamous to the the Melissa brand. And now, the Galeria in London’s Covent Garden Plaza is home to Inflatable Dreams – the current installation.
On entering the store, you are greeted with large balloons and blaring music. It’s an immersive concept store featuring fun installation, books and shoes to purchase. You can soon delve into the store’s gallery of shoes, or the reading-pocket to the right.
The main gallery is bright and inviting, and the shoes, enticing. Bright jellies, flat sandals, bow-adorned peep-toes and buckled straps. Curation has made a name for itself in the store, whilst the futuristic tone had been set by designer Muti Randolph.
“ One of the pioneers in computer art in Brazil, he has been shifting from virtual 3d to real 3d spaces creating sets, installations and interior architecture projects. In his work he explores the relation of time and space through music and interactive generative video using custom designed software and hardware.”– mutirandolph.com
The Melissa flagship store (King Street), is the first in London and Europe and one can see why. Two floors established at 43 King Street- a 1716 Grade II* building by the Baroque architect Thomas Archer and longest surviving in Covent Garden Piazza; it makes the installation seem ever-more quirky.
The basement has been known to feature a host of events and installation. Gareth Pugh, celebrated the 10th anniversary of his label and a return to London Fashion Week with an exhibit at the store. Artist Megan Broadmeadow launched an interactive exhibition for the launch of the Melissa Fall Winter 15*16 collection Star Walker; but Melissa has also collaborated with Vivienne Westwood, Karl Lagerfeld, Jason Wu, and late and highly celebrated architect Zaha Hadid.
“We always want to work with three strategic pillars for the brand; art, design and fashion. We are always searching for designers in these three areas and every designer or collaborator needs to have something in common with the brand and the brand DNA.” – clashmusic.com
Blending retail, exhibition space and immersive space, is something London has become adept to. Burberry (121 Regent St), Selfridges (400 Oxford St), Dover Street Market (18-22 Haymarket) and Chloé (152-153 Sloane St), are but three examples.
The key constituents of a flagship is not merely the size, but the experimental elements, design, range of merchandise and brand embodiment. Emotional attachments, more often becoming technology-enhanced such as live fashion broadcasts, are on the increase. Looking at flagships worldwide, Paris’ Channel store is home to an art gallery whilst Louis Vuitton (Rome) has a 19-seat cinema and library.
But on returning to Melissa, head down the stairs until July 31, and as described by Garage, a ” Pop Art-themed pool party” will be upon you.
“The exhibition in Melissa’s London concept store titled “Inflatable Dreams” is an immersive installation inspired by the design collaboration collection of Melissa and Jeremy Scott.” -coventgarden.london
A sea of blue shines out. Projections dance on the ceiling and a giant ball-pit, complete with a pool-slide stretches across the room. If you’re over 13 years-old, feel free to dive in- just don’t forget to take off your shoes. No.1 pool-rule.
You’re allowed to relive your childhood, even for a moment whilst shopping. But head back upstairs and the array of shoes is ever so tempting.
The shoes are kitsch and fun with Jeremey Scott’s collection featuring air nozzles, because of course, the shoes are seemingly inflatable. Having first seen the shoes on the runway, they are now available in-store, and online with a choice of inflatable heeled mules, tube sandals, ankle boots, flats and children’s monkey-boots, all in an array of bright plastics.