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06-04-2004
  1
etre soi-meme
 
Lena's Avatar
 
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both designers open their first ever London boutiques, quite near to each other
here a sofa from MMM London interior

and Williamson's shop street view

Quote:
Matthew Williamson and Martin Margiela have taken over two Mayfair art galleries for their first London stores, and their homegrown approach to interior design couldn’t be farther away from the polished, megabrand looks so popular on nearby Bond Street.

Williamson lifted furniture and objects from his own home to decorate his first stand-alone store, which is a riot of eye-popping color and swirly, garden-inspired patterns. The store, which spans 2,200 square feet, opened on Bruton Street late last month.

The wooden Indian armoire that now holds Williamson’s rainbow of colored candles once contained his cutlery and glassware at home. The stone Buddha that sits inside the glass-enclosed, subtropical garden came from his own backyard. In a nearby dressing room, a wooden armchair is one of Williamson’s finds from London’s Camden Market. The designer later painted it fluorescent pink and covered it with a carpet of purple fabric flowers.

“It was important that this store look like my environment. I love interiors and I didn’t want this store to be someone else’s fantasy,” said the designer during a walk-through of the store, formerly the Bruton Street Gallery.
.....................
Margiela takes a similar homemade approach to the space that was most recently the Timothy Taylor Gallery, and which was formerly horse stables. The store, Margiela’s first U.K. unit, opened in late March and carries the designer’s men’s, women’s and accessories lines.

The 1,512-square-foot store resembles the designer’s Paris and Tokyo units with its all-white interiors, unfinished edges, bits of secondhand furniture and fittings. “The store’s philosophy is about preserving the previous lives of objects, and living with imperfections,” said Sandrine Reboux, store manager.

The cash desk is made from two French supermarket tills, the wooden doors upstairs are from old French apartments and hotels and makeshift walls are fashioned from old luggage or plastic milk cartons. The pockmarked walls still bear the pencil marks of architects and painters who have worked in the space. “It’s all part of the story of the building,” said Reboux.

Downstairs, in a makeshift cinema where videos of Margiela shows will be projected, old wooden chairs that have been painted white hang on black walls, and can be pulled down anytime to accommodate visitors.

Margiela declined to give a sales projection for the store.

On the ground floor, in a small room near the entrance, is Margiela’s graffiti room where visitors can scribble their thoughts on the walls. Clearly, Margiela’s mind is in a positive place. A plastic box near the cash register is crammed with champagne corks, decorated with a bit of the designer’s signature white cotton fabric — a gift to customers
softgrey, arent you lucky visiting London just at the right time?

extracts from a wwd article of today

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06-04-2004
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omg-lena....i was just thinking the same thing...they both sound fantastic...esp mmm...i can't wait!...won't my boyfriend be thrilled...

thx for the post...

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06-04-2004
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you are very welcome lucky soft

(i'm a bit jealous, maybe i could drag my new clients to London ..like a field trip )

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06-04-2004
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come for the tea party!...i think gucci and acid will be there and maybe even leyla...

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06-04-2004
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great news, you will sure have a great time (i'll try to ask my new client and see how it goes, we actually NEED a London young style update )

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06-04-2004
  6
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come come come

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06-04-2004
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here the IHT Suzy Menkes article on the new London shops, including more 'swinging London' new addresses

Quote:
One store is all white - from its shabby painted leather sofa to its upturned travel trunks and piled up water pipes as shelving. As the sandwich board perambulating outside puts it: "Maison Martin Margiela amongst us."
.
Around the corner, Matthew Williamson has opened a store so bright, bold and sunny that it seems like a deliberate ying to the Belgian designer Martin Margiela's yang. With patterned cushions piled on pale sofas, graphic rugs, fluorescent dress rails set against a marble floor and a Chinese wall-covering dotted with crystal jewelry, Williamson's first boutique is as sweet and merry as bird song.
.
But the two stores have one thing in common, their location in what has become the London epicenter of designer cool: Bruton Street. The quiet road is at right angles to Bond Street, the plate-glass emporium of top designer labels.
.
The arrival last year of Stella McCartney's London store detonated a charge of hip to an area once devoted to art and antiques. Those galleries are still in residence - Haunch of Venison, for one, is still offering up such artists as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Richard Long, Bill Viola and Wim Wenders. So while Bond Street, like those other international designer avenues, is glossy but predictable, Bruton Street still has an eclectic mix, even in its fashion stores. For example, Holland Holland's sporting shops for men and women flank Brioni for upscale luxury tailoring.
.
Williamson's arrival at No. 28 is like a bird of paradise fluttering into a bricks-and-mortar London street. A tank filled with tropical plants in the middle of the store adds to the feeling of what the designer calls "virtual nature," referring to hand-painted enhancement of the birds on Chinese silk, crystal spiders crawling round a Venetian mirror and changing room chairs smothered with purple silk peonies. The only area not quite as nature intended is the entrance to the customer cloakroom, where there is a collage of pin-ups, from Madonna to Liz Taylor and Richard Burton.
.
The clothes, bags and shoes (some displayed inside a bird cage) are as vivid as the décor. Williamson's specialty is a sophisticated prettiness - like the ruffled halter chiffon top for £350 or about $650, and the bright white jeans with a floral waistband (£185) and cute patterned purses (£150).
.
"I believe in this street's potential and I wanted to use this space," says Williamson, who is self-financed. "I couldn't have afforded Bond Street; it would have become a chocolate box and I would have had to make a statement as a little store among big brands."
.
After seven years in business, Williamson is enjoying showing his full range of clothes, accessories, fragrance and scented candles - and meeting his customers. And if they find the glamorous top-of-the-range dresses too pricey, they can always go to Debenhams department store, where the designer has a more affordable range.
.
Margiela won't be meeting the fans who find his destination store tucked into a former stables (1-9 Bruton Place). The reclusive designer did not even attend the dinner last week that launched this first London store, after Paris and Tokyo. But since Renzo Rosso of Diesel invested in his label, Margiela has been able to extend the retail range of his Maison Margiela concept.
.
The first thing you see as you climb the stairs to where the artists Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon once painted, is a single white dress stretched over three torsos like a trio of singing nuns. Beyond a "wall" created from Belgian beer crates are deep, dimpled windows, where hay was once passed to the horses. Mighty molded doors, salvaged from a French apartment, conceal a dressing room where the mirror is surrounded with light bulbs, like a film star's dressing room.
.
As with the surroundings, so it is with the merchandise: made-over old clothes melded with modern glamour. The unique hand-made pieces comprise broderie anglaise petticoats dyed black and made into dresses (£305) and men's sweat tops reworked into a single piece (£350). The full range of Margiela offerings are under one roof and include a tailored trench coat or well-cut shirt with detachable collar, to show the designer's classic side. The different labels at varying price levels go from Margiela's signature twin-toe sneakers (£95) to pin-striped pants with an elastic waist (£195) and a shaded cardigan (£265).
.
The all-white store (even the coat hangers) invites graffiti, and when the designated wall is full, it will be photographed and painted blank again. The store proves how imaginatively Margiela has moved his image into retail, while keeping his distance - and his cool.
.
Walking past the McCartney store with "Girls Girls Girls" in neon in the window and her appealing mix of pallid, pretty clothes, Bruton Street runs into a designer crossroads with Bond Street. Corner stores for Burberry, Hermès and Ungaro all show how those labels have been rejuvenated with a wide range of goods in airy spaces.
.
The road then leads to Conduit Street - another axis of the more off-beat designer names. Those implanted here are Moschino, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood and Gibo, where Julie Verhoeven's quirky fairy-tale clothes emphasize the new whimsical retail spirit.
.
Conduit Street also harbors Sketch, at No. 9, the baroque restaurant that is one of London's hip spots to eat (or at least be seen) when the shopping bug wanes.
.
International Herald Tribune

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06-04-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lena@Apr 6th, 2004 - 9:47 am

Walking past the McCartney store with "Girls Girls Girls" in neon in the window and her appealing mix of pallid, pretty clothes, .


Conduit Street also harbors Sketch, at No. 9, the baroque restaurant that is one of London's hip spots to eat (or at least be seen) when the shopping bug wanes.
that stella window display is the worst ever

and i agree with suzy, sketch is THE place to be seen

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06-04-2004
  9
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Both of the shops sound great. I would love to see them! I guess I know where I am going on my next vacation

Stella's window display sounds "interesting" Does anyone have a photo of it?

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06-04-2004
  10
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I wonder if NYC is next, although MMM is carried here by anyone who's anyone...

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06-04-2004
  11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Acid+Apr 6th, 2004 - 6:56 am--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Acid @ Apr 6th, 2004 - 6:56 am)</div><div class='quotemain'> <!--QuoteBegin-Lena@Apr 6th, 2004 - 9:47 am

Walking past the McCartney store with "Girls Girls Girls" in neon in the window and her appealing mix of pallid, pretty clothes, .


Conduit Street also harbors Sketch, at No. 9, the baroque restaurant that is one of London's hip spots to eat (or at least be seen) when the shopping bug wanes.
that stella window display is the worst ever

and i agree with suzy, sketch is THE place to be seen [/b][/quote]
expect to see me at sketch next...

conduit and bruton...must remember...thx for the post lena

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06-04-2004
  12
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question-debenhams dept store?....what and where is that...they have a lower price m. williamson line?...didn't sofia kokosalaki do a lower priced line?...was that also there or was that at topshop?...

thx

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06-04-2004
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Lena's coming too?
Great!!!

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06-04-2004
  14
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oh margiela soudns veyr ncie, so dos willemson actually.


i almsot had a chance to go to school out side of london next year, but i don't thinkt hat ti will hapen.

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06-04-2004
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can't wait to sign margiela's wall!...what shall i write...hmmm..

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