Inside Dover Street Market

take a trip to London’s Dover Street Market: A shopping experience ahead of its time

You would not be mistaken of entering a fashion exhibition upon arriving at London’s most chic and trendy destination at the city’s very heart. However, this is not a museum, but a fresh new way to shop the biggest labels.

Dover Street Market is placed only a short walk from London’s most lavish destination- Regent’s Street. It also situated in the very centre where the city never sleeps, Piccadilly
Circus; it’s very position just defines the store’s modern, urban feel.

It is clear that attention to detail has not been neglected as the store has purposely been left open and spacious so that the eye concentrates on each brand’s section, all totally unique to each other as designers were free to design their own spaces. Sculptures
are situated throughout the store to accentuate its gallery vibe, whilst complementing the
designers’ works. One sculpture which particularly stands out is ‘Metal Dinosaur’, which
perhaps outlines that all styles should be appreciated no matter their age. It is safe to say
that it’s shopping experience is like no other. A sense of privilege is felt as you walk amongst the fashionable art pieces which are all available to purchase – you can look, you can touch, you can buy.

Dover Street Market was established by the founder of Comme Des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo. The store primarily sells Comme Des Garçons products, a revolutionary brand which epitomises modern fashion. It is not afraid to set the trends, and others quickly
follow. Street-wear has been dominating the high-end fashion industry for the past few years, blurring the lines between the catwalk and the street. Comme Des Garçons pioneered in this trend as it was never afraid to achieve both statements. As soon as you enter through the ground floor the first thing you will witness are its casual t-shirts, patterned shirts and urban jackets, all envisaging the current trend of stylish casual-wear.

Street fashion extends to the basement with is allocated to this trend. A kaleidoscope of trainers are smartly presented within numerous cubes, envisioning its modern feel. Opposite the NikeLAB is showcased, featuring trainers specifically designed for Dover
Street Market. This section presents a different vibe with its effortless chipboard design,
illustrating a sense of the newfound correlation between urban style and big label brands.

However, it is the skateboarding brand Palace that particularly stands out as the only space available dedicated to the brand outside its own store, highlighting Dover Street Market’s iconic influence. Palace defies the typical skateboarder stereotype as it displays it
affluence with Italian marble, whilst its attire is presented just as it would be in any other
designer store.

Dover Street Market is defying fashion norms, incorporating edgy sportswear with
sophisticated dresses. The likes of Erdem, Valentino and Gucci can all be found in this same building which accentuates that all of us have those days where we want to elegantly dress up. Erdem particularly stood out, even though it did not take centre-stage in the floor space. Its presentation remains simple, contrasting with the wonderful extravagance of the other brands, yet its lush florals caught your attention. Gucci invokes its opulence through its rich colours in the background, whilst its current emphasis on nature and wildlife are highlighted through the exotic use of flamingo statues in order to incorporate the brand’s current image.
Dover Street Market offers one of the most unique shopping experiences you can encounter due to its myriad of brands. Showcased amongst five different floors, connected by various themes through its stunning central staircase, emphasizing that different types
of fashion can intertwine. Regardless of how we are feeling, whether casual, formal, or otherwise, we always want to be stylish and Dover Street Market incorporates the means to do so.

“I want to create a kind of market where
various creators from various fields gathers 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.”
– Rei Kawakubo

A Look Into The Collections:

Vetements

Vetements is the fresh new brand the fashion world is obsessed with. Encompassing urban
streetwear through its eye-popping sweatshirts and hoodies, featuring the next biggest
trend to hit the catwalk; graphics. It is no surprise you will find Vetements at Dover Street Market as they take their inspiration from Comme Des Garçons. But you cannot be mistaken of the fact that Demna Gvasalia’s designs must have also been influenced by his
childhood, which was spent under Soviet rule in Georgia. You could describe Vetements as a remarkable chaotic mess, which is why it is perfectly placed in Dover Street Market.

Michael Costiff ’s World Archive

This is one section that particularly stands out as Michael Costiff ’s World Archive space
transports you to a different continent. There is no doubt that this collection is inspired by
travelling, but the type of travelling where the culture is absorbed into one’s self. As someone that grew up in a small village, there is no wonder why Michael Costiff aspired to travel the world and create this very collection. Costiff is an interesting person in himself as he is not only a designer, but a photographer, filmmaker and interior designer all in one, once again illustrating Dover Street Market’s beautiful chaos.

Noah

Noah is a brand-new urban label established by Supreme’s former creative director, Brendon Babenzian. However, Noah contrasts from other brands as it focuses on lifestyle,
rather than design. Noah combines the classic with the modern, creating something minimalistic and wearable; a style which highlights one’s laid-back personality. The whole
ethos of Noah is to emphasise that clothes are not as important as the person who’s wearing them. The brand offers a much-needed breath of fresh air amongst the myriad of other designers in Dover Street Market; it brings you back down to earth.

Simone Rocha

Upon winning the British Womenswear Designer Award at the 2016 Fashion Awards,
there’s no wonder that Simone Rocha features on the ground floor of the store. The collection pops out with its vibrant red design of floral cornicing, whilst elegant black and white pieces lie within. Rocha’s collection is typically classic in its elegance as she follows in her father’s footsteps. It is clear that Rocha focuses on pieces that will last a lifetime and beyond as illustrated through its monochrome, whilst also comprising of intricate folds and pleats. Simone Rocha brings sophistication to the store whilst still exhibiting a vibrancy.

All images credited to DSM Press

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