By now, you will have heard the resoundingly positive and effusive verdict on Dover Street Market London‘s move to Haymarket after it has hosted a friends and family opening last Friday. Any previous doubts of a moving from Dover Street Market’s original Dover Street location to a stretch of road that is mainly known as a thoroughfare for tourists to shuttle from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square or Pall Mall were duly dispelled as soon as you entered the store (not from 18-22 Haymarket but on a side entrance on Orange Street).
Dover Street Market London, being the original instigator back in 2004, was always the idiosyncratic big sister, leading and paving the way for the Ginza and New York locations to spawn and grow. At Haymarket, Adrian Joffe and Rei Kawakubo take back ownership of that identity because thet now have three times the space (31, 384 sq ft. to be precise) to play with as well as a rooted Grade II listed building, that has its own innately beautiful and original features to both maintain and disrupt. Originally erected in 1912 by Thomas Burberry (up until 2007 this was Burberry’s headquarters), Kawakubo has left the exterior unchanged, as well as retaining the original ceilings, windows and central staircase. In that respect, it already marks itself apart from the other DSM locations. When you have elements such as Kawakubo’s black metal skeleton, giant lamp posts by Daniel Young and Christian Giroux and huge white spheres, engulfing the windows and coursing through the high ceilings and original woodwork, you have yourself an appropriate architectural representation of what Dover Street Market’s ethos is all about.
“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.” This is how Kawakubo sums up the raison d’être of Dover Street Market. Old/new, established/undiscovered, luxury/street, expensive/affordable – these contrasts roll around all four floors like never before. The notable new additions at Haymarket such as an installation of Burberry’s original trenches pays homage to the past in a way that feels new. They somehow sit nicely next to Simone Rocha’s perspex and cornice filled space, which becomes the focal point of the ground floor, as soon as you enter the store. With its higher ceilings and vaulted skylight, the playful elements such as a stack of chairs built up by Stephen Jones to showcase his millinery or the newspaper stand for new culture and style publication Luncheon, become more pronounced.
Lighting design on ground floor ‘Alexithymia’ by Dan Young and Christian Giroux
Simone Rocha space featuring flower moulded cornicing encased in perspex
Junya Watanabe space
Comme des Garçons Homme Plus space
Burberry’s installation of original trench coats restored exclusively for Dover Street Market
An installation of interlocking chairs, from which Stephen Jones’ hats hang off
Exclusive debut for the newly-launched Luncheon magazine
The central staircase as well as the wooden-fronted lift form a defined route of discovery as you clamber up the stairs and take in the grand arched windows. They provide portholes into external atriums as well as artwork by Georgian self taught artist Niko Pirosmani. I prefer to go up floor by floor, ascending from first to second to third and then finally going back down into the basement. Most will go straight to the top, enjoy the bigger and more extensive offerings of Rose Bakery, and then work their way down.
Part of the original central staircase
The central lift linking all five floors
Original windows that back onto Niko Pirosmani artwork
The way each floor is laid out in a sort of circular formation that bends round that central staircase means it feels like there are more nooks and crannies to explore. Looking at the press notes, I had to face palm a few times because I realised there were whole sections I had completely missed. With more floor space though, the mega maisons like Dior and Celine can flourish in their designated areas and then anchor brands like Comme des Garçons also have room to spread out. With thte enlarged scale of Kawakubo’s sculptural pieces for her main womenswear, it deserves the extra floor space. On the first floor, perhaps the most surprising section is the three changing rooms devoted to Vetements. It looks like an area in flux and true to form, Vetements hoodies and jeans were flying out of the changing room curtains and into people’s shopping bags, making it one of the top selling brands at DSM.
White Pillar Space on first floor with ‘Frozen Waterfall’ chandeliers by Rei Kawakubo that feature LED lighting in clusters of ten suspended from the ceiling
Dior space based around the haute couture 2016 set
Comme des Garçons space with gold panelling by Rei Kawakubo, contrasting beautifully with that lush blue velvet from the SS16 collection
J.W. Anderson climbing frame space inspired by playgrounds from his hometown in Northern Ireland
Alaiä space designed by artist Kris Ruhs
A drawn out Delvaux
A Roberts Wood top to add to a newer roster of designers that include Shushu Tong, Zu Xhi and Helen Lawrence
Vetements space intended to be installed in a dressing room area
Up into the second floor and the furniture installations become more apparent with hybrid wardrobes housing a much bigger Sacai area as well as a new section for The Row held in what looks like a giant version of those tray cupboards you’d have at primary school. Kawakubo’s metal skeleton skulking over the doorway suggests a structural heft, that marries up with the heavyweight creators of this floor such as Raf Simons and Alessandro Michele for Gucci. They form a contrasting foil for one another as Simoms’ concrete blocks come up against Gucci’s green velvet. Tucked away in a corner is Paul Harnden’s nook, left deliberately derelict with building materials and in-progress plastic sheeting. This is perhaps one of my favourite parts of the store as you get to hide away with Harnden’s roughed up textures and weathered garments.
Metal Dinosaur by Rei Kawakubo wrapping the doorway of the second floor
A vintage double wardrobe by Charlotte Perriand housing The Row with Pedro Cabrita Reis’s lighting installation ‘The Sky Above”
A hybrid furniture installation by Tokyo based art collective GELCHOP for Sacai
Raf Simons space featuring his AW16 collection exclusively for Dover Street Market
Michael Costiff World Archive
Inside a nook too the side of the second floor is Paul Harnden’s space, designed by Nicolai Schmetna with materials found in Haymarket
Noir by Kei Ninomiya
Arriving at third floor and that extra floor space feels even more apparent as you find yourself at a much bigger Rose Bakery and more designated sections that make stable brands like Egg, Comme Comme and Comme Girl more spread out. The Egg space in particular is a delight with its closet of pastoral striped jackets and oversized straw shoes. On this floor, maverick female creators are celebrated as Elena Dawson gets a more fleshed out Victoriana-inflected space, Sara Lanzi’s clothes are strung up along paper garments and Molly Goddard has her own candy-hued corner. This new DSM also sees the debut of Frances von Hofmannsthal’s installation of her father Lord Snowden’s photography studio, alongside a rail of painter’s smocks made out of the dyed backdrops that Snowden used in his famous portraits. It’s a special visual treat that gets due diligence up here.
Peering up into the third floor
Elena Dawson’s space featuring a Victorian carriage box and a window of gold shoes
Sara Lanzi space entitled “Black Carousel”
‘Frances’ by Frances von Hofmannsthal. The installation is almost an exact replica of Frances’ father, Photographer Lord Snowden’s original studio and will host a series of special handmade coats
Labour and Wait
Molly Goddard’s patchwork space featuring sculptures made by her father
Vintage radiator rails housing labels like Toogood, Atlantique Ascoli and Casey Casey
Egg space created by Jonathan Tuckey
Descending back down into the basement and Paul Smith’s reinterpretation of his first store in Nottingham instantly snares you in, with its array of Japanese toys, old issues of the Face and other collectibles, with a smattering of his men’s tailoring. As with the Burberry installation, Paul Smith’s presence within DSM is unexpected but it works because of the singular concept. Round the corner, you have your usual DSM basement residents – Good Design Shop, Undercover, IDEA – with larger spaces now alotted for Nike Lab, Craig Green and Gosha Rubchinsky. A Child of Jago and Palace are the newcomers down in what is already a streetwear aficionado’s haven.
Down in the basement, and new to DSM is the Paul Smith Space is built to resemble Paul’s first ever shop in opened in 1970 in Nottingham. It features Japanese toys, magazines and vintage pieces.
Craig Green’s black tarpaulin monster fish
IDEA’s excellent printed matter and selection of rare books
Good Design Shop
Walter van Beirendonck
A Child of the Jago
I went in on the Saturday after the friends and family launch, to take the rest of my photos and the word “market” had literally sprung into life. The place was heaving. From the queues for Gosha Rubchinsky’s limited edition Reeboks and Palace gear in the morning to curious peeps passing by throughout the day, the tills at DSM’s new location were constantly ringing, with even the press team having to help out serve customers. The “beautiful chaos” of DSM, became even more beautiful when you saw life being breathed into the pieces on the rails – people browsing, trying and ultimately buying. You want to hope that the initial buzz of the new location doesn’t dim and that being wedged in between the tourist hotspots of London will actually expose DSM to a whole new audience as well as retaining its core and devoted customer base. Joffe and Kawakubo’s clarion call is clear. To Haymarket we go! Come (or should that be comme?), play and be curious!