by Jacob Bernstein, NY Times (edited by TFL)
At the newly opened Dover Street Market New York on 30th Street and Lexington Avenue, walls are covered with polka dots and shoes are sprinkled in glitter. There are seven small floors, stacked on top of one another like a treehouse, reached by a clear glass elevator that slowly moves through the center of the store. And the clothes? What to make of a $10,770 black, origami-like Comme des Garçons dress with piping down the bodice and ruffles all over it?
“It’s like a lampshade,” a shopper on the fifth floor was saying Monday night to her male companion, as the actress Lucy Liu walked by. “Perfect for a party in Venice,” he offered.
Nearby, a young woman with blond hair, purple lipstick and bright green Nikes was peering up at a sign made of carnival letters that read: “We Make Noise, Not Clothes.”
On the ground floor, Peter Marino, the fashion world’s best-known architect, apparently checking out the competition, was waving goodbye to the designer Donna Karan. She was sitting by the coffee bar, eating a cookie. Ed Nardoza, the editor of Women’s Wear Daily, was on a mezzanine above, looking for last-minute Christmas gifts. Was this store — which is curated by Rei Kawakubo and pairs young designers with names like Gosha Rubchinskiy with established brands like Saint Laurent and Prada — the best thing to happen in recent retail memory, or merely another high-priced temple of consumerism?
It depended on whom you asked.
Sophia Lamar, a night-life regular who was hanging out by the staircase, said: “It’s a lot of hype. When I saw people posting pics of it on Instagram, I knew exactly what it was about: hype.”
Ms. Karan said: “It’s everything I believe in. It’s not uptight, it’s not pretentious, it’s real, it’s the street, inside and out. I feel very at home here.”