Dover Street Market —
My story of unrequited love
My whole adult life I have worshipped at the shrine of three brands — Yohji Yamamoto; Issey Miyake; and Comme des Garcons. Others may have come and gone — I dabble in Maison Margiela, Marni, Agnes B and, of course, the clever copycat Cos. I would go to Paris — just to go to the Comme des Garcons store —hidden away in a mews with moving cubes as art installation; way before such concepts became as common place as cafes, and changing rooms.
Then life got better. Dover Street Market opened in 2004 and I felt only I knew about it. Obviously it stocked all the CdG portfolio of brands, but it also launched newcomers like Sacai and featured old timers like Anne Demeulemeester. It had Labour and Wait on the top floor; encouraged a reaffirmation in the art of taxidermy. It felt like a 1960s happening – it was simply the best shop in the world.
Over the years, others discovered it — but it still felt suitably shrine like: for those in the know, who knew how to savour its particular blend of flavours. And then Dover Street became bling — the Arts Club was beautifully refurbished, but, in so doing, toppled into La grande bellezza, losing its understated charm along the way.
And Dover Street Market decided to move — interesting and exciting. Perhaps as a lone ranger, it would choose another part of town to alchemise. It chose the Haymarket and the amazing old Burberry building. But, oh that sinking feeling — when ES magazine is devoted to its existence. A slight despair started to fill my soul.
So I visited — on Monday and on Tuesday. Chauffeured cars dropping wealthy customers at the door; tourists; lads searching out Palace, Supreme, Gosha Rubchinskiy and CdG emblazoned hoodies. Together with the usual DSM crowd — Japanese and Korean fashion, design and architecture students and some oldies like me.
And once inside, a recreation of the Dover Street store — similar installations and exhibitions; enthusiastic and non-judgemental staff; trained and recruited with finesse. Yes — I want to buy at least three suits — which do look the same as the rest of my wardrobe.
But a sense that it is, and can no longer be, my secret.
I feel betrayed and nostalgic — I feel alone.
How dare the brand let in these other people?
How dare the romance of my heart desert me for my 16 year old son?
Authored by Dilys Maltby, April 8th, 2016
Image Facebook / Dover Street market