I pride myself on being quite open-minded when it comes to fashion, trying any look and trend at least once. So, when I had my first trip to London’s infamous Dover Street Market (the home of all things avant-garde), I was more than a little taken aback. Instead of being greeted by your usual department store clone, I was approached by someone who appeared to be wearing a purple padded pregnant suit with matching horn-rimmed glasses. Interesting, or just plain weird – is this what fashion has come to?
Dover Street Market is located just off Oxford Street in trendy Mayfair, but is clearly in a world of its own. It’s a large warehouse-style building accommodating some of the trendiest and most experimental designers out there, and was started as a new type of retail concept by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcon fame about 4 years ago.
When it opened it was dubbed a guerrilla store, similar to the ones that have sprung up in Berlin in recent years, but has since stayed true and now has a large cult-like following amongst all the trendsetters.
It showcases over a dozen designers including Raf Simons, Junya Watanabe, Alber Elbaz and Comme des Garcons, who can develop their space as they see fit (each designers section is almost like a piece of artwork, with interiors reflecting the designers individual style).
And it’s not only designers that this â€˜market’ sells, it also works as a gallery space holding art exhibitions and installations, too.
There is a certain anarchy about it, and the more I walk around the more I want to don some crazy get-up, but I think I’m too boring for it. I might be brave now, but shopping on the high-street in an outfit that resembles a pattern-cutters workshop is just too out there for me. So I guess I’m off to Selfridges, anyone with me?
Dover Street Market, 7-18 Dover Street, London W1S 4LT, 11am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 11am-7pm Thursday