After litmus-testing the market last year with a pop-up shop in Covent Garden, Kate Spade has committed to the U.K. with two stand-alone stores in London.
The first is just off Sloane Square on Symons Street. It spans 1,800 square feet over one floor and stocks the full rtw and accessories collections. The second is in Langley Court in Covent Garden and is 2,300 square feet over two floors. It’s housed in the former Ted Baker space and is opposite a Paul Smith boutique.
“We’ve put everything we’ve learned into this shop,” said Deborah Lloyd, the British-born creative director of the brand.
“It’s a modern, very refined and luxurious store,” she said, pointing to the brightly colored midcentury modern furniture, black granite and white marble checkerboard floors, and well-proportioned rooms. “A lot of our American shops are shaped like corridors, which we’ve then transformed into different rooms. We didn’t have to do that here. All the rooms were perfect.”
2 Symons Street, Sloane Square, SW3 2TJ
1-4 Langley Court, Covent Garden, WC2E 9JY
Dodo, the luxury charms brand owned by Italian jeweler Pomellato, has opened its first flagship in London, on Sloane Square. The 1,620-square-foot store was designed by Italian architect Paola Navone, and its interiors channel “The Flintstones” — in the best possible way. The walls look as if they’re covered in wet sand, while the ceiling is thick with bright green rubber tubes made to look like psychedelic grass.
Display cases are filled with small, handmade felt animals and tufts of grass. Upstairs, customers can design their own charm bracelets, rings and necklaces at a wooden “bar” that looks as if it hails from Stonehenge. An Yves Klein blue is used throughout — from the walls to the mosaic tiles at the entrance.
The store stocks the full range of Dodo gold, diamond and colored gemstone charms, as well as other Pomellato collections such as the Nudo and M’ama Non M’ama.
“We’re testing the concept internationally, and asking ourselves, ‘How can we export this idea, the story of this brand and this product?’” said Andrea Morante, chief executive officer of Pomellato.
Indeed, there’s more to Dodo than just jewelry: Since its launch 16 years ago, Dodo has made the environment a priority, with regular donations to the World Wildlife Fund. The brand has helped to build the bear population in Abruzzo, Italy, and has also contributed to re-forestation projects.
31 Sloane Square
SW1W 8AG, London
GO ASK ALICE
Alice Temperley is marking the 10th anniversary of her fashion label with a coffee-table book called “True British: Alice Temperley,” being released by Rizzoli New York on Oct. 4. The book features a foreword by British Harper’s Bazaar editor Lucy Yeomans, and quotes from celebrities and industry figures such as Annie Lennox, Demi Moore, Emily Mortimer, Helena Christensen and Glenda Bailey.
The designer’s story begins with her childhood on a farm in Somerset — where her father, Julian Temperley, still makes cider — and follows her transfer to New York Fashion Week and her return to the London catwalk in February. In the introduction, she recalls being told while growing up that textiles and anything in the arts were a waste of time.
“In spite of this,” she writes, “I love making things — I found comfort in it from a very young age — and I knew that this was what I was destined to do.”
“True British: Alice Temperley”
By Alice Temperley
Rizzoli New York
SHE’S AN OIL PAINTING
All those who’ve ever wanted to have a proper look behind Anna Wintour’s sunglasses will finally get their chance — at the National Portrait Gallery. The gallery has paid 125,000 pounds, or $197,500, for the 2009 oil on linen portrait of Wintour by Alex Katz.
The painting, “Anna (Anna Wintour)” is the first work by Katz to have been acquired by the gallery. Wintour, who posed for Katz in his New York studio, is painted against a bright yellow background — and minus the famous glasses. Katz thought of asking her to sit for him after he watched “The September Issue” and noticed she had “lovely eyes. There was no way I could miss it,” he said.
The portrait was formally unveiled at the gallery this week to coincide with the start of London Fashion Week.
“Anna (Anna Wintour)” by Alex Katz
National Portrait Gallery
St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE
MAKING THE CUT
There’s a lot of action on Park Lane this month in the form of a new boutique hotel, and the arrival at said hotel of Wolfgang Puck’s first London restaurant.
Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane has 45 rooms and an Art Deco feel, thanks to the dab hand of architect and decorator Thierry W. Despont. All the guest rooms feature works by British artists, including Sir Peter Blake, Bruce McLean, Joe Tilson and Brendan Neiland, and have a view of Hyde Park. The 1,830-square-foot penthouse suite boasts a wraparound terrace.
Meanwhile, the ground floor is the site of Puck’s first European venture, a red-meat-lovers’ restaurant called Cut. “It’s a modern American steak restaurant — with a fun, relaxed experience,” said Puck, adding that the details stretch beyond the food and service to art and music. Indeed, 16 of Damien Hirst’s limited edition “Psalms” series are displayed together for the first time.
Unlike its siblings in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, Cut also offers breakfast — cue streaky bacon and black pepper pork sausages — and lunch, in addition to dinner.
45 Park Lane
45 Park Lane, W1K 1PN
Cut at 45 Park Lane
DAY BY DAY
An exhibition of the late Corinne Day’s work is currently showing at Gimpel Fils gallery in Mayfair, and the star — not surprisingly — is Kate Moss.
Day rose to fame in 1990 when she shot a 15-year-old Moss for British magazine The Face. Her photographs showed Moss running naked on an English beach, wrinkling her nose at the camera, and wearing an Indian headdress.
Three years later, Day stirred up controversy when a shoot for British Vogue featuring Moss in a bare apartment wearing childlike underwear contributed to the coining of the term “heroin chic.”
The London exhibition showcases some of the fashion images Day created for The Face, including grainy black-and-white shots of Moss in Borneo, cavorting with local children, or wearing a very unglamorous snorkel and swim goggles on the beach.
Day captured the childlike Moss at the start of her career — all wide eyes, freckles and full lips — and the show feels like a peaceful (and joyful) trip back in time.
Runs until Oct. 1 at Gimpel Fils
30 Davies Street, W1K 4NB