LONDON — Chloé’s temporary London shop with arts organization Studio Voltaire, dubbed House of Voltaire, opens its doors Wednesday. The bijou space, on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street, has been designed to have the feel of a “curiosity shop,” said Clare Waight Keller, Chloé’s creative director. Done out with moss-green walls and parquet wood floors, the shop carries one-off artworks and objects including iPhone covers and tea towels by artists such as Jeremy Deller, Peter Saville and Rosemarie Trockel. All the proceeds from the pieces sold will help fund Studio Voltaire’s support of artistic practices.
Waight Keller has worked closely with three female artists — Cao Fei, Karen Kilimnik and Jenny Saville — on special-edition Chloé pieces for the space. All bearing the label “Chloé, The Beautiful Is Always Strange,” the designs include Saville’s silk tulle scarf woven with jacquard, with the pattern mimicking the brush strokes that Saville makes to test out the palette she’s using when painting. Kilimnik has designed a broderie anglaise camisole top and shorts, inspired by the artist’s interest in Victoriana.
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Fei has created labels for 12 Chloé dresses from the house’s archive, each telling the artist’s imagined story of the woman who would wear the dress, with one dress — a duck-egg blue number with jeweled shoulder straps — to be sold in a limited edition of 10. Saville’s scarf will be sold for 700 pounds, or around $1,112, in an edition of 31, while Fei’s dress will retail for 2,500 pounds, or around $3,970, and Kilimnik’s top and shorts are priced at $575, or around $913, and 485 pounds, or around $770, respectively, in an edition of around 50 for each garment.
The shop remains open through Dec. 20, and the Chloé collaboration pieces, along with a suede tote, will also be sold on net-a-porter.com from Nov. 17.
Waight Keller — who underlined that the works all had to “feel very soulful to the artists,” said she sees the pieces as blurring the lines between fashion and works of art. “We’re not selling so many of the pieces,” she pointed out, “and being sold [in the store], which feels like an art curiosity shop, gives [the designs] a different context.”
A number of other artists and designers have collaborated on pieces for the shop. Among them are Simone Rocha and Kim Gordon, who have produced a photographic print; Peter Jensen and Ella Kruglyanskaya, who have done a cardigan; and Eva Rothschild and Roksanda Ilincic, who together created a trapeze top with a graphic black print that references Rothschild’s wiry sculptures.
Joe Scotland, director of Studio Voltaire, said the artists “really enjoy” the collaborations.
“It’s doing something a little bit different and actually getting their work out — almost wearable art,” he said. Alongside its biannual London shop, the organization has hosted a pop-up shop in Miami in the past, and Scotland said he’s considering taking the project to either New York or Miami again in the future.