If a place can be so hip it hurts, Dover Street Market is Guantanamo Bay. DSM could make even Colette habitués feel out of it, never mind a 65 year old retiree in walking sandals, department store shopping bag under her arm, and, I imagine, a wary look.
|Atlantique Ascoli blouse|
If you just booked your first DJ gig, here is your boutique. So, what was I, who decided not to buy a store logo nylon shopper for $65—the kind local boutiques give away—doing there?
I thought I ought not crumple the memo from the arty edge and "see what they are wearing", as my mother would say.
Defying the normcore movement, where young adults flock to fleece and fannypacks, DSM showcases pricey, refined clothes (origami-fold dresses, sneakerhead-heaven shoes) and a few surprises like the exquisite classic leather bags from the French firm Moynat. ($3,000 for a small 'starter' bag.)
Second, the Market occupies a landmark building, the former New York School of Applied Design for Women and Touro College, now a seven-floor transparent tree house with one (slow, tiny) glass elevator. Drifting up and up, I decided during a weekend the space would be claustrophobic.
Open since late winter, the DSM has already drawn fire as yet another temple to high-priced posturing while designers like Donna Karan call it "unpretentious" and "so 'street'". But view it as an an art project; if you wanted a deal, you'd be at Loehmann's—if it were still open.
The point of such stores is to sidestep the safe and "nice", whether by American Apparel or Eileen Fisher. At some point in our lives, women want something a little different. Most of us left those days behind with our fringed vests, while a few eccentric dressers plunge in even further as they age.
On entering, I urged myself, Why be so conventional? Maybe buy something 'advanced'!
Despite my openness, the clothes were too young or avant-garde (or both) for me, but I would have happily carried the Moynat "Pauline" travel bag on my homebound train ride!
This tee ($19 on sale), by Montréal's Bonnetier reminds us: "I'm unique, like everyone":
Aren't we just?