i believe in buying things that will last you a life time. or at least for a very looong time. as the british would put it: i’m too poor to buy cheap. but that becomes more and more difficult in today’s trend-crazed world. fortunately, there are still companies that understand and abide by the principles of long-lasting quality.

rei kawakubo is the designer and founder of japanese brand comme des garcons. world-famous for her visionary approach – conceptual clothes, guerilla pop-up stores, unusual perfumes, etc, she is also the owner of the sibling  concept stores that share the name of dover street market, which are fortunately more about style and less about fashion.

visiting the original dsm in london was a wonderful experience. welcome by a window display full of animal skulls and by a very accommodating suit-wearing guard, i was given a map for the 6 floors (click here for details) and i went on to discover an entire experience.

the space houses the store, a tiny cafe and a wide selection of animal skeleton art (i loved the exploding crayfish under a glass bell – the illusion of a suspended dismembered crustacean was created by a hidden wire structure).

going from floor to floor, i clocked many wonderfully random things: the middle-eastern girl trying on a rick owens flowing dress while her veiled mother was watching. the tim bins jewelry window. the trust-fund princess teetering towards the mirror on the highest of heels and wearing a white alaia dress with an undone zipper on the back while her boyfriend was waiting on one of the mark newson-designed felt chairs. the very cool outfits on the mostly japanese assistants.

the endless selection of everything and anything comme des garcons, of course. i could see the point of having that little cafe right at the top: one can have a nice snack with a side dish of the latest magazines. nice touch!

the cherry on top was finding out that the very polite doorman was actually a fellow romanian. multumesc, mr. doorman!

and, as shopping is a national sport in japan and as tokyo is rei’s home town, a sibling store has been launched there recently: dover street market ginza. the 6-floor, 1,300 sq m emporia has a similar brand selection with a few local additions. expect the same spirit but with different twists. click here for the map.

i guess this is what they call retail heaven, right?

photo credits: dover street market