Last night I decided to do a little after work window shopping and popped over to Dover Street.
About 10 days have passed since the opening of one of the most anticipated stores in London; Alexander McQueen's diffusion line, McQ.
Having sold the brand myself in my previous job, I was extremely intrigued to go and have a look at Sarah Burton's new venture.
I actually wasn't aiming to visit the store last night (I was on a mission to replace my paintball-destroyed Comme Play converse...) but as soon as I walked past the stunning window display, there was no way I was going to leave it another day to drop by. The breathtaking dresses in the window, mixed in with crisp autumnal leaves are beyond eye-catching. Luckily I had half an hour left before the store closed (7pm) to have a nose around the 3 tiered store.
I was immediately drawn to one of the collection's key pieces; the heavy knitted black and white sleeveless dress. An incredible piece which I had seen a lot of press about. Along with the exclusive catwalk pieces there were the beautiful read-to-wear kilt like skirts/dresses, stunning tailored white dress shirts, leather parkas, the infamous studded shoes, skull printed mohair jumpers and the list goes on.
To be quite honest, in the past, I have never been that attracted to the McQ line of Alexander McQueen. There had been a previous over kill of prints and dare I say it, the quality just wasn't there. Sarah Burton has done a complete switch around with this and after her incredibly inspiring debut McQ catwalk, it was clear to see from a new start what direction she wanted to take the brand in. The quality has improved hugely and the incredible fit and lines in the mainline collection have definitely filtered down. The prices may have increased with some pieces but this has not affected the popularity of the brand. It is clear Ms.Burton means business with this collection and is not letting it slip away like other diffusion lines.
As I was about to leave the store, extremely content with what I had seen, I was distracted by the extremely pleasant sales assistant who said he wanted to show me something. When I first walked in, it was hard to ignore the giant screen on the left hand side. However the sales assistant was about to blow me away with some new technology.....In the centre of the store there is a table with an empty touch screen on top and many bizarre looking black tablets aside. As the gentleman proceeded to show me, it became apparent that this was something special. You place the stencil like tablets on the screen and as you do either the catwalk or lookbook for the collection appears. You can then look through it, select your favourite pieces, email to yourself/friend, orrrr you can flick it from the table to the wall!! There you can watch the show/browse the collection on full screen. Some people may see it all as just a bit of fun but as technology develops day by day, why shouldn't it be interspersed into retail? I was mightily impressed by it all and it just makes the experience of shopping even more enjoyable!
The McQ store in my eyes has added another aspect to Dover Street and it will most certainly be added to my list on my visits to Acne,Dover Street Market and Wolf and Badger.
(photo courtesy of vogue.com)