Paris based select store “colette” has appeared in Aoyama.
This is the first attempt for Colette to launch a shop outside Paris. Having partnered with Comme des Garcons, this shop “Colette meets Comme des Garcons” has been realised as a temporal shop until December. This location is where Comme des Garcons opened its first independent shop along the streets of Japan. This project is now in the second phase of a short-term project launched in January this year and “Colette” was selected to be part of it. The Colette store in Paris has dealt with Garcons goods since long ago and the relationship of mutual trust helped this collaboration.
Let’s move on to the main topic: the shop.
The shop name is drawn on the wall along Kottou Street in white letters against a blue background. This is dangerous, as I stepped into the left side door of the wall which seemed to be the entrance but well… that was another shop. So I tried another door which was located at the opposite corner and found popular Caperino and Peperone sitting down by the door. They are the mascot dogs of Collete and their web site says “Cap & Pep fly first class to Tokyo!” That’s very Cap & Pep.
When you go into the shop, the interior is unexpectedly simple. Products color some space of a white wall, and the space is filled with the grain of fixtures. Moreover, the atmosphere changes dramatically every time you visit and all the products offered are limited in quantity, and never boring the customers. Colette essentially has established their reputation on their good sense of selection, combining first-class brands with newcomer designers. They also have a gallery on the side and a weekly changing display design to keep the hospitality fresh and interesting.
Now, for the lineup of the goods. A swimming suit made in collaboration with SPEED, a limited edition trench coat by Junya Watanabe, Longchamp x British artist, Tracy Emin’s clutch bag with a dragonfly stitched on, a stuffed toy by undercover x Herve Chapelier, and even a collaborated version of the popular iPod. Although I cannot introduce them in detail here, you can get the details on colette meets comme des garcon’s website. I strongly recommend you to take a look because there are exclusive goods sold only on the web, and you can check out information on brand new products appearing one after another. (Occasionally, bricks of the page below open like a window, and we can see Caperino and Peperone running around or swimming. Their comical movements are very lovely.)
There’s one more feature which cannot be overlooked, the gallery space on the second floor. The exhibition is almost synchronized with the one in Colette, Paris, exhibiting the same artist’s work almost at the same period. The opening event is showing works from Genevieve Gauckler, a graphic designer from France who did the cover design of Shift No. 84. She lets black creatures “invade” (= “invasion” is the theme of this exhibition) scenes from our daily life and she catches the scenes woven by them. Each work has a comical (sometimes cynical ) message. Her style creates a wonderful world which attracts viewers and encourages them to imagine that they have met the black creatures at their feet. (Actually they lurk across the hall)..
After this opening exhibition, another three exhibitions are scheduled, featuring Ruri, Maarten Wetsema and D. Tobias Wong and they are sure to colour this space differently. This is one of the most important elements of Collette meets Comme des Garcon – to create concept that never stops shifting, and to cross over various things to create new ideas. I’ve said a lot, but all I really want to say is that I would just like you to visit this temporal shop once. From January 2006, another project from Garcon’s with another partner will start.
* Photos in this report was provided by Genevieve Gauckler
Colette meets Comme des Garcons
Open: 11:00 – 20:00 (no holidays)
Address: 5-12-3, Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo