6 posts tagged "Repossi"
Gaia Repossi showed off her latest jewelry collection in Paris last night, at a swank sushi-and-saké event at the Jeu de Paume. “It’s very light, free, and playful,” noted the designer of the covetable line of rings, cuffs, ear cuffs, and necklaces in sinuous squiggles rendered in various colors of gold, either plain or flashing with tiny diamonds. “They brighten the skin like touches of paint,” she observed. Repossi said that the line was informed by architecture and various artistic movements, notably the work of Alexander Calder. “They are a reflection of light that creates white noise,” she said.
One onlooker was Repossi’s proud father, Alberto, who recounted that convincing his daughter to actually join the company her great-grandfather founded took quite a bit of time. “She wanted to be an artist, just as I did when I was young. But she’s a rule-breaker, like my father was in his day. In the fifties he was looking at architecture and bringing volume to high jewelry—truth is, the society ladies in Monaco loved it because it helped to hide wrinkles!” The turning point came, he recalled, when Repossi said she wanted to do snakes. “I replied that jewelers had been doing snakes for at least 3,500 years. But what she did surprised me. That’s when I knew she would be a great designer. She’s got that touch of folie. It runs in the family.”
World of Interiors: Dover Street Market New York’s Designers on the Spaces They Designed for the New York Megastore
Tomorrow, Dover Street Market in New York opens its doors to the public (including that very committed member of the public who has been camped out in a pup tent on the corner, reportedly for days, waiting). The multibrand store, owned by Comme des Garçons, stocks both the full range of Comme des Garçons labels (which are many), and lines that Rei Kawakubo and her team select and buy for the store—with the sphinx-like Kawakubo often doing the buys herself.
The concept of shop-in-shops at multibrand retailers is nothing new, and many department stores have concessions piloted by individual designers and labels. But few give so much freedom to so many as Dover Street Market. (“We don’t go in for brainstorming,” CdG CEO Adrian Joffe put it dryly to Style.com last year) The result is that walking through the seven stories of New York’s Dover Street Market—or riding up in the glass elevator that was commissioned for the space—is a varied, eye-popping, and often surreal experience. Brands are grouped together in unlikely arrangements, decided by Kawakubo. On the seventh floor, Prada sits next to the skate brand Supreme, the Japanese line Visvim, and near André Walker, the cult designer coaxed out of semi-retirement to design a new collection for the store. And because most if not all of the labels are given license to design their own spaces and fixtures, going from one to the next, even over a distance of only a few feet, can feel like traveling between dimensions or falling down the proverbial rabbit hole. (This is not even to take into account the stairway, designed by the architects Arakawa and Gins, which somewhat resembles a birth canal and is reputed, according to a Comme representative, “to reverse your destiny.”) And this is before you account for the artworks commissioned from the space, including three artist-designed pillars that evolve as they cut through the seven floors, a sound art installation, a mural and more.
The result is a store that is completely unlike all of the existing shopping experiences in New York. But for every person disoriented by the experience, there is likely to be another delighted by the creative chaos. “It’s not overthought. I feel sometime shopping environments can be overcalculated—it’s nearly forced, duty-free luxury,” said Jonathan Anderson, who created the first branded space he’s ever done in the history of his J.W. Anderson label for the store. “I don’t think luxury has to be determined in that way. I think luxury is about the arrangement of ideas, not necessarily the finish.”
Style.com spoke with several designers who created their own spaces—and in many cases, exclusive product—for Dover Street Market New York.
Dover Street Market New York opens tomorrow at 160 Lexington Avenue, NYC.
Anderson, the London-based designer who was recently named creative director of Loewe, was inspired to build his space out of children’s foam-rubber play blocks, all in a shade somewhere between sky and Yves Klein blue. He’d seen children playing with them in a park in Venice, where he’d just returned from his first vacation in seven years when Joffe asked him to do a space on DSMNY’s fifth floor. “They’re from America, weirdly,” he said. “The company did them exclusively in different shapes for us. It was quite fun, actually.”
Dover Street has been a longtime patron of Anderson’s collections, which are also stocked in its London and Ginza, Tokyo, stores. Kawakubo herself selects the pieces to carry which often, thanks to her off-kilter eye, end up being exclusive to DSM. “I always like watching her edit. I love her commitment to fashion, buying from other brands. You have to be on a very different plane to able to do that,” he said. “I think that’s what’s so exciting about the relationship between Dover Street and Comme des Garçons. I think it’s such an interesting exercise, and that’s why there’s no compromise in the buy, there’s no compromise in the store shopping experience.”
“Supreme is a hard brand for people to categorize,” said founder James Jebbia. “DSM does a great job at taking the best brands in the world and mixing them in their store without categorizing them.”
All that is to say, Dover Street let Supreme be Supreme: graphic, in your face and immediate. Jebbia commissioned Weirdo Dave (né Dave Sandey, but also known as Fuck This Life) to create a large backdrop mural of found images, which has a Tumblr-ish spark. (A few yards away hangs Visvim’s cozy hanging quilts.) How much interaction did Kawakubo have with the space? “Not much, really,” Jebbia said. “Rei let us design the space how we wanted, but she looks at and approves every detail. If she didn’t like something, she certainly would have told us.”
Gaia Repossi (pictured) has a signature style worth coveting—her closet full of Celine, Alexander Wang, and Balenciaga doesn’t hurt either. But when our resident street-style photographer Tommy Ton snapped a picture of the Parisian looking particularly chic in New York City, we couldn’t help but give her a shout-out. From her skin-baring crop top to her downtown-cool Ray-Bans, this is an outfit worth repeating. We’ve rounded up the essentials, now you make it happen.
From top left to right: Acne Blake linen blazer, $580, available at www.lagarconne.com; Ray-Ban Wayfarer, $150, available at www.piperlime.com; McQ Alexander McQueen high waisted tuxedo pants, $200, available at www.stylebop.com; Repossi Berbere rhodium-plated sterling silver link ring, $1,075, available at www.netaporter.com; Miu Miu cropped cotton top, $550, available at www.net-a-porter.com; Celine box bag, similar styles available at www.celine.com.
In recent years, the jewelry house of Repossi—founded in 1925 and nearing its 90th birthday—has won over a whole new generation of fans. Credit goes to Gaia Repossi, the 26-year-old artistic director, who took over her father’s post in 2007 and quickly introduced her own style as well as collaborations with friends like Joseph Altuzarra and Alexander Wang. (Her pieces made Style.com’s Top 10 Jewels list for Spring and Fall 2012.) All this despite protests that she’d never enter the family trade. “I was very intellectual, in my little own world,” Repossi said on a recent visit to New York to toast her ongoing partnership with Barneys. “I rejected completely the jewelry world.” But after studying painting, anthropology, and archaeology, Repossi edged into the business by the side door, as it were—she initially wanted to focus on its image and marketing—and wound up giving it a timely overhaul. “I wanted to bring it closer to what jewelry is nowadays to me,” she says, “and maybe also what jewelry was missing.” She spoke to Style.com about her work, her studies, and her art. For the record, she still paints.
Tell me a little bit about your background, and how you came to work for the family business.
It’s a little bit unexpected, even if it seems expected. When you grow up you can have two reactions: You can be very keen on what your parents are doing, or you want to look for something else. I was absolutely not willing to continue to work as my dad did [at Repossi]; I strictly wanted to do something different. I was painting as a teenager and I was aiming to really focus on that as my career. I started studying painting and I finished doing archeology, because I wanted to go more in the past, in the civilizations and the history of art. In the meantime, while I was in Paris studying, I saw a few things I didn’t like in my dad’s image of the company that I wanted to touch. Slowly it came out, the idea to launch a collection. And it worked, without even thinking about it. Unconsciously all my studies and my own imaginary world started applying to jewelry.
It’s like, you go to India and see the nomads with garlands of silver things that they consider cheap, but they are extremely elegant. Nowadays, women don’t know how to wear the jewelry anymore, but when you go in India, there’s people barefoot but they are extremely elegant with all their jewelry. There are some codes, there’s an aesthetic that inspires me and has me working, a lot more than this [European] lady with her beautiful diamonds, even if she is elegant. It’s more that those silhouettes are striking. In Africa too—in Congo with their combs, and in Amazonia with their feathers in their nose.
Your anthropology courses proved to be good training.
Exactly. I was studying anthropology—ethnic similarities in between the civilizations. Even in those classes, jewelry became very important. Sculpture, too. When I go to shows, they have patterns, it’s the same. [But you also need] the family and the background that knows how it do it in a very refined way, because there’s no point to making a sculpture [for jewelry]—it has to be wearable and refined, not a heavy object you don’t know what to do with. Continue Reading “Her Family Is Famous For Diamonds, But Gaia Repossi Is More Inspired By A Feather Through The Nose” »