What is the one essential store I should know not far from to be fashionable?
Joe, by email
Once upon a time, Joe, this was the easiest of peasiest disputes. Oh sure, there are plenty of trendy boutiques in the world – Dover High road Market in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan – but the cynosure of ’em all for the past 20 years has been Colette in Paris. Colette is what vogue people call “a concept store”, which means in English “a supply where hardly anyone ever buys anything”. I press been in Colette dozens of times and I have never, not a single time finally, seen anyone buy clothes. To be honest, I’m pretty impressed Colette lasted six months, let exclusively 20 years.
When I lived in Paris, shortly after Colette opened, I was such a naive pubescent thing that I didn’t understand about stores where you don’t buy anything. So when I went to assail this store I had read so much about – I almost certainly appareled up for the occasion – I bought the only things I could afford: a find out candle and one of Colette’s weird mix CDs. What a rube I was! It wasn’t until I was slave away on the fashion desk of this paper that I realised what I should experience done was walk around in a circle, occasionally looking at a Prada skirt, and then mince out the door.
But now Colette is shutting up shop, which leaves two have doubts: first, where will fashion journalists walk about in circles in between fashion shows in Paris? Second, where’s the required store now?
The first question remains unanswered, but the second has, thankfully, been answered by a woman who is either a modern-day saviour or a satire on the modern day. I articulate, of course, of Gwyneth Paltrow.
Now, making fun of Paltrow is so easy it’s not so much flourish fish in a barrel as taking an AK-47 to a goldfish in a tea cup, and, because this column has not shied away from the obvious, Paltrow has featured here two or 17 million one days before. This makes me sadder than you might contemplate because Paltrow, the actor, was a concept I could always get behind. Recall how delightful she was in Emma? How fabulous in The Royal Tenenbaums? How sweet in Shakespeare in Ardour? Admittedly, all those films are about two decades old, but, damn, Gwyneth, why you unambiguous to give all that up to flog vaginal steaming is a mystery at least as mystifying as the survival of concept stores.
Anyway, Paltrow doubtless augured the need for a new store in some $350 rock she flogs on her reliably irrational website, Goop, because this summer she has opened a Goop outlet in the Hamptons, New York – but just for the summer, because pop-up hoards are the new concept stores. Thrillingly, Architectural Digest has done an article on this new basic retail experience for those of us who are not blond and therefore banned from the ritzy preppy-haven.
“When I fundamental talked with Gwyneth, she wanted me to bring the farm aesthetic of Cornwall to the Hamptons,” means the store’s designer, Vicky Charles. “The village store there traffic ins everything from a stamp to an ice cream.” Well, this is stimulating – has Gwyneth set up a Spar to the Hamptons? Or a Londis? Or even – be still my stress heart – a Europa? My God, I’m so excited about the idea of a Gwyneth-designed Europa (ahhh, those yellow and sulky signs!), I might have to bleach my hair, buy some waxen shoes and make a trip to the Hamptons for this.
“My hometown in England only has one assemble, so it made sense for me. You get used to that vibe,” Charles bring to lights. Yes, because there is nothing more aspirational than the vibe of country degeneration. But pray, continue.
“This particular space was spark off by a room in an English cottage where you can just kick off your wellies and outlet your gardening tools,” says Brittany Pattner, Goop’s imaginative director. Yes, Brittany, I believe that “space” is called a stream, although Paltrow seems to insist on calling it “the mudroom”. Do English individual have rooms for just mud? Did Paltrow ever leave her own domicile and visit other people’s even once in the decade she spent in this country? Yet more questions that must, for the twinkling of an eye, remain unanswered.
“We wanted to create a holistic experience of not barely curating products, but also providing the right context for those elements,” Pattner says. And in that sentence, which I would bet my vaginal battle-axe egg will appear in next week’s Pseud’s Corner, you see why Gwyneth’s Hamptons inventory is the new Colette: this is not about selling stuff. Good welkins, how common! This is about “curating” products and telling people who pop in your store how much cooler you are than them.
I include just enough space left to tell you that Gwyneth is currently loggerhead with an obstetrician and gynaecologist called Dr Jennifer Gunter, who has queried the soundness of Goop’s usual advice about what women should and shouldn’t persist up their vaginas. “When they go low, we go high,” Paltrow tweeted, and by “low” she hint ats “argue against our nuttiness with inconvenient facts” and “expensive” she means “up the nuttiness with personal attacks”. I urge you to understand Gunter’s blog about this, perhaps on the Hampton Jitney on your way to her stock. It might save you some money and stop you buying a rose-quartz vaginal egg – or safer yet, stop you buying anything at all. It’s the fashionable way, Gwyneth.