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Posts: 68
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 09:46:43 PM

As Goop Mrkt brings ‘the farm aesthetic of Cornwall to the Hamptons’, our style
expert says the most fashionable stores are never really about selling stuff
What is the one essential store I should know about to be fashionable?
Once upon a time, Joe, this was the easiest of peasiest questions. Oh sure,
there are plenty of trendy boutiques in the world – Dover Street Market in
London, 10 Corso Como in Milan – but the queen of ’em all for the past 20 years
has been Colette in Paris. Colette is what fashion people call “a concept
store”, which means in English “a store where hardly anyone ever buys anything”.
I have been in Colette dozens of times and I have never, not once, seen anyone
buy clothes. To be honest, I’m pretty impressed Colette lasted six months, let
alone 20 years.
When I lived in Paris, shortly after Colette opened, I was such a naive
young thing that I didn’t understand about stores where you don’t buy anything.
So when I went to visit this store I had read so much about – I almost certainly
dressed up for the occasion – I bought the only things I could afford: a scented
candle and one of Colette’s weird mix CDs. What a rube I was! It wasn’t until I
was working on the fashion desk of this paper that I realised what I should have
done was walk around in a circle, occasionally looking at a Prada skirt, and
then walk out the door.
But now Colette is shutting up shop, which leaves two questions: first,
where will fashion journalists walk around in circles in between fashion shows
in Paris? Second, where’s the essential store now?
The first question remains unanswered, but the second has, thankfully, been
resolved by a woman who is either a modern-day saviour or a satire on the modern
day. I speak, of course, of Gwyneth Paltrow.
Now, making fun of Paltrow is so easy it’s not so much shooting fish in a
barrel as taking an AK-47 to a goldfish in a tea cup, and, because this column
has never shied away from the obvious, Paltrow has featured here two or 17
million times before. This makes me sadder than you might think because Paltrow,
the actor, was a concept I could always get behind. Remember how delightful she
was in Emma? How fabulous in The Royal Tenenbaums? How sweet in Shakespeare in
Love? Admittedly, all those films are about two decades old, but, damn, Gwyneth,
why you decided to give all that up to flog vaginal steaming is a mystery at
least as puzzling as the survival of concept stores.
Anyway, Paltrow doubtless foresaw the need for a new store in some $350
rock she flogs on her reliably absurd website, Goop, because this summer she has
opened a Goop store in the Hamptons, New York – but just for the summer, because
pop-up stores are the new concept stores. Thrillingly, Architectural Digest has
done an article on this new essential retail experience for those of us who are
not blond and therefore banned from the ritzy preppy-haven.
“When I first talked with Gwyneth, she wanted me to bring the farm
aesthetic of Cornwall to the Hamptons,” says the store’s designer, Vicky
Charles. “The village store there sells everything from a stamp to an ice
cream.” Well, this is exciting – has Gwyneth set up a Spar to the Hamptons? Or a
Londis? Or even – be still my beating heart – a Europa? My God, I’m so excited
about the idea of a Gwyneth-designed Europa (ahhh, those yellow and black
signs!), I might have to bleach my hair, buy some white shoes and make a trip to
the Hamptons for this.
“My hometown in England only has one store, so it made sense for me. You
get used to that vibe,” Charles says. Yes, because there is nothing more
aspirational than the vibe of rural degeneration. But pray, continue.
“This particular space was inspired by a room in an English cottage where
you can just kick off your wellies and store your gardening tools,” says
Brittany Pattner, Goop’s creative director. Yes, Brittany, I believe that
“space” is called a shed, although Paltrow seems to insist on calling it “the
mudroom”. Do English people have rooms for just mud? Did Paltrow ever leave her
own house and visit other people’s even once in the decade she lived in this
country? Yet more questions that must, for the moment, remain unanswered.
“We wanted to create a holistic experience of not only curating
products, but also providing the right context for those items,” Pattner says.
And in that sentence, which I would bet my vaginal jade egg will appear in next
week’s Pseud’s Corner, you see why Gwyneth’s Hamptons store is the new Colette:
this is not about selling stuff. Good heavens, how common! This is about
“curating” products and telling people who visit your store how much cooler you
are than them.
I have just enough space left to tell you that Gwyneth is currently
quarrelling with an obstetrician and gynaecologist called Dr Jennifer Gunter,
who has queried the soundness of Goop’s frequent advice about what women should
and shouldn’t stick up their vaginas. “When they go low, we go high,” Paltrow
tweeted, and by “low” she means “argue against our nuttiness with inconvenient
facts” and “high” she means “up the nuttiness with personal attacks”. I urge you
to read Gunter’s blog about this, perhaps on the Hampton Jitney on your way to
her store. It might save you some money and stop you buying a rose-quartz
vaginal egg – or better yet, stop you buying anything at all. It’s the
fashionable way, Gwyneth.
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Posts: 64
Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:53:29 AM
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