Opulence and extravagance are still prevailing, but in radically different ways. Despite a lethargic economy, increased focus on ecommerce, and a generally uninspired consumer, retailers are still focusing on the store experience to generate excitement. But flashiness can come in two different ways. Take for example the monstrous beast that is the Fifth Avenue Uniqlo global flagship that we visited just yesterday. It was the perfect example of unrestrained excess. Four floors of bargain basement basics as far as the eye could see.
Later that evening though, Diptyque's Bleeker Street store feted a recent remodel. This is a big year for the company of fragrant bric-a-brac, as they celebrate their 50yh anniversary. It's no secret that we're huge fans of the room scents, candles, unisex perfumes, and other chic ephemera that they sell, and now they have a Baroque shrine to serve as its temple. Whereas most people are really jumping on the whole apothecary vibe, Diptyque hired Christopher Jenner to reimagine the once quaint space. Though the company is French and Jenner is British, the task for this particular store was to reflect a decidedly American sensibilitiy. Jenner, who was hired for this project after the success of his work for the company at on a London-based redesign, pulled out all the stops for his latest venture. From the moment you walk in the store literally glistens and shimmers with textural contrasts and kitschy sophistication. 270 handmade mirrors with abstracted inlays of iconic New York images line the walls, topped off by a gleaming tin roof.
In the center of the room are a grouping of tables, some with Greek marble tops and hand-carved legs upholstered in bespoke fabrics, inspired by Native American prints. Over the tables -- which feature an array of curios -- is a chandelier of epic proportions in the oval shape that is the company's signature seal. The dark wood cabinetry, too, is in the that shape, and was sourced in upstate New York, shipped to England for construction, and flown back for installation. In other words, no expense was spared in the making of this boutique. But don't take our word for it -- make the visit yourself.