In case you were living in a cave and/or stuck in a wifi desolate area that may or may not be considered “the boonies,” re: Christmas vacation, Dover Street Market opened in New York (namely: Murray Hill) over the weekend, to droves of the press’ elusive “tastemakers” and a fervent fan camped out for 36 hours in a one-person camo tent. The store towers in homage to the neighborhood’s surrounding skyscrapers, spanning seven tightly edited floors of playful, sensible goodies like ultra-suede fringed jackets that tickle the calves, zip only at the bust, and open at the back (Junya Watanabe), casual flexible body cages (Comme des Garcons), and the occasional hospital gown (Comme Comme). It’s a veritable Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for freaks and an awkward-enhancing drug store for directionally-minded fanatical junkies. And because we all know the singular vision of Comme des Garcons’- and by extension, Dover Street Market’s- Rei Kawakubo is restrained only by her wild, boundless imagination, and that her stores reflect that spirit with designers who complement the CdG family of brands (see: Prada, Supreme, JW Anderson, Thom Browne, and Simone Rocha spaces at the new store), let’s consider the quirks that make the conceptual department store’s arrival so particularly noteworthy, with a quiz to determine whether Dover Street Market is the shop for you, because Fifth Avenue this is not and no, you will not find Tom Ford.
1. Do you consider yourself an outsider, loner, even alien? Do you live, literally or figuratively, on “[your] own planet?”
2. Does the thought of gazing at/shaking hands with/bowing down to Rei Kawakubo make your knees weak and your heart flutter?
3. Do you fetishize childhood? Further, does that childhood fetishize you, by which you then follow up with literal fetish wear?
4. Is your wallet padded by gobs of art dealing cash, re: bamboozling, daddy’s *new* money, or the funds of a mysterious foreign bank account? Do you hustle, working various questionable jobs to afford a respectable wardrobe allowance?
5. Do you value your remarkable knack for dressing like the antagonist in a Japanese horror film above the need to budget for food every month?
6. Does the term “show piece” make your insides flip upside down and your body all tingly? Do runway shows elicit streams of your twisted heart’s tears and/or move you to impulsive acts like purchasing things at 3 AM from Asian secondhand markets via proxy services?
7. Are you one of the last remaining non-vegan, gluten-tolerant cake eaters this side of the Atlantic? And would you consider your palate “experimental”?
8. In the vision of your future, do you imagine yourself a homeless cat lady/man roaming the streets of the East Village/the future East Village that is Bushwick wearing piles of avant-garde collector items, rolling your cart of “pieces” through Tompkins/Key Foods in permanent disillusion that you “hold the keys?” If not, is this because you are stuck in an insane asylum, for being either a mental nutcase or a surrealist who fuels your art with the musings one can only find “within the cell?”
9. Does the thought of no arm holes/hand holes on a garment and the subsequent lack of digit usage inspire little to no anxiety?
10. Does wearing “figure-flattering” clothes make you gag and/or do 95% of your wardrobe’s silhouettes inspire severe consternation in passersby?
If you answered 8-10 with a resounding yes, congratulations, you’re a Dover Street Market extraterrestrial with a new mothership! If you answered 5-7 with some nods, then maybe someday you too, can see the light, but in the meantime, check out the Supreme beanies and Prada exclusives. If you answered 1-4 with maybes, Barneys and Bergdorf are a cab ride uptown- make yourself at home. If you answered nil to every query, then why are you reading me? Your Louboutins need color-coordinating.