Creating a timeless space for something as seasonal as fashion was the main challenge that John Pawson had to solve when called to design Christopher Kane’s first flagship store in London.
The Scottish fashion designer – among the most promising names from the British scene – has put his first step on the retail ladder, positioning himself on London’s Mount Street, the new mecca for luxury shopping. The store is located in a characteristic red brick Edwardian building, and occupies 380 m2 over two levels. The main floor hosts the shoes, leather goods and the women’s ready-to-wear collection, tidily displayed on transparent shelves, or hanging from translucent Perspex rails. A minimalistic yet dramatic staircase, developing around a totem-lamp made of slim glass cylinders, is the way down to the lower ground level, home to the menswear line and to fitting rooms with mirrored doors.
'I wanted to create an environment charged with atmosphere where people will immediately feel the personality of the man and focus on the clothes, but also feel instinctively comfortable and special,' explains Pawson. Far from being intimidating, the shop’s contemporary appeal is indeed softened by brightness, purity of clean lines and the neutrality of the interiors. According to Pawson, 'we’ve designed a calm, timeless backdrop, but one that is also adaptable and responsive, with fittings that can be modified by introducing different elements of colour and material each season.'
Photos Gilbert McCarragher