Dispatches from Dover Street Market

The exciting development in New York luxury shopping this festive season was not the unveiling of the holiday windows along Fifth Avenue. A more highly anticipated retail vision was receiving its finishing touches in a decidedly less glamourous part of a town. The area, known as Kips Bay, is a patch of concrete along the EastRiver south of 23rd Street known for frat boys and dry cleaners (two elements inextricably linked, I have found), Indian restaurants, a cinema, and various anonymous high rises chock-a-block with starter apartments whose residents will move somewhere more suitable just as soon as they get that promotion. Who am I to judge? At least they’ve got their act together and bought an apartment…But that’s another story.

Anyway, not to continue to cast aspirsions but I can’t help but mention, the word kip, where I come from, has less than salubrious connotations. It means a dump or a bed. For dump, see “He treats his mother’s house like a kip, beer cans everywhere.” For bed: “He draws unemployment and lies up in his kip from morning to night.” (Who is this loser?) Add Bay to the word Kips and it almost qualifies as an oxymoron around those parts.

But Rei Kawakubo’s Dover Street Market opened regardless of my feelings on her chosen location. Not that she doesn’t know what she’d doing, let’s be clear. Far be it from me… a mere commoner, but a humble onlooker, awed by her wizardry. Already established Dover Street Markets in London and Tokyo are pilgrimage destinations for fashion’s most dedicated. And she is not one to be daunted by planting her flag in uncharted territory, positively relishes the sound of the pole squelching through virgin soil.

I was Kips Bay bound.

I stepped in off the street and found myself in a  playpen erected of scrap timber (my favorite smell in the whole world) and knitted pillars, striped jerseys and stacked crates, patchwork walls and waterskis, baseball caps and corrugated iron, sequined sleeves and broken electronics, acid trip stairwells and glittery shoes. The experience was further enriched by repeated glimpses of international women of mystery wearing chapeaux.

Well, I’ll be…Kips Bay is on the up and up. Observe the price of those starter apartments escalate and prepare for a hipster invasion.


IMG_1350IMG_1349IMG_1369IMG_1366IMG_1371IMG_1368IMG_1424IMG_1402IMG_1394IMG_1404IMG_1410IMG_1387IMG_1381IMG_1385IMG_1431IMG_1437IMG_1436IMG_1429IMG_1443IMG_1427IMG_1438IMG_1442IMG_1452IMG_1445IMG_1467IMG_1462IMG_1448IMG_1441IMG_1425IMG_1422IMG_1419IMG_1392IMG_1375IMG_1367IMG_1414IMG_1403IMG_1412IMG_1461IMG_1435IMG_1428IMG_1420IMG_1377IMG_1344IMG_1364IMG_1398IMG_1421IMG_1434IMG_1342IMG_1433IMG_1401IMG_1363IMG_1390IMG_1460IMG_1468IMG_1396IMG_1432In need of some reading material for the new year? My first novel set in the international fashion industry is available.You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.


  1. Oh My! Field Trip…..might have to break my “don’t go shopping on the eastside” rule. Love the fluorescent Comme des Garcons wallets (hard to find online), Robert Clergerie (I think) Sandals, black shopping sheep/bear with handbag, those statement collars and the beautiful heels on the bondage girl print. Whew! A lot to take in.

    • That’s a tidy little shopping list you’ve made there. There were some really nice leather miniature bomber jackets that I thought I had included but hadn’t and some Paco Rabanne chain mail worth taking a closer look at…Master might like. 🙂

  2. Well I’ll be….
    …and do you know that I got the best CHRISTMAS GOFT EVER???!!???

    I. GOT. YOUR. BOOK!!!!

    Heaven opened up and the angels sang.

    All is well with my soul.

  3. So glad you covered this. Have been reading about it so much in The NYT I can’t wait to visit when I am in NY next. Although probably not much in my price range

  4. Pleased to be of service! Send me anywhere and I will report back. When you visit, I’m sure you will pick up some little tchochske keepsake. Or do as I do and have a piece of cake in Rose Bakery on the ground floor 🙂

  5. Love DSM….one of my favourite shops in London….displays are inspired and so good to get up close and personal with all the things I covet but could never afford!

  6. Pingback: Group Therapy: December « HACKER. NINJA. HOOKER. SPY.

  7. Holy moly– this looks like somewhere Lady Gaga would shop. Also, it reminded me of that creepy ass J-Lo movie “The Cell” where she goes inside the mind of a serial killer… also: I actually had to look up the word “salubrious,” so I must consider myself bested. For now.

  8. Amazing. Your photographs are always exciting (that may not make sense, but you know what I mean)

  9. Sigh..that way treasure be found…. xxxxx

  10. Follow you, follow me?
    I’m from Brazil, I loved your blog


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