It has been a busy week. I have been djing, working, blogging, designing and going to the opening of envelopes all over the city. And why I say this with my tongue firmly in my cheek, I did go to a summer party for a lovely little shop called No. 27 South William Street. A pop up collaboration between the great minds of Indigo & Cloth, A New Space and Industry, the month long store has set up home above where Indigo & Cloth permanently resides. I dropped in for a cheeky beer and a chat with the guys.
Since the store opened I have been a (very broke) fan of Indigo & Cloth. The store’s owner Gareth Pitcher has razor sharp eye for good design, building up tight collections for both men and women. The words Independent Boutique are bandied about a lot, but I suppose this is the Irish media’s way of separating this boutique from the other, less visionary, less design focused and less deadly boutiques out there. And as a sign of someone who is not only talented but lovely, Gareth is just as sound and enthusiastic about what he does to us broke feckers coming in and not buying anything time after time.
Furthermore, Anewspace, with its effervescent Jon, had a wonderful store in Chatham Street around Christmas, full of delicious art books, prints, tshirts and scarves that was a present (to myself) haven. As it was slightly in my price range, there were a few things I meant to buy but never got around to…note to self: stop spending ALL your Christmas money on shoes….
Anyway, joining forces with furniture design store Industry*, the three have created a great little space in the front room of 27 South William street. Last Friday they had a few summer drinks, and it was a real friends and family buzz, with New York style sitting on the stoop, having the chats. The guys behind the venture were the perfect hosts, making sure everyone had enough sauce, and making time to chat to everyone. I nabbed them to talk about some of the pieces in the store, which led on to talking about the fashion and boutique landscape in general. Apologies to Jon & Gareth, but I do love a natter!!
It’s an interesting perspective being a big fish in a small pond, and that’s exactly what Indigo & Cloth is. This is no bad thing however, as it stands up with any boutique I’ve ever visited in New York, Paris or London. The only difference is that there are masses of boutiques and buyers in these big cities, meaning that the small pond offers more editorial styling and extra-curricular activities than those chasing the dream in the larger ones.
While Dublin is far from perfect (sometimes frustratingly so), there is really a buzz in the air at the moment that things are possible that weren’t even a couple of years ago. Things seem achievable, in the sense that talent and hard work might actually pay off. Noone wants anything for nothing, just the chance to be able to set up shop or studio and do their best to make it. Things aren’t easy, and we might not make millions, but if we have a product to be proud of, then as Pitcher said, if we can have the nice beans on our toast, then we’re doing well. I couldn’t agree more.
The standout pieces in the store for me were the Matt & Nat bags, which are at first great design, and then you find out they are made from recycled plastic bottles and that the whole design ethos is totally environmental and ethical. Sustainability should always look this good.
Then there were a few screen printed tshirts from the legendary Obey label, and a few other carefully selected lines, perfect for boy presents (or oversize tshirts for yourself). There is nothing more refreshing than seeing a tshirt design that is really well thought out, that you can guarantee will not be on every second lad for the next three months. Well, actually, there are loads of more refreshing things than that, I was being pretty hyperbolic there, but it is nice, and these shirts are really nice.
* I have to admit to never having been into Industry. But I checked them out on the interweb and they have had some great write ups and their own site is slick and well designed. I will go soon.