D&G’s flagship store brings glossy Italian style to SeoulSeoul’s most fashionable district ― Cheongdam-dong in southern Seoul ― now has a glossy connection to the historic revival of the Metropol cinema on Milan’s Viale Piave.
On the opening night of the new Dolce & Gabbana flagship store on April 4, a throng of local celebrities, press and fashion industry professionals received the red-carpet treatment for their first look into the black glass edifice. Some noted that the store’s overall concept and design reflected that of the brand’s property in Milan, which was recently purchased by the two designers Dominico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
For the Korea opening, in place of the renowned designers, two Italian executives were flown in from Milan: Barrie A. Levett and Stefano Galli.
Covering 130 pyeong (513 square yards) in total over two spacious floors, the Korean boutique is a miniature Metropol in comparison with the 1,000 square-meter auditorium, but no one failed to notice the signature style, including an oversized Barovier & Toso chandelier that hung from the building’s ceiling on the top floor to reach the lobby on the first floor.
Wrapping around the splendid crystal tower were 16-meter-high blades against the glass windows whose hidden LED lights illuminated the night. The minimalist cream basalt floors and black opaline walls adhered to the distinctive Dolce & Gabbana style, marked with chrome D&G logos shining bright.
In Korea, the Italian brand is operated by Shinsegae International, which also operates the high-end fashion boutique Boon The Shop and imports a number of luxury brands, including Giorgio Armani, St. John and Escada.
According to Shinsegae, the design teams, who restored the Metropol cinema, Studio +Arch and Studio Laviani, also worked on remodeling the building, formerly occupied by Calvin Klein, which is also operated by Shinsegae.
Both floors display the most coveted items on walnut frames, from clothes, accessories and bags to shoes. The first floor is for men; the second floor for women.
Shortly after the celebration of the Cheongdam boutique’s opening kicked off with a round of Moet Chandon, the guests were asked to sit on black velvet stools and brown S-shaped couches for a trunk show.
As six local models strutted wearing selected key outfits of the brand’s 2006 spring and summer collection, trend-sensitive guests took note of the latest looks that screamed Dolce & Gabbana.
For men, two ideas were clear: a laminated pin-striped suit is worn slim with young Mick Jagger’s attitude and body (a $2,000 suit was worn with a funky T-shirt), and the revival of gothic charm (get that Italian crucifix pendant!) suggests a return to the early 1990s vogue on European runways.
Without the tell-all womanly figure, there would be no Dolce & Gabbana.
The sweet young maiden, Italian-style, who picks sunflower seeds, hadn’t lost her deep sexual appeal in a wasp-waisted gingham dress made with, again, a signature Dolce & Gabbana-style built-in bra and corset.
The opening of the brand’s own show venue last September in Milan manifested the magnitude of Dolce & Gabbana in the world of global fashion, as it celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. In Korea, the opening of the upgraded flagship store with a connection to the Metropol speaks of the brand’s slow but steady rise to prominence in a Korean fashion industry that’s going maximal on glamour.
by Ines Cho