Before colour theory class yesterday (which, thanks to Joy, I discovered wewillattack.com and Sebastien Tellier) popped down broadway to check out two new spawn-of-chainstores- Topshop and J.Crew, with the Mens-only store being an infantile day-old.
With J.Crew Men's, I was unsurprisedly pleased; the store was predicatably (albeit pleasantly) decorated, but nothing that shouted J.Crew, but substitutedly, straight up Preppy Americana. The difference with J.Crew is the much friendlier price point; English silk ties made in U.S. started from around $59. The suit room in the back felt like a mini J.Press, but they might have to think about watching out unaware gentlemen tripping over the rugs.
I have always admired Mackintosh as a company and the Macs (green and blue check, khaki with a pop of an orange lining) that J.Crew has commissioned is definitely a great rainy day contender. They have Free&Easy as well! I see this publication is gathering quite a cult gathering- understandably, the Japanese are dapper down to the bone, to every minute detail.
Then I ventured over to Topshop right next door (J.Crew seemed so indiscreet in demeanor by contrast). I'd avoided the grand opening because I just knew I would not be worth the lining up and the jostleing. And I was right- Topshop NYC was Meh. I'd suffered Topshop attack when I was in London- every morning on my way to work walking past Regent/Oxford I'd never understood why people would line up to enter one of the most overrated brands in the U.K. in the freezing cold (here's looking at you, Abercrombie). Their London flagship is a clusterfcuk of nail salon, denim bar, shoe store, candy store and every taste under the sun clothing coterie- where products, which used to be great in quality (I still love a suiting material-dress that i'd bought in Topshop Tokyo 3 years ago) have now have slipped into the calibre of H&M; yet retained its unjustifyable pricepoint! Their repoirtoire has been pretty much replicated here.
Perhaps Kate Moss is the very personification of Topshop- massively popular, relatively expensive in its market, omnipresent, but you don't exactly know why. The New York store brought no surprises. I guess perhaps that's exactly what New York wanted/needed- I suppose any girl/boy who has never been into a Topshop would be thoroughly impressed by how the store is able to offer a product that they had not known they'd wanted, until they saw it. I do love their accessories (rings, in particular), but gosh is it just me or is it so much more expensive here?