Like ever-squabbling siblings, New York and London seem locked in a permanent, petty argument about who cuts the most edges when it comes to design and fashion. In order to settle the point (and sell a few garments along the way), the two cities have collaborated for a neighbourhood shop-swap called Wish You Were Here.
Last week, two pop-up shops in Newburgh Quarter, just off Carnaby Street, opened, replete with the sort of clobber your on-trend New Yorker would sport: the labels include Shut Skateboards, Kaight, and In God We Trust. It's all well-presented stuff, though being unfamiliar with the brands on display it is difficult to gauge how accurate the organisers have been in capturing the district's identity. Even if you're not all that interested in the fashion, it's worth checking out: the shop at 6 Newburgh Street has a miniature art gallery downstairs, and there are events and parties throughout October - there's a full run-down on the website.
So while we're hosting New York, what did we send over the pond? Londonist writer and temporary NYC resident Amanda Farah visited during the August and September run, and was a little underwhelmed:
"The New York half of of WYWH was contained to a small store on Orchard Street. The clothing was, for the most part, contained to a structure built to look like a picket fence with the clothing hanging on rails or piled on the small shelf space. a few items were hung on the walls, but were singular and decorative. There was a lot of empty space, good for the events held but a bit bland for a shopping experience. It's hard to appreciate a label like Hurwundeki, for example, without the eclectic mishmash that its shops/salons are. And it seemed strange that Fred Perry was a featured label when Perry has a boutique in New York and crops up in departments stores from time to time. Still, even at import prices, the clothing cost was on par with the other LES boutiques, and thanks to a Cowshed display featuring a dozen bunches of lavender, the shop smelled very pleasant."
Looks like we got the better end of the deal, really.
Wish You Were Here runs until October 31st