When I was a teenager, I passed by Icon on a daily basis, and yet it couldn't have been more removed from my own small sartorial world. (From 12 to 16 I bought H&M and a few fugly second hand finds, that was about it. Oh, and Brantano shoes! Now those were the days.) An acquaintance used to call Icon and the store next to it (now Hallelujah, a shop for ecological fashion; I don't remember the name back then but it sold Yoshi Yamamoto and the likes) 'the shops where nobody ever enters'. How they survived was a mystery to us, for 5 years long we didn't see as much as one soul venture inside.
This week I finally set foot in Icon. The window display looked original and alluring. Instead of showcasing clothing, an enchanting piece of art occupies the window. Obviously Icon doesn't really thrive on drawing in bypassers: their customers are more of the well-informed fashionista set (although we saw people of all ages and styles wandering inside).
facebook page, but now I can't seem to find it.
The shop is larger than you'd expect from the outside: it runs all the way to the back, where a spacious room accomodates the dressing rooms. The big slouchy couch looks like a great prop for exhausted partners or co-shoppers. I didn't try it out, but boy did I want to. If I would own something like this, I would use it to host futuristic tea parties and movie nights on it every week:
The art and attention for detail is what makes Icon's interior stand out. This piece of art next to the dressing rooms makes me think of Marcel Duchamp, constructivism and cubism at the same time:
The trompe l'oeil embodies a certain playfulness you find in the store, I think. Beauty, thoughtful design, meant to have fun with. They sell brands like Acne, Isabel Marant , Phillip Lim and Vanessa Bruno, but also lesser-known designers. The garments go from classic to bold to statement with the snap of a finger. Icon is nowhere as stiff as my teenage self imagined it to be. The staff is well-informed and helpful - although I might be a bit prejudiced, because one of them actually went to school with me.
I bought two things, one of which can be justified by its functionality, the other by its sheer genius. The first is a wallet from Alexander Wang. My wallet was stolen about a year ago, and I've been using a borrowed one ever since. From my boyfriend's mother - who was excellent taste. When I saw this baby, I knew it was time to stop hoarding her possessions:
I bought this wallet before I wrote my previous post on not buying anything produced outside of the EU. I only found out yesterday that Alexander Wang products proudly wear a 'Made in China'-label. At least he's not trying to hide it like so many other designers, but it still bummed me out.
The other object is a scarf from Unbreakable Evolution. It's slightly tacky, it's amazing, it's a little scandalous but not so that I can't wear it to work. It's a cashmere and silk blend with the most awesome. print. ever. (I've never owned anything cashmere before. Why didn't anyone bother to tell me it's like wearing sunlight spun to a delicate chiffon feeling?)
Unbreakable evolution is an Italian brand, but the label doesn't mention where it was made, which makes me fear the worst. I technically wasn't bound by my resolution at the moment I bought it, but it still feels like I flaked out. That doesn't stop me from enthusiastically pointing out to people I'm wearing a cloud of half-naked women around my neck. Super classy!