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MURRAY HILL: DOVER STREET MARKET

Dover Street Market is 7 floors filled with fabulous fashionand when you’re done shopping, refuel with an espresso and sweet treat at the Rose Bakery, on the ground floor

By TAMARA GLENNY
The Dover Street Market phenomenon all started in the heart of London’s West End, steps from Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly. Now the mini-empire of Rei Kawakubo, the couture queen of Comme des Garçons, has expanded to her native Japan, China, and, of course Manhattan. The NYC branch doesn’t advertise itself — it occupies an elegant Beaux Arts building on Lexington Avenue with no visible signage — but informed fashionistas know exactly where to find it! Inside, the collections of various CDG brands and guest designers cohabitate with site-specific art, creating an atmosphere of fabulous exuberance. Herewith, our guide to the best, the chicest, the most fun, and even the cheapest, at Dover Street Market.

WHAT TO KNOW  

Where it is 160 Lexington Avenue, corner of East 30th Street

Hours Monday to Saturday, 11:00 A.M.-7 P.M.; Sunday, 12:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M.

Getting around As the lovely sales staff — smiling, helpful and unpushy — will tell you, the most efficient way to navigate the store is to take the leisurely glass elevator up to the top floor and use the stairs to walk down

If you’re in a rush Head for the first floor jewelry section and check out the CDG silver leather bowling ball bag ($960). Goes with everything

Total stations Varies; currently 125

Overall vibe Swings from ice-cool contemporary to crazy clashing pop art

Cool feature The strange little sheds built from bits of mismatched reclaimed wood that turn out to be changing rooms

What’s next This is Comme des Garçons! Who knows? So, from the top, here’s some of what we found on a recent visit

Comme des Garcons Printed Matter Installation

Dover Street Market

Seventh floor 

What’s there  Intense avant-garde evening wear (think neoprene) plus Gucci top-end fabulousness

Who’s browsing  FIT students and Met Gala invitees

Designers  Junya Watanabe, Azzedine Alaïa, Vêtements, Supreme

Price points  $110 to $19,000

What we loved  Gucci’s pink leather pant suits ($4,500) and Mykita’s super-delicate one-piece sunglasses ($500–$600)

Sixth floor

What’s there  Chic day-to-evening (men’s as well as women’s) with a little bit of East Asian crazy, alongside a parade of sneakers—check out the slick black-and-white Converse Jack Purcells

Who’s browsing  Fashion-forward executives—and Japanese tourists looking for bargains away from home

Designers  Noir kei ninomiya, Comme des Garçons, Maison Margiela, Phoebe English, Thom Browne, Jun Takahashi, Xiao Li

Price points  $80–$4,500

What we loved  Mark Cross bags in jewel colors like little leather lunch boxes ($1,995-$2,495) and CDG flowery tees in softest cotton ($230)

Fifth floor

What’s there Relaxed menswear meets highly wearable, more traditional women’s casually smart looks, along with shelves of cool housewares

Who’s browsing Working moms

Designers CDG Shirt, Shirt Boys and Homme Plus, Erdem, Loewe, Rick Owens, The Row, Valentino

Price points $15 (plastic measuring jug, anyone?) to $1,575

What we loved Super-soft oversize wool sweaters by The Row ($890); teeny vintage nursery-school chairs in bent plywood ($90); Harris Wharf London’s pressed-wool overcoats in bright rainbow colors ($495)

Fourth floor mezzanine

What’s there Out-there guys’ streetwear and a wall of sunglasses

Who’s browsing Hip-hop and club types

Designers Gosha Rubchinskiy, Hood by Air, Jacquemus, Proper Gang, Molly Goddard, Telfar

Price points $30 to $900

What we loved The funky artwork tunnel with wavy purple metal banisters leading down to the third floor; Gosha Rubchinskiy’s men’s white wool beanie adorned with the word HARDCORE in Cyrillic letters ($30)

Third floor

What’s there A mix of funky high-end menswear, fun evening dresses and affordable tees, sneakers and notebooks

Who’s browsing Seekers after thoughtful last-minute gifts

Designers Balenciaga, CDG CDG, CDG Girl, Parfum and Play, J.W. Anderson and Loewe men’s, Massimo Piombo, Raf Simons, Walter Van Beirendonck

Price points $20 to $1,515

What we loved World Archive’s Burmese necklace made of mother-of-pearl discs ($590); Balenciaga’s glittery silver/bright blue stretchy evening skirts—they even have elastic waistbands! ($825)

Second floor

What’s there Irony-heavy tees cheek-by-jowl with comfy wear-anywhere buttondowns and hot Nike sneakers

Who’s browsing Skateboard dudes and chic dads

Designers CDG Homme, Casey Casey Men’s, NikeLab

Price points $40 to $500

What we loved Junya Watanabe CDG Man navy striped Breton top in the world’s softest jersey ($275); NikeLab old-school-style lowtops in bubblegum blue and pink ($110)

first floor

While you’re examining your purchases in Rose Bakery and sipping Earl Grey served in lovely Brown Betty English teapots (also for sale), check out Labour and Wait, a tiny shop tucked into one corner that carries household wares like enamel pots and giant feather dusters ($42), as well as attractive canvas bags and Yarmo’s fantastic black cotton canvas fisherman’s smocks ($66)—they look good on anyone. Happy shopping!

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