Sunday, June 11, 2017

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

Diana Broussard New Store Opening

Diana Broussard new shop
All photos: Marilyn Kirschner

Much has been made about the downfall of the once bustling retail destination, Bleecker Street. In fact, it was the subject of an article in the Fashion & Styles section of the New York Times, “Bleecker Street’s Swerve From Luxe Shops to Vacant Stores”, written by Steven Kurtz, May 31. But just a few blocks east, in the heart of the West Village, things are not as ‘Bleeck’, particularly for one retailer in particular. Diana Broussard (the subject of several of my past blogs) may have closed her shop located at 22 Christopher Street, but only because she has relocated across the street to 19c (646 336 6365, dianabroussard.com).

Diana and guests

She celebrated the opening of her new boutique and design atelier for special collaboration, with a cocktail reception on Thursday evening. Sofia Hernandez, (Boutique Manager and Stylist and Hitomi Hirose (Sales and Design) were on hand as guests milled in and out from 6PM to 8PM. I was happy to leave my apartment after spending a good part of the day glued in front of my large screen TV watching the Comey hearing.

Diana Broussard wearing her pearl coiled earrings

According to Diana, “The store is different….more refined, an edited relaunch…something calm and beautiful and fresh. It still has a bit of Diana meets Europe…this time the architecture and the logo work and the exterior feels more French. More importantly, there is a new atelier for me… a proper design room where I can really expand my creativity and work more with clothing and with my tech collaborations.”

Lyne Renee's artwork 

It is a jewel of a shop (both literally and figuratively). It’s small (375 square feet), concise, well edited with high quality, special pieces. And everything seems to glimmer, shine, and sparkle (in a very sophisticated understated way), from Belgian born actor/painter Lyne Renee’s gold and silver framed artwork to the accessories which are Ms. Broussard’s calling cards (they range in price from $125 - $585; fine jewelry goes from about $2500- $4500).

Diana Broussard assorted pearl accessories

On display are reflective mirrored cube and star shaped earrings, bracelets, and necklaces; Diana’s best selling signature Plexiglas and resin large chain link necklaces in varying lengths, sizes, and colors (I wanted them all); a grouping in plexi-pearl and pearl (I especially loved the large coil “Mademoiselle” earrings, $220 and the “Eros” harness necklace, $585). There’s a tech group: the limited edition dbChronicle Bag allows you to carry your own video wherever you go, and enables you to personalize, $1950; the dbChronicle 7BIS resin necklaces are personalized with an LCD screen, $400.

Reflector Piercing Trainer

There are shoes: everything from dressy t strap high heels and sporty flat loafers in suede and kid leather, to trainers (the “Reflector Piercing Trainer, $395 is made of Italian techo satin with mirror cube piercing detail and has elastic instead of laces). Snakeskin bags (some in gold) by Lambertson Truex ($1200- $2500) are displayed in a glass case.


Diana wearing one of her dresses which are also on display behind her

While the emphasis is on accessories, there are clothes mixed in as well. Ms. Broussard designed a group of limited edition dresses retailing for $495 for taffeta, $595 for jacquards (“easy chic dresses to throw on in “gorgeous Italian and French fabrics” is how she describes them). She was wearing one and I immediately thought of Cristobal Balenciaga because of its tent shape.

See thru raincoat, assorted resin chain link and tech LUXE necklaces 

Unsurprisingly, she raved about “Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion” the new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (it opened last month and is on display through next February). A cheeky clear plastic raincoat, piped in black and printed with “Broussard” in script, sells for $150. (FYI, other design 'heroes' are Geoffrey Beene, Claire McCardell, and Roger Vivier).

Diana holding Alice Archer's embroidered pants

Diana is also featuring some of Alice Archer’s designs. One of London’s most exciting new designers, she is backed by Simon Burstein who sells Diane’s necklaces at his store, THE PLACE, in London. Her clothes (all made in Como, Italy, using the finest fabrics) have been worn by P.Diddy, Suzy Lau, and Suzy Menkes among others. They range in price from $274 for shirts, to $4100 for kimonos (pants and dresses are $2070, $2700 respectively). Barneys also carries the kimonos and one dress.

Alice Archer's embroidered dress 

Ms. Archer, who is inspired by art (especially Degas and Dubufe) studied fine art and textiles at Goldsmiths and specialized in sculpture at Central Saint Martin. After her graduation in 2013, she moved to Antwerp where she was an embroidery designer for Dries Van Noten. She is known for using specialist techniques which combine hand, digital and Irish machine embroidery using up to 10 colors at once to create her images.





- Marilyn Kirschner

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