There’s something special about the newly opened Fashion Avenue extension in the Dubai Mall. It’s light, bright and luxurious. Housed there are some of the world’s most celebrated fashion brands, including famed fashion house Saint Laurent. As I made my way to their brand new store, I walked past a saxophonist playing relaxing Parisian tunes. How fitting.
The entrance of the store is grand to say the least; it features white Carrara marble with golden frames and a very cool art deco look with one simple YSL logo to indicate the name of the store you are about to enter.
The store covers three levels and is the largest Saint Laurent boutique in the world. The ground floor is dedicated to bags and shoes, the mezzanine level is for women’s wear and the final floor dedicated to menswear. The store also features two elevators made with glass and mirror-polished stainless steel.
One unique thing about all YSL stores is that they never use mannequins. What you see instead is something called a floating mannequin, where they display shoes on the floor and an outfit on a hanger to give an illusion of someone wearing them. It’s also a great way to pair two or three different pieces to get a complete look.
Speaking of pieces, the boutique offers one of the widest selection of products in the world. The collection is so extensive that even the most seasoned Saint Laurent shoppers will discover something that they’ve perhaps never seen before. The store houses all categories including ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, sunglasses and jewellery for women and men. There are even three Saint Laurent fragrances on sale.
The space embodies the Saint Laurent concept: a contemporary interpretation of the French modernist movement of the early 20th century. One of the most striking aspects at the flagship store is the floating marble staircase. It is safe to say that it’s the most monumental piece in the whole store, made with grey silver marble. It’s a work of art. Even if you go to buy accessories, make it a point to head upstairs to the womenswear section, just to walk up that staircase.
What I love the most about the venue is the appreciation for symmetry. Everything is displayed perfectly, not an inch out of place.
There’s minimalist sophistication and iconic Art Deco aesthetics. It’s an interior decorator’s dream; floors and walls in white marble, black silk, structures in nickel-plated brass and extra clear glass, leather and nickel-plated brass benches, and instead of regular hanging rails, at Saint Laurent, they are suspended in the air with the garments elegantly hanging off them.
The store is full of secret rooms. One of them being the VIP Room, which boasts vintage furniture and touches of gold.
Speaking about the collection and about Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello, CEO Francesca Bellettini said: “Anthony is naturally embracing this spirit with a 360 degrees vision for the brand, and he is bringing back the silhouette... still focusing on empowerment, new generation, freedom, connectivity, coolness. He is able to take references transforming them through his vision and making them modern and relevant today.”