A new Kim West store opened last week at The Artworks Elephant, a stone’s throw from Elephant and Castle’s Coronet Theatre where Torture Garden hosts its biggest parties.
On a corner of the former Heygate Estate site, now part of a massive regeneration by Southwark Council and developers LendLease, Artworks Elephant is made up of 50 low-cost units aimed at creative and start-up businesses.
Constructed on three levels from recycled shipping containers, Artworks has a pleasantly bohemian feel that is more reminiscent of artist community spaces in Berlin than anything you expect to find in London.
The new Kim West store is located at unit 12B Artworks, on the ground/food court level occupied by a mix of bars, eateries, shops and studios.
Thursday evening’s opening party was supported by one of the designer’s new neighbours, mobile food stall business The Frenchie (famous for its duck confit in a brioche bun), which has a new outlet at unit 8.
The chairs and tables set out for diners and drinkers in the central area made a perfect socialising space for those turning up to celebrate the latex shop opening.
And the addition to London’s shopping options of a high fashion latex store with its own open-air food court is something not to be sniffed at in our opinion!
Party guests included Larry Love of Alabama 3, the British band globally renowned for providing the theme music to The Sopranos television series.
Larry’s connection with Kim goes back a long way and his band have even recorded a song about the designer, which she used as catwalk music when she did her fashion show at Dominatrix last year.
Also among the revellers was Elissa Poppy, a recent graduate from De Montfort University’s BA course in Countour Fashion — a course which also gave us the inimitable Catriona Stewart.
Elissa has set up a high-end latex lingerie label with the accent on laser-cut patterns, and Kim is stocking a small selection of her garments in the new store.
Elissa’s corset dress (above right), with its floral lace patterning and double ribbon ties at each side, is one of the more exotic pieces on show at the store.
An outfit one can easily imagine being sported by pop divas in promo videos, it’s also to be found on Kim’s website with other Poppy styles. The £400 price reflects the amount of work in the garment, says its creator.
Store address: Kim West, 12b Artworks, Elephant Road, London SE17 1AY. The entrance to Artworks is on the corner of Elephant Road and Walworth Road.
Photo credits: Our thanks to The Frenchie for the store opening shot, above left, and to Kinza Jow for the exterior view of Artworks Elephant below.
Published September 16, 2015