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Commes Des Garcons' Adrian Joffe Reveals His Creative Inspirations

Inside the new Dover Street Market (DSM) London
“We’ve moved to a new location – the old Burberry Building in Haymarket – because our original space (on Dover Street) has become too small. Opening end-March, the new store will be three times bigger at 30,000 sq ft, and have everything we had formerly. It’s going to be very familiar, yet also completely new, and that almost describes part of Comme des Garcons’ DNA. You can recognise (what we do as) Comme, but often, it’s also very different.” Emerging designers to know
“At DSM, we like to give spaces to the young. One of them is Molly Goddard, who’s amazing. (The 26-year-old Brit is known for her vintage-inspired tulle creations and is stocked here at Club 21.) Another is Phoebe English (above), (who puts a pretty-meets-intellectual spin on everyday wear with innovative techniques and textures). The third is German designer Melitta Baumeister – she uses amazing fabrics to come up with pieces that are almost architectural.” Established names to look out for
“For the first time, we’ll be working with Paul Smith and Margaret Howell, both of whom will have in store the smallest retail spaces they’ve ever had. For Paul, we’re trying to recreate his first shop in Nottingham (above), which was about 100 sq ft. He asked for our smallest space, which I find so contrary to what most big brands want and very refreshing. It’s the same with Margaret, whom we like because she’s always stuck to her (simple, modern, slightly androgynous) vision and has a great story to tell.”  The next creative capital
“Moscow, Russia. There are a lot of problems, (but there’s also a lot of creativity). There seems to be a new underground art movement with the likes of Gosha Rubchinskiy (who has built a cult following for his youthful, rebellious street wear, which is carried at DSM). He’s like this skateboarder/photographer guy and is just good. Even places like Belgrade or Athens are exciting now. I think hard economic times build the foundation (for creativity).” A new artist he’s into
“I recently met Masaho Anotani, an amazing young artist from Tokyo. (Creating abstract and surreal illustrations and collages by hand), he has collaborated with (local design guru/Joffe’s friend) Theseus Chan on the book, Steidl-Werk No. 23: Masaho Anotani “Deformed”, which was also exhibited at Pedder On Scotts. It’s talents like him that make me feel optimistic about the creative business. People seem to have more courage and inspiration… It’s not an easy time, but it’s an interesting time for people to express themselves. (By press time, Anotani had created prints for Comme des Garcons Shirt Fall 2016.)” Instagram accounts he follows
“There’s @jr, an artist we worked with last year. He does these huge faces on buildings and is amazing. Another is @camille, whose work is best described as architecture meets art – he makes models and interposes them with buildings and they’re very beautiful. I also love Interview magazine editorial director Fabien Baron’s (@fabienbaron), whose account is all landscape photography and has nothing to do with fashion.” What’s special about Comme Des Garcons S/S ’16
“It’s a very beautiful collection – more sculpture than clothing (yet also with variations that are extremely commercial). The most important thing about it is the colour – (Rei Kawakubo) hardly ever worked with blue, as far as I can remember. There’s blue velvet, blue fake fur, all kinds of blue – that’s the most stunning thing about this collection.”   An adapted version first appeared in Female‘s April 2016 issue. Like this? Creator of the wrap dress Diane von Furstenberg shares her style picks and more.