It takes a lot to get London’s seen-it-all-before fashionistas excited, and if you’re going to drag someone to the deepest depths of East London’s gritty Dalston, it’d better be special. Along comes John Skelton (ex-Harrods and oki-ni) and notorious set designer, Gary Card, who’ve transformed a former boxing gym into LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Café), the concept store’s concept store, and touted as the new Dover Street Market.
The huge, geometrically surreal 6,000ft space houses three concept product rooms, a book and record store (with collectible tomes selected by art book dealer, Conor Dolan), and a working studio all accessed via a cavernous, futuristic forest and a wooden, skeletal tunnel.
Also opening is a gallery space for exhibitions and screenings, and a nightclub outfitted with a thumping vintage Led Zeppelin sound system, complete with 70s spinning disco ball.
This self-described evolving project is essentially a collection of things John and biz partner Dan Mitchell love, from fashion to literature to music, presented in a way that they themselves would like to shop.
The most salient theme to the clothes is androgynous men’s and women’s streetwear. So intent are they on blurring the line between guy and gal gear that up-and-coming and high-on-drama label, J. W. Anderson was in fact asked to transfer the men’s collections into women’s sizes exclusively for LN-CC. [Ed. and the boys are probably trying on the Preen ruffle bra paired with a Lara Bohinc necklace while they’re at it].
The rest of the stock is a collection of new and archive pieces, mixing big names Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten, Issey Miyake and the like with obscure brands, SASQUATCHfabrix and Wacko Maria amongst others that you’re unlikely to have heard of.
LN-CC is deliberately not for everyone, but if black, white and monochrome, avant-garde, deconstructed and ahead of the curve has you going moist under your Damir Doma Corbell Asymmetric Coat, or you’re inspired by super cool 21st century design and retail, then schlep along to Dalston. Note though that LN-CC is by appointment only, so be sure to schedule ahead, or be left out in the cold like last season’s handbag.
The Basement, 18 Shacklewell Lane, E8. T: +44 (0)203 174 0736. W: ln-cc.comTweet Follow @LUXEguides