Spring Has Sprung: Beautiful Things to Buy This April

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Photosynthesize by Olivia Rubens at MACHINE-APhotography by Oscar Foster-Kane, Styling by Laura Vartiainen

From a new launch at Dover Street Market to a few unexpected collaborations, here are the best shopping opportunities of the month

Heaven by Marc Jacobs at Dover Street Market

Heaven by Marc Jacobs – the nostalgic, grunge-inflected line of clothes and accessories launched by Ava Nirui in 2020 – has finally landed in London’s Dover Street Market. The floating corner installation is spectacular, and mimics the decor of the plush Fairfax store in Los Angeles; a wall brimming with stuffed toys stands beside a collection of rare printed matter from Isabella Burley’s Climax Books, the infamous multi-buckle platform boots, and cushty shoulder bags.

Aesop x Rick Owens

Rick Owens has been a fan of Aesop’s products for years; the American designer and  Australian skincare brand have now collaborated on a limited-edition ‘Aromatique’ candle and a travel kit. “Aesop’s balms represented a soothing mood that I wanted to continue seamlessly throughout my home life and my travel life,” says Owens. The travel kit includes an assortment of Owens’ favourite body and hair care products, along with a special fragrance developed in partnership with esteemed perfumer Barnabé Fillion.

The Gagosian Boutique at Burlington Arcade

Nestled in between Mayfair and St James’s, Burlington Arcade – first opened in 1819 – is one of the best hidden shopping streets in London. Gagosian Gallery has now opened a cosy, wood-furnished shop there selling prints, publications, posters, rare books and artist-designed jewellery and sculpture. Look out for Poetic Practical: The Unrealised Work of Chris Burden, a forthcoming book that presents 67 of the provocative American artist’s most ambitious unrealised projects.

De Los Santos by Byredo

Byredo’s earthy new scent was created in homage to the traditions of Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) and All Saints’ Day. “Over the past year, I started to explore how different cultures approached the idea of loss in order to shift my personal perspective,” says Byredo’s founder Ben Gorham. The campaign, shot by Estevan Oriol in sumptuous black and white, focuses on Chicana style. 

Pillow Tabby by Coach

Coach’s Pillow Tabby bag – updated here in new colours to herald the arrival of spring – is so soft and squishy you could quite literally sleep on it. To celebrate the launch, Coach have collaborated with French artist Cyril Lancelin on an immersive, bulbous installation in Soho Square; soon, the highly Instagrammable artwork will travel to Berlin and Dubai.

Ahluwalia &Paul Smith

The first iteration of Paul Smith’s new mentorship programme, &Paul Smith – which will see the label collaborate with an emerging designer once a year – is with London-based brand Ahluwalia. Though very different in their approaches to design, the pair have shared a friendship over the past few years, and even joined together for a conversation that spanned the history of London style to their hopes for the future of fashion in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of AnOther. Released this month, the capsule collection combines the distinctive codes of each designer, such as Smith’s check fabrics and Ahluwalia’s panelling techniques. The collection’s vibrant colours are borrowed from Priya Ahluwalia’s personal archive of photographs taken in Nigeria and India, while Smith’s love of sport is represented by references to vintage cycling paraphernalia.

Photosynthesize by Olivia Rubens at MACHINE-A

Since its founding, independent London retailer MACHINE-A has been an incubator for emerging talent, stocking young designers fresh out of fashion school alongside staunch brands like Raf Simons and Margiela. As part of its ongoing Graduates Project, this month the Brewer Street store has unveiled a space dedicated to sustainable knitwear designer Olivia Rubens, whose experimental collection Photosynthesize “transforms garments into living objects”.

Alexander McQueen Soft Curve Bag

Good news for fans of McQueen’s Curve Bag: the London-based label has released a new iteration of the style. Something of a sweeter cousin to the original, the Soft Curve sees the bag’s sculptural design – recognisable for its kink-inflected harness detailing – reinvented in a malleable, soft leather. The style arrives in an array of playful colours just in time for the sun to come out – from neon pink and cerulean blue, to ivory and grey.

Givenchy Kenny Bag

Givenchy’s hero accessory of the season is the Kenny Bag. Presenting a softening of designer Matthew Williams’ hard-edged utilitarian aesthetic, the new style brings together a nostalgia for the playful handbags of the 2000s with a contemporary design approach. Arriving in an array of sultry colours and textures – from deep red silk to nightclub-ready sequins – the Kenny is crafted in a supple, folded bourse-style body and finished with the label’s signature silver chain link and love lock hardware.