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We would be lying if we said we knew a whole lot about ego-maniacal Canadian "fashion designer" Peter Nygård—to us he kind of seems to exist at the semi-fictional cross streets of, like, Mugatu and Kira Plastinina. We know Dillard's (another proper noun we don't know much about) is his exclusive retailer in the States. We know he has a crazy mane of hair because he's had billboards with his pouting mug all over this south of Times Square stretch of Broadway for probably three years—touting a name, a collection, and a forthcoming flagship that no-one here in New York seems to know or care much about. And we know that something bearing his whimsically accented name opened today, at 1431 Broadway.
So, gluttons for punishment, we just visited. First, there is no waterfall. So there's that. Second, the shop is small—like medium-sized-Starbucks small. Third, about three doors down lies the entrance to a big, gaudy blue steel and blue-tinted glass Nygård-designed building (this Nygård guy is apparently like some modern day Leonardo da Vinci) with a pretty small, pretty ramshackle ground floor space littered with mirrored mannequins and pizza boxes. Said space appears to lead up to several glass-encrusted floors of very retail flagship-looking racks and mannequins. A door-watching person claimed these were offices. Judging from the size, the spectacle, and the very Times Square-appropriate signage, though, we're just going to assume that this is the actual flagship, and that what opened today was just a decoy.
In the meantime, a sample: Chrome, blue neon, white Plexiglas, disco/bat mitzvah hits, the Nygård logo on everything, Ns on everything else, blue clown-wigged dummies, and the clothes! Oh, dear—the clothes. Synthetic suede from China; faux leather from China; the coarsest cashmere we've ever felt—probably from China. Lots of animal prints; lots of loud; lots of cheap—and the customized blue lightbulbs da Vinci—er, Nygård—invented add a synthetic, chemical glow to the stretch-sleeved tees, ribbed dusters, black blazers, sensible pants, and matronly club tops. This is not to say there wouldn't be a cancerous sheen in regular lighting—we just feel as though the blue was able to bring that mystic sheen to the next level.
Though the shop only opened its doors today, a full third of it is already on sale at about 50% off. Regular prices are reasonable, we guess—tailored jackets for work and light outwear at about $100; trousers were slightly less; lots of tops in the $40 to $50 range. Different strokes for different folks, we suppose. We will give Nygård the fact that his costume jewelry is pretty rad. It's big, crazy, shiny, ridiculous, trendy, and cheap. Drag queens and women (or drag queens) who tend towards leopard tights with print dresses—and their jewelry habits—are going to keep this place in business.
· Storecasting: Canada's Shadowy Nygård Corporation Plans Imminent Broadway Takeover [Racked]