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Richard Chai's Building Fashion Pop-up Is the Best One Yet

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Another week, another Building Fashion pop-up in the shadows of the High Line on W. 24th Street. This time around the space is all about Richard Chai. And though we love the Chai, we were starting to cool on the project—especially after the slightly depressing House of Waris tea house and tchotchke shop. Even so, we trekked out west today and, you know, the shop is actually pretty stunning.

Boffo and Architizer—the organizations behind the Building Fashion project—teamed Chai up with Brooklyn-based artist and architect duo Snarkitecture, who specialize in re-purposing and re-imagining existing spaces. They did a fantastic job: The current set-up is certainly the most re-purposed and re-imagined sales tin we've ever encountered.

The interior of the space is exactly what we imagine the inside of an iceberg might look like. Walls are clad in undulating waves of white laser-cut Styrofoam. Small racks of Chai's Love (womenswear) and menswear lines are fitted directly into the "ice" amongst a series of craggy nooks that each perfectly fit a pair of shoes or stack of crisply-folded jeans. There's even a little, circular dressing room.

Aside from Chai's delicious wearables, look for Odin's line of scents (Richard and Eddy—keepin' it in the family!) and shoes by Heutchy (who Chai collaborated with on spring '11 footwear); along with assorted magazines and Richard Chai x Snarkitecture souvenir tees.

It's all enchanting, and very cool. And though the whole thing turned out nothing like Chai's original design brief requesting antique apothecary fixtures, we approve (we're just not going to think about where all that Styrofoam will end up moldering for ten eternities because that's always depressing).

Richard Chai is in residence until Halloween; stay tuned for one last installation by Siki Im.
· Richard Chai [Official Site]
· Building Fashion [Official Site]
· West Side Pop-Up Fuses Fashion and Architecture [Racked NY]

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