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Basically, the Nicola Formichetti Pop-Up Shop Is Mindblowing

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We put it at #1 on our list of the top ten new stores and pop-up shops of Fashion's Night Out for a reason: the Nicola Formichetti pop-up is, for lack of a better word, insane. We stopped by for a press preview this morning to check it out before it opens up to the public at 6pm, and the first thing we saw was Zombie Boy Rico hanging outside, smoking a cigarette. The second thing we saw was a pile of shoes by the front door—since the floor is mirrored, we were asked to remove our shoes while they set up. Also since the floor is mirrored, we recommend not going there in a dress.

The space was created for the second annual BOFFO Building Fashion program, were Nicola was paired up with architectural firm Gage/Clemenceau Architects after reviewing over 60 other candidates. There's a variety of things inside, to say the least, including a collection of limited-edition Thierry Mugler men's and womenswear, iPhone cases, jewelry, and T-shirts by Nicola featuring his new Panda character, and pieces from emerging international designers that Nicola himself has chosen to showcase.

In the front of the store, there's also a collection of vintage, very-print happy Versace shirts, and we hear that later on tonight, there will also be a seven-foot-tall cotton Panda bear figure sitting in the front nearby. Also for your viewing pleasure are costumes Nicola has done for Lady Gaga, which includes the gun-bra she wore on the cover of Rolling Stone.

While there's about a million things going on here, there, and everywhere, the prismy mirrored walls make it look as if there's ten million things going on, which one of the BOFFO representatives mentioned can be "a little disorienting." Nicola was also there today at the press preview, and about that bra-top, he said, "You know you can't buy toy guns in New York? We had to buy them at the Toys 'R' Us in New Jersey and drive them in."

If you meander further, you'll see more Gaga costumes, two mannequins laying on a center table, one wearing a bedazzled Marines hat and also ankle cuffs, and another wearing something very S&M-y. Also on the same table are a collection of rings and necklaces starring the Zombie Panda. As we're looking at these, Nicola is busy arranging them and says, "I'm trying to remember how we used to do it in the stores," possibly referring to one of his many gigs as either creative director at Thierry Mugler, fashion director as Uniqlo, or who knows, maybe something else entirely.

Another feature that's absolutely ridiculous: The virtual runway show happening on screens toward the front of the store. Nicola teamed up with CCP, the company who developed and published EVE Online (it's an online "game universe," if this is all Greek to you), and has designed a virtual couture look to be worn by a digital replica of Rico. The look will be available for purchase—for online avatars, only—through an EVE Online auction for the site's players. If you don't so happen to be one of them, what you can do is control the camera angles of Rico's catwalk from an iPad inside the store, while watching it all on the screens. While we were doing this, Rico himself was standing right there, casually drinking a bottle of orange juice while we finagled with his avatar.

The pop-up will be opening at 6pm tonight to the public for Fashion's Night Out, and will remain open for another two weeks. Most likely, there will be even more in store than what we saw today at 10am, as Nicola said he'll be moving things around frequently. We at least know one thing that will definitely be added before tonight: As he was running around setting things up, Nicola paused for a moment by the BOFFO team and asked, "Should we buy fans? It's hot."
· The Top Ten New Stores and Pop-Up Shops of Fashion's Night Out [Racked NY]
· FNO's Most Glittery Event [Racked NY]
· Nicola's Pop Up [Official Site]

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