Style is a state of mind.
Concept (noun): an idea resulting from the transformation of ideas.
There are shops and then there are these places that make you ‘feel’ something when you walk in. You visit them not only to shop, but to recapture that feeling of wonder, delight and inspiration.
These ‘concept stores’ are often described as gallery-like spaces carefully designed and curated to deliver an experience of a particular lifestyle, value-system and aesthetic. But the trend for alternative concept stores has exploded in recent years and they no longer feel special anymore. Same mid century furnishing, same light fixtures, a bit of marble, some drift wood and a deconstructed shirt. They are sprouting everywhere like wild mushrooms. Promising something unique, but they’ve lost the magic.
LNCC feels like something apart.
Based in a warehouse building on a side street off London’s Kingsland Road, this is not just another gallery space-cum-lifestyle-concept-store. It’s much more intimate. Like visiting an artist’s home. Tumbling down the rabbit-hole of his mind. His inspirations, his eccentricities, his tastes.
The appointment-only system gives you that exclusive underground nightclub feeling as you enter LNCC through the side door and walk down its black unlit staircase. Entering into the main room you see what looks like a crashed spaceship in a wooded forest. A hidden entrance to a 5,000 square foot retail space. Designed in collaboration with acclaimed set designer Gary Card, LNCC stocks newcomers, conscious collections, as well as the likes of Marni, Valentino and JW Anderson. It must be visited in person. But beware it only hosts a few guests at any one time.
There has been a lot of talk recently about ‘experiences’ being the new ‘luxury’. You can see it in our social media feeds. We are more interested in sharing the ‘moment’ we had rather than the ‘object we own’. The question is no longer, can you afford luxury? But rather, are you the kind of person who attracts luxury? Entry into this club is based on personality, merit, taste. Not personal income.
LNCC had no intention to be exclusive. It’s like that cool kid at school that doesn’t know he’s cool. Everyone knows who he is, but only the few can call him a friend. The store is his home, and the website is his work persona, more private. Selling the collections but not giving away who he is for free.
I keep returning to visit the brains behind the LNCC brand concept. Sometimes for inspiration, sometimes to buy something special, or just to introduce the store to someone else. Part of my commitment to the slow shopping experience that will never die no matter how often I order online. Other times I just go in for a drink and a chat with the man in the shoes. These chats always end up a little deeper than we mean for them, but we float back up after a few cocktails and all is fine again.
My last purchase was some Thierry Lasry sunglasses he said I should buy.
What I’m coveting this season is this nude leather bucket bag by Building Block, an LA based brand launched in 2011 and then brought to us in London by LNCC: http://www.ln-cc.com/en/brands/women/building-block/
Building Block leather bucket bag in nude
It retails at £520 but there’s a sale on at the moment so go in store.
I also like this ultra mini Marni cross body which I would pair with a clashing large floral print coat or dress: http://www.ln-cc.com/en/women/bags/marni/women%E2%80%99s-printed-mini-trunk-shoulder-bag-in-black-and-off-white/mni0227020blk.html?cgid=women-bags
Marni printed mini cross body
And as we’re speaking of the mini cross-body trend… This punch of royal blue by Proenza Schouler is making me dream. It’s going at £675 (again might be up to 70% off if you hurry in store at LNCC): http://www.ln-cc.com/en/women/bags/proenza-schouler/women%E2%80%99s-ps1-mini-crossbody-bag-in-blue/pro0227009blu.html?cgid=women-bags
Proenza Schouler cross body in blue
On the shoes front, my boyfriend recently spotted these unisex Raf Simons x adidas kicks on someone in a cafe near where we live. He was wearing them in black paired with a Rick Owens hoodie and he had the buckle draped low. But I love the white pair (pictured below) to go with my cropped denims: http://www.ln-cc.com/en/women/shoes/sneakers/raf-simons/x-adidas-unisex-spirit-buckle-low-sneakers-in-white/raf0328004wht.html?cgid=women-shoes-sneakers
Raf Simons x adidas
And for a dressed up shoe I’m madly in love with these Gucci turquoise loafers with a slight wooden heel (which also come in a glittery silver):http://www.ln-cc.com/en/women/shoes/heels/gucci/women%E2%80%99s-heeled-horsebit-loafers-in-turquoise/guc0226022blu.html?cgid=women-shoes-heels
Gucci heeled loafers in Turquoise
Not ready to give up totally on my Spring fetish for juicy colors, in AW17 I plan to invest in shades of toffee and taffy – browns, beiges, peaches, yellows, lime greens. This pair of perfect booties by ACNE Studios in taupe with that gorgeous althea marble cylindrical heel will be first on my list: http://www.ln-cc.com/en/women/shoes/heels/acne-studios/women%E2%80%99s-althea-marble-cylinder-heeled-boots-in-taupe/acn0227032che.html?cgid=women-shoes-heels
ACNE Studios lamb’s leather ankle boots in taupe
For leather lovers with a growing conscience, have a look at LNCC’s new collection from GmbH, a collaborative brand born from the dancefloors of Berlin’s legendary nightclubs.
Founded by Serhat Isik and Benjamin Alexander Huseby and a diverse community of collaborators, the collection features pieces crafted from deadstock materials sourced from a high-end factory in Milan: http://www.ln-cc.com/en/conscious/conscious-women/gmbh/women%E2%80%99s-oversized-leather-biker-jacket-in-black/gmb0228005blk.html?cgid=conscious-women
GmbH biker jacket in deadstock leather
Or have a look at pretty much anything by Renli Su…I want that black embroidered suit with the Victorian silhouette. I want it now. http://www.ln-cc.com/en/brands/women/renli-su/
Leave me a comment with your thoughts on LNCC after you visit (address: LNCC, 18-24 Shacklewell Ln, London E8 2EZ).
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