No longer a novelty, the pop-up store has become an essential marketing tool, and with a new abundance of available retail space, Manhattan is currently packed with them to take advantage of what was surely thought would be a busy Holiday shopping season..
The latest is a showcase for Brocade Home, a two year-old division of Restoration Hardware designed to be a softer, lighter counterpart to the parent company's solid, traditional style.
Perhaps no company takes its name quite so literally. The overall effect of the store is that it that of an indispensable destination for New York's doily lovers.
Every item appears to be touched with a lacy pattern either printed, woven or cut out. Lisa Versacio, the brand's chief designer, helped develop West Elm's popular budget minimalist look, but here she goes in the opposite direction with baroque chandeliers and curvy furniture shapes.
The shop, for better or worse, shows off the new brand well: Better, in the sense that you can now see items up close and in person rather than only on the Brocade Home website, where they were previously available exclusively; Worse, in that the showcase unfortunately emphasizes the brand's current deficiencies, mainly that the aggressively frilly, feminine aesthetic may have limited appeal.
Many pieces individually have appeal, but taken altogether in a preponderance of white and silver, the store looks oddly bridal, like a wonderland for future Bridezillas, which is too bad because hidden amongst the scrolls and ormolu are some good, well priced items.
It's a little heavyhanded, but isn't that what a pop-up store is for? When Brocade Home is finally ready for a permanent store, which would seem to be the ultimate objective of starting a new division, hopefully they will have broadened their aesthetic, or at least their color palette.
Brocade Home through 12/24 at 59 Greene Street between Spring & Broome Streets, SoHo
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