Friday, March 16, 2007

My Love do COS a Thing!

Swedish clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), the same retailer who gave us a one-off designer collection at a fraction of designer price and the one who netted Madonna into designing (well, sort of!) her one-time only fashion line M by Madonna, has proudly announce the opening of its new fashion retail chain, COS. The store is scheduled to open today at 12 pm in the afternoon.

At the label's first fashion show held at Bond Street's Burlington Arcade in London on Thursday night, actress Rosamund Pike, one of the celebrities who attended the show, already pledged her loyalty to the new brand.

"I'm a big fan of the brand already," she said to "It's funny, the clothes remind me of up-and-coming New York designers. To me, they've got more of a Manhattan edge than a European style and I think it's a great crossover between high street and designer - which is an important gap in the market. I've got one of their white dresses on now."

Featuring a new concept in fashion retailing, the first COS flagship store is set to be opened in London at the sleek and upscale Regent Street.
Elegant and immaculate designs sold at affordable prices, which is the long-time mantra adopted by most high-street brands like Zara, Massimo Dutti and Warehouse, has been adopted by COS.

Incorporating clean-cut accessible design with just a wink of character; a subtle design twist that lends each garment a modernist edge. Be that a chic black sack dress with a bold contrast metal zipper running down the back. Or for men: a butter soft fudge leather bomber jacket with Western stitch detail.

The interior design of the flagship store was designed by architect William Russell, which reflects COS's DNA quality of fabrics, finish and design.

"The idea for the store came from COS having smaller collections within a bigger collection. I started thinking about separate zones, which became rooms," says William Russell.

These rooms don't have actual walls. Instead, a black metal rail (like Mondrian's graphic black line) runs at a continuous height around the store defining individual room shapes with big light-box-like lighting fixtures hovering overhead.

"It is fashionable essentials, reinvented classics and the latest trends," says Rebekka Bay COS's womenswear designer.

"The focus is quality in terms of the fabrics, fit and finish. It's r
eady-to-wear level design at high street prices. Plus, there are lots of fundamental pieces, like the perfect fitting pique polo shirt; crisp shirting; classic T-shirts and cashmere V-necks," adds Michael Kristensen, COS's menswear designer.

Equally essential kit for women involves: easy-to-wear cotton poplin vest dresses; slouchy chinos; perfect-fit skinny black trousers and 50s-style edge-to-edge coats. Fashion alert males will zero in on slim-fit cardigans; Forrest Gump-style short-sleeve shirts and keenly cut city shorts.

And fashion maidens will swoop on swingy pleat smock dresses; dinner shirts re-worked as crisp blousons and sun-faded 50s ceramics print shift dresses.
COS's sophisticatedly subtle colour palette of crisp white, soft putty grey, rich tobacco brown, sharp black, graceful navy and warm khaki, is intermittently pierced with colour bursts of bright red and bold electric blue. Ultimate race-you-to-the-rack appeal emanates from COS accessories.

Be that a minimalist-lush nylon city bag, natty brogues, or an exquisitely crafted large black leather baguette finished in luxe bridle-like detailing.
From elegant tuxedo suits and knife-sharp city tailoring to soft cashmere knits; COS is fashion nirvana for the non-showy, design alert shopper.

COS's London launch will be followed by a roll-out tour of COS store openings in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands at the end of March.

*Photos and press release courtesy of COS.

COS - 222, Regent Street, London, W1B 5BD

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