What do you want most? Youth? Love? Success? In a voyage in time, this was asked at top volume by the Swinging London of the 1960s, of Carnaby Street, and since 1971 it has been asked in Hong Kong by Joyce, the focal point of an Asian fashion conceived as an avant-garde art form.
Today more than yesterday, now that the Joyce Central Flagship Store located in the New World Tower facing Queen’s Road Central has been redesigned with new interiors by Paola Navone, making it a un paradise for thinkers, influencers and trendsetters.
The store hosts brands like Alexander Wang, Dries Van Noten, Dsquared2, Marni, Neil Barrett, Rick Owens, Sacai, Thom Browne and Victoria Beckam. But there’s more. This fashion store has the plus of being a place of inspiration.
It is not enough to feel welcome and relaxed in large spaces; you need to feel pampered by the setting of materials, colors and lights, to get beyond mere shopping and have the desire to return again and again. Perhaps to discover the value of new connections and contaminations in the field of creativity and lifestyle, to transfigure the signs of one or more stores in personal decorative inventions.
The architect Navone has managed to give form to imagination and dreams, with that masterful bespoke approach that sets her apart, nurtured by a natural instinct for disciplinary crossings and a passion for crafts from various cultures and climes.
Without prejudice against the flaws of handicraft and the Tham Ma Da (‘ordinary’ in the Thai language), which instead become values of ‘extraordinaryness,’ Paola has unfurled in her story line, developed on three levels, a panoply of signs capable of granting depth to stratifications and narrative passages in the dialogue with the products on display.
On the basement level the mise en scene of menswear develops amidst blue backgrounds, the male color par excellence, or in painted jute and raw display fixtures with an industrial air, refined by extra-patina finishes.
The ground floor, for womenswear, has a luminous theatrical atmosphere, thriving on white cords and bright textures, while the gaze can roam from the perimeter wall with balls of black and white ceramic arranged as parallel bands, to the aged leather of the furnishings, including a pommel horse used as a bench.
On this level the existing composite floor has been sandblasted to give it a more timely patina, inlaid with raw cement filler, while in the central zone the garments hanging from chromium-plated metal fixtures seem to plunge down from the suspended ceiling. The rotating mirrors of the dressing rooms at the back amplify the game of reflections and spatial dilations.
On this level there is also the so-called ‘Chamber Room,’ with men’s and women’s collections of the more conceptual fashion designers, a sort of showcase in a showcase, and the bespoke atelier. Next to the gallery of art objects, curiosities and vintage pieces.
On the upper level, in a new addition, the universe of beauty, footwear and accessories is organized with pink chrome trolleys that function as flexible display fixtures for the cosmetics, in a relationship with the pop touches and figurative gilded rose motifs against the backdrop of a resin floor with an artistic make-up theme. Signature multicolored effects.
Separate, shielded from prying eyes, the gem of the store is the Joyce Loft for VIP clients, conceived as a house with a living-dining area, soft drapes and the precious touch of an antique chandelier from Paris.
In the end, it is precisely this constant changing of the settings in the spaces, the amalgam of three-dimensional decorative contrasts, the warmth of the materials, with craquelé effects, rugged or velvety surfaces, industrial echoes, sumptuous, romantic, traditional and contemporary overtones, industrial design and crafts, that constantly captivate visitors, conveying them into the atmosphere of an enveloping sensory experience. To interpret as they may.
So too, the final scene, set aside for the internal staircase, is far from disappointing: because the silvery ribbon of the steps is wed with the central focus of a sculpture-nest with an Afro look (and production of Italian design) in white ceramic blocks and balls of light, staggered in an apparently random way. Actually each one is perfectly in place. Like the dotted motif of the perimeter walls: other fragments of a lover’s discourse, to use the words of Roland Barthes.
Project by Paola Navone – Photos courtesy of Joyce – Text by Antonella Boisi