A little store made a big impression Friday evening, with the grand opening of the Samantha Pleet Pop Up Shop at Urban Outfitters in Hollywood. A nighttime tea party with a performance by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, the event was true to Pleet’s fondness for the quixotic and collaborative. The installation is a treasure box of original pieces from her collection, as well as an assortment of rarities such as an antique chain mail purse, a Victorian velvet bustier, and the white leather gloves Pleet and her husband, architect Patrick McGovern (who designed the space and co-designed menswear collection Patrick Pleet) discovered at a market in Paris. We also saw jewelry by Pamela Love; a belt collaboration between Pleet and Dirty Librarian Chains sold exclusively at the shop; accessories by Kendi, Yana Bags; and a selection of Pleet’s favorite books, music and movies.
For the curious, here are some of the works that found their way into the shop:
Books: Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad), Catching the Big Fish (David Lynch), Chariots of the Gods (Erich von Däniken), A Brief History of Time (Stephen Hawking)
Music: Friend (Grizzly Bear), Verses of Comfort, Assurance & Salvation (Au Revoir Simone), God’s Money (Gang Gang Dance)
Films: The Seventh Seal, Alice, La Jetée/Sans Soleil, The Dark Crystal, Heathers, The Man Who Fell to Earth, A Clockwork Orange
Artwork: prints by William Latta
On the eve of the grand opening, Pleet was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
You’re an East Coast native. What made you decide to open your first store in Los Angeles?
I started doing a collaboration with Urban Outfitters called Rapscallion, and they wanted to open a pop up shop in Los Angeles. I didn’t have any exposure here, and I was really excited to work with my husband Patrick, who designed the space. I curated the shop by hand-selecting books, movies, music, curiosities, and accessories…Urban Outfitters gave us so much creative freedom.
How would you describe the Samantha Pleet collection?
Dark and darling — mini dresses and other pieces that inspire whimsical feelings. Every piece is special to me; they’re things I wear all the time.
You and your husband recently introduced a menswear line, Patrick Pleet. What makes it special?
Patrick and I were living in London for about seven months, and we loved the way men dress there, the tailored suits, the oversize jackets. We wanted to make that look for an American market, but a collection people can afford. It’s a small collection, but really well tailored suits — suits that don’t look like your dad’s.
You do a lot of collaboration with different kinds of artists. What is it about collaboration that appeals to you?
I love working with people who inspire me, and one of my favorite things about being a designer is creating an environment for the clothing using art, music, film…If I had a second career, I’d be a [film] director.
What do you enjoy most about dressing bands? How do you decide which bands to work with?
I’m really into music, it’s a big part of where my inspiration comes from. I think music, art and fashion all go together. The bands I work with are trying to create an environment on stage, and it’s really important that they feel comfortable in what they’re wearing.
Now that the pop up shop is open, what’s next?
I’m going to start working on my new fall collection. And I’d really like to open a pop up shop in New York as well — this has been one of the most fun projects I’ve ever worked on. And who knows what else? We’ll see.
The Samantha Pleet Pop Up Shop | Space 15 Twenty, 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
El Mahdi Young contributed writing and reporting to this post.