COS + Snarkitecture’s LA Pop-Up Shop

A temporary retail experience, inspired by the AW15 collection, plays with reflections and tones

by Ariel Katz

Last night in Downtown Los Angeles, COS launched their latest pop-up, created in collaboration with Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen of experimental Brooklyn-based design studio Snarkitecture and housed inside Scandinavian concept store Austere. It’s a feast for the eyes (and the second collaboration between the two)—a two-story exploration of form, tone, reflection and silhouettes.

Together, they’ve designed and built a considered and immersive retail installation, centered around a 20-foot floor-to-ceiling mirrored wall. It’s highlighted by pink-tinted steel and concrete sculptural displays that reference the structure as well as the pattern-making of individual pieces from the new collection. “We hope that people are going to get a feeling of what COS is when they come here,” COS designers Karin Gustafsson and Martin Andersson tell CH.

The idea of doubling is a key spatial concept, realized by the mirroring that divides the lower floor. “There’s a lot of different types of reflection and doubling that are happening. [We] set up an opportunity to invite visitors to have different types of interactions,” say Snarkitecture‘s Arsham and Mustonen, who are renowned for the ways in which they reuse or misuse existing architecture to make architecture perform the unexpected.

The new season’s apparel has been designed with timelessness in mind, for people with a “big city mindset,” says Gustafsson, and for those who share the COS team’s love for nature, art and architecture. “We think that this mindset is truly international—whether you’re in Melbourne, LA or Tokyo,” Andersson says. The underlying drama within German photographer Olaf Otto Becker’s “Above Zero” series of Greenland greatly influenced the collection’s fabrics and hues. Gustafsson describes the impact the artist’s unique images had on her, saying, “That feeling of something being extremely beautiful and calm, but that any day the weather can change. All the textures and very much the color palette came from that.” As well as nature, the Japanese aesthetic in general was cited as a strong 2015 inspiration. Specifically origami, vintage kimonos and the country’s modern art movement Mono-ha, which are all infused in the brand’s Autumn/Winter assemblage. “[Mono-ha] has so much drama in it, but it’s very still and minimal and peaceful at the same time,” Andersson declares.

Experience moments of wonder as you shop a curated selection of COS’ 2015 Autumn/Winter 2015 in person; the collection is also available online. Open beginning today until 15 November at Austere, 912 S Hill St, Los Angeles.

Final two images by Ariel Katz, all others courtesy of COS