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Every nine out of ten times we go to the Alexander McQueen store, we instead accidentally barge into Siglo Moderno, the space right next door. It's a forgivable mistake, especially at dusk or later, when the furniture store's hand-blown glass lamps throw phantasmagorical shadows and lighting effects. We always start to pull the door open, finally notice that we don't see clothing, then walk on. Our mistake.
A couple of weeks ago, we were issued a more formal invitation to see the store, and get to know what we're missing. It's a well curated labor of love by proprietor Jorge Cruzata, who is as strongly influenced by modern fashion and 70s softcore porn as he is by what he learned at Art Center. He's a triple threat, with a background encompassing architecture, fine art and environmental design. All of which tells you a little bit of what to expect at his store.
They currently stock a mix that's roughly 50% new contemporary European, and the rest is a combination of vintage and Cruzata's own designwork (the Siglo Moderno line, or S + M). He aims to elevate it so his own designs account for about a third of the merchandise. It's all exquisite, a very polished and high-end love letter to 70s porno chic. We queried Cruzata about his favorite item in the store, and he unhesitatingly answered the 70s B&B Italia plush sectional in earthy tones.
It's not all 70s Euro swank: one of SM's best sellers is the lamp that produces those curious and hypnotic shadows, each one hand-blown by artists from the exotic part of California called Orange County. And Cruzata has a thing for big, chunky African jewelry and baubles (you can see a few of the pieces in the pictures). We'll issue the caveat that all of this finery comes at a premium: those handblown lamps are $800, and that snazzy sectional is a breathtaking $24,000. Oh well, they're a friendly lot over there, and they probably won't object to overlong browsing sessions. One thing's for sure: We think the Selby needs to do a shoot at Cruzata's place.
· Siglo Moderno [Official Site]