Berlin: MDC Cosmetic Goes Next Door

MDC Cosmetic is the local Berliners’ heaven of all things skincare and beauty. And now, the store has expanded in its Prenzlauer Berg location to a “next door” space. Through constant personal contact with its chic clientele, MDC Cosmetic has grown with the times we live in. The key lesson from 2020 is that in the course of the newly discovered domesticity, a growing demand for beautiful objects, small furnishings, precious accessories and unique jewellery has sprung. MDC Next Door is therefore designed and run as a cabinet of curiosities for objects of everyday use. “At MDC, well-being is at the centre. There are other doors to take in beauty: eyes and touch are equally important to me as the sense of smell or the sensitivity of the skin to touch“, Melanie dal Canton says about her concept for MDC Next Door. Oloid II.2.a, a perfume developed by MDC’s owner in collaboration with Geza Schön, has its own sphere at MDC Next Door, just as the matching bar of soap in the shape of the eponymous oloid. New collaborations by Melanie dal Canton with illustrator Kitty Kahane (fabulous, hand-painted porcelain) and Sabrina Dehoff (off-kilter hair accessories) are presented for the first time at MDC Next Door, too. Another novelty the refined coffee space serving great espresso made from coffee beans from a Mexican plantation that is, to a certain extent, family-owned – but in the sense of the extended family concept cultivated at MDC.

Knaackstraße 26 / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Topi Botanic

Quentin Smith and Alia Raza are the creative forces behind TOPI. Self-care obsessed, they’ve long discussed that now more than ever their skin faced an onslaught of shifting conditions – from the dynamic weather patterns of a rapidly changing climate to the multiple environments they found themselves in on a daily basis. Indoor heating, air conditioning, frequent airplane trips, air pollution, glaring LED screens, fluorescent office lights, a vacation in the tropical sun, a bracingly cold ski trip… TOPI Climatic Skincare was born as a way to address the impact of all of these extremes on their faces. Quentin (a world-traveler and medicinal plant enthusiast based in Southern California) and Alia (a New Yorker based in France who studies fragrant flowers) sought out the world’s most advanced botanical ingredients and consulted doctors, chemists, and health experts to produce elegant formulas for every skin type, every skin color, every age, every gender, every climate, and every day. Two incredible products – Sun Serum and Snow Serum – are TOPI’s ultimate answer. The first is a refreshing blend of active sun-loving botanicals and 300mg of anti-inflammatory pure cannabidiol. Each lightweight drop contains powerful concentrations of antioxidant-rich plant extracts combined with skin brightening vitamin C, invigorating green tea, and anti-pollution cacao seed for environmental and blue light protection. The result is a gentle oil-free skin treatment formulated to calm redness, boost natural skin cell regeneration, and align skin with the radiant energy of sunlight. The other serum contains high concentrations of antioxidant-rich flavonoids and carotenoids combined with skin smoothing niacinamide, hydrating Bulgarian rosewater, and nourishing plant and seed oils. Here, the result is a soothing and deeply protective skin treatment, formulated to maintain moisture levels, boost natural collagen production and optimize vibrancy. Nourish your face year-round with this refined climate defense serum developed for the conditions of daily life, in cooler seasons and dry weather. I’m testing the brand’s Starter Kit and I must say the serums are working wonders.

Discover more about the brand here.

Jardin du Palais Royal

The Jardin du Palais Royal is a perfect spot to sit, relax and picnic between boxed hedges, or to shop in the trio of beautiful arcades that frame the garden: the Galerie de Valois, Galerie de Montpensier and Galerie Beaujolais. However, it’s the southern end of the complex, polka-dotted with sculptor Daniel Buren’s 260 black-and-white striped columns, that has become the garden’s signature feature. This chic urban space is fronted by the neoclassical Palais Royal, constructed in 1633 by Cardinal Richelieu. The Galerie de Valois is the most upmarket arcade, with designer boutiques like Rick Owens, Stella McCartney and Pierre Hardy. Across the garden, in the Galerie de Montpensier, the Revolution broke out on a warm mid-July day, just three years after the galleries opened, in the Café du Foy. The third arcade is crossed by Passage du Perron, a passageway above which the writer Colette lived out the last dozen years of her life. Here are the four “secret” spots that I loved the most in this intimate, quite underrated place in Paris.

Rick Owens

Of course. Owens’ flagship store is two floors of dark fantasy. From the wax sculpture of the designer himself and raw furniture created by his life-partner, Michele Lamy, to the wearable disco-ball dresses (see the above photo) and the staff dressed head-to-toes in Rick, you just don’t want to leave this place (and you really, really want to belong to this universe!).

130-133 Galerie de Valois

Didier Ludot

This place has been on my list of places to visit since I discovered it in Hamish Bowles’ video guide around the best Parisian vintage stores. Ludot’s namesake shop at the Palais Royal gardens is the go-to destination for museum-quality vintage haute couture – it’s where Reese Witherspoon’s stylist found the 1950 Christian Dior duchess satin gown embroidered with rose garlands that the actress wore when she won the Best Actress Oscar in 2006. Designers often make appointments here to browse through the archives. Vintage Schiaparelli, Prada, Madame Grès, Lanvin, Christian Lacroix, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent… this place is intense. No photos policy!

24 Galerie de Valois

Olympia Le-Tan

The cult, hand-made book-clutches created by Olympia Le-Tan (the designer is no longer behind the brand) feels like an enchanted apartment, which happens to front the Palais Royal. From Mondrian and Van Gogh motifs to covers of Agatha Christie criminals and vintage Paris guides, find the clutch you love the most (and eventually keep it on your bookshelf).

Passage des Deux Pavillons

Augustinus Bader

Developed by a world-leading expert in stem cell research, Professor Augustinus Bader has spent thirty years unlocking the body’s innate processes to self-heal. The result? Game-changing skin care that uses a unique, patented Trigger Factor Complex – TFC8 – to help visibly reduce the signs of ageing and damage caused by environmental stressors, and leave skin looking restored, regenerated and glowing. The beautiful store – which looks more like a fancy salon than a regular cosmetics store – also happens to sell Victoria Beckham’s beauty line that isn’t available pretty much anywhere else in Europe.

84 Galerie de Beaujolais

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Dover Street Parfums Market

25 years after the launch of the first Comme des Garçons perfume, 15 years after opening the first Dover Street Market in London, Comme des Garçons opens Dover Street Parfums Market in Paris. It’s a place you never knew you needed so much. Located two minutes from Musée Picasso, this outpost of DSM is dedicated to beauty with a selection of perfumes, cosmetic and make-up brands from around the world. From avant-garde independent young labels (Kerosene, 19-69, Ormaie…) to the most established and classic references, it’s an explosion of scents, sounds and textures. Skincare, body and hair care products are also part of the proposal, with a majority of sustainable and organic brands aimed for all the human spectrum. It’s about authencity, diversity, originality and inclusivity. Special guests include Gucci with its Alchemist’s Garden line; Byredo’s unique corner; events by MAC cosmetics (and their Instagram-big Comme Des Garçons tattoo kit available only here); Julien D’Ys’ hair installations; and Thom Browne who is about to launch his very first perfume range entitled 09.27.65. Dover Street Parfums Market has no commercial visuals, logos or gifts with purchases. As for the interior, Rei Kawakubo designed a forest of pillars with egg shaped shelves carved within them. Mainstream beauty stores and department stores are becoming even more bleak and charmless in my eyes now.

11 bis rue Elzevir / Paris

Chloë Sevigny x Régime des Fleurs

100 ml of pure heaven. I’m talking about Little Flower, the perfume made in collaboration between Régime des Fleurs, the fragrance label founded in Los Angeles by Alia Raza and Ezra Woods, and Chloë Sevigny, the film and fashion icon. Little Flower is Régime des Fleurs’ provocative take on Sevigny’s favorite bloom – the rose. Dewy, romantic and fleshy, with a woody musk finish. With black tea, bleeding heart (it’s actually a flower name, but then… who knows?), blackcurrant bud, peony, palo santo incense, pomelo, honeysuckle and a precious Ottoman rose absolute. I love Chloë Sevigny, I love Régime des Fleurs, I love roses – so I’m dying to try this perfume out.

Chloë Sevigny photographed by Inez & Vinoodh and styled by Haley Wollens.