Plastic fantastic shoe brand Melissa sets up shop in New York

New York Fashion Week kicked off in style last night with the store launch of Galeria Melissa, the first international flagship store for the shoe brand outside of its native Brazil.The store, in the heart of Mahattan's SoHo, on Greene Street, incorporates retail with an exhibition space to keep with Melissa's ethos of celebrating and combining art and design with fashion. The white exhibition area was launched with work by Brazilian artist Eli Sudbrack, showing a projection of a vibrant multi-colour video installation against the room's back wall.

On display for the guests to admire were Melissa's collaborations over the years including pieces designed by Thierry Mugler, Gareth Pugh and most famously, Dame Vivienne Westwood.

The fashion crowd came out in force to support the new store - despite the snow. Designers Marc Jacobs and Jason Wu (Wu has also designed a collection with Melissa) were joined by model Anja Rubik and Victoria's Secret 'Angel' Alessandra Ambrosio.

All the guests were eclipsed however, by the arrival of pint sized glamazon Dita Von Teese - who left the crowd falling over themselves to get a picture.

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