Fresh from working with Eric Raisina, long-term expat and resident fashionista Christine Gleizes has gone solo and opened her own concept store called Christine’s, above the Laundry Bar.
The stylish shop is in an open-plan former apartment, with huge ceilings, polished wooden floors and a spacious airy feel. Walking up the wooden stairs into the large, white room, it definitely feels very different from an average Temple Town boutique – more like something you’d find in the French colonial quarter of Ho Chi Minh City, or Paris.
Gleizes, who used to be Eric Raisina’s assistant manager and once worked for the Conran Shop in Paris, says she always wanted to have her own shop.
“I loved working with Eric,” she says, “I loved the universe of Eric, the design, but I decided to stop. I wanted another challenge. A long time ago I decided I would like to open something, I wanted a shop but with charm, and not in a simple building. My idea was a shop in an apartment. “
Christine’s sells a range of jewellery, clothes and fashion accessories by designers as far flung as Vietnam, Italy, Senegal and Sweden. There are delicate gold and suede rings by French Vogue favourite Alexandra Margnat, fantastical false eyelashes from London brand Paperself and kitsch, vintage-style postcards and bags by Parisian Nathalie Lété. Not forgetting home-grown fashion designers such as Mitsou and Sirivan, who both have new collections at Christine’s.
Overall, the feel is quirky and colourful yet chic – from bright silk scarves by Onikann to oversized berry-like ‘bubble jewellery’ from Phnom Penh boutique Waterlily, plus a range of scented candles by French company Fariboles.
Drawing on her years of experience working in the fashion, textile and furniture design industries – including a two year stint with French/Senegalese designer Aissa Dione in Dakar – Gleizes says she chose products based on designers she admired and who were her inspiration.
“I researched many designers on the internet and then I made a selection,” she says. “For me it’s very important to feel a connection with the product and the designer, because if I don’t like the product, it’s not possible for me.”
The boutique also a small room off to the side to be used for exhibitions that will change every couple of months. Currently there is a collection by Waterlily, including button-studded clutch bags, and a bright red fascinator. This will be displayed until the end of this month.
Gleizes expects her client-base to be expats and tourists, but hopes to also attract Cambodian customers. She also plans to introduce a range of men’s accessories.