What's in Store: Achilles

By Rachel Baker | Boston Magazine |

If looks could kill, the highly anticipated debut would knock ‘em dead. Unfortunately, it deals in clothing, not design.

For the Achilles Project, the goal is clear: a younger, hipper take on fashion stalwart Louis Boston. Opening nearly five months after its intended launch, the Fort Point Channel restaurant-boutique hybrid is trying hard to make good with its dream customer, who appears to have lots of cash, little back fat, and an eye for aesthetics. The retail space, called Achilles (the restaurant goes by Persephone), is impressive, with fine design details that help explain what took so long for the doors to open. Arty clothing and accessories are beautifully curated inside custom-built cases that stretch to meet the loftlike ceilings. Flat-screen TVs perch in the rafters, some showing kitschy kung fu, others reserved for Wii and Guitar Hero, which customers are encouraged to play while sipping martinis and waiting for a runner to fetch their size (in a gallery-esque maneuver, only one of each garment is on display).

But while the place looks pretty, actually buying anything is a challenge. In the women’s section, exclusive clothing from Opening Ceremony, Rachel Roy, and Acne—cutting-edge and stunning—would surely devastate on size 2 hipster waifs and models, yet it’s hard to imagine the ultraskinny jackets and hide-nothing dresses on even marginally larger frames. And those slivers of well-constructed fabric aren’t cheap, as dresses often run up to a grand or more, and jackets hover around $600—steep for most of the hipster waifs and models we know. What’s more, much is slightly outdated, since the store is still stocking coats, knitwear, and sparkly holiday pieces ordered in anticipation of its October debut.

So, though the vibe is cool—and the martinis a nice twist, to be sure—for Achilles to take flight, it has some learning to do. And some size 8–friendly styles to stock.

283 Summer St., South Boston, 617-423-2257, achilles-project.com.

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2008/03/what-s-in-store-achilles/