PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas March 2022

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T he Conservatory on Two in Highland Park Village opened in February with hothouse profusions of flowers, DJ Lucy Wrubel setting the tone, and continuous refills of Cindy's Margarita — named after pal Cindy Rachofsky. The boutique's owner, Brian Bolke, describes this opening-night soirée to me three weeks before it actually happens, as we walk through what was then an empty construction site sandwiched between Chanel and the private social club Park House, on the second level of Highland Park Village. Imposing black-trimmed windows were the only clue that something beautiful was in the works. Like a meticulous set designer, he parses the imminent plans: terrazzo floors, ivory walls, black plaster columns, exposed ductwork. Apothecary and fragrances here, men's and womenswear there, home design in between. "This is the most personal thing I've ever done. I will own up to every detail of it," he says. If the new space reminds visitors of one of his previous retail ventures — such as the original Forty Five Ten on McKinney Avenue — or feels to friends like an extension of the home he shares with husband Faisal Halum, that's because it should. "These are reference points that are important to me," he says. Bolke has been rethinking retail in Dallas for nearly 30 years. Moving here in 1994 to work as a store designer at Neiman Marcus, he soon opened what was known as the first elevated flower boutique in Texas, Avant Garden. Later, he hit the national market when he launched the highly unexpected Forty Five Ten with partners Shelly Musselman and Bill Mackin — a fashion phenomenon that brought brands such as Alaïa, Marni, and Céline to the Dallas market and put Bolke in the international eye. He sold Forty Five Ten to Headington Companies in 2014 and shouldered the gargantuan task of building a 45,000-square-foot downtown Forty Five Ten store across from The Joule hotel, another Headington property. It wasn't until he left Forty Five Ten in 2017 that he was able to reflect and INSIDE BY DANI GRANDE. PHOTOGRAPHY REBECCA PATTON FOR BECKLEY. PORTRAIT MISAEL RODRIGUEZ. RETAIL ALCHEMIST BRIAN BOLKE TAKES US BACK TO THE GOLDEN AGE OF RETAIL THROUGH HIS NEW FASHION AND DESIGN VENUE, THE CONSERVATORY ON TWO. A FASHION MATRIX Adam Lippes gown and white jacket from The Row in a vignette with a Lalique table and chest at The Conservatory on Two 42

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