Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A spot of croquet for Jack Wills

I visited the Jack Wills store on London's Kings Road a few weeks ago to aid my research on my third year university project on lifestyle retailing. What really stood out to me in store was the attention to detail and little extras the brand use in their displays. A number of these were vintage wooden sports equipment, these two examples show badminton rackets and croquet bats.
For a brand that prides itself on being traditionally British always playing with notions of heritage and taste, they are very in keeping with the brands strong identity. They add a traditional, vintage feel to the store and have a charm about them because of their authentic, somewhat rustic feel.

Monday, 30 November 2009

The Wizard of Oz at Harrods

Department stores go all out at Christmas on their window displays and if there was a hierarchy of London stores Harrods would definitely be up there as royalty! This year the department store are celebrating 70 years of the Wizard of Oz. Each window takes a different element of the story and illustrates in a larger than life display. Examples above include the iconic ruby slippers, the scarecrow and Dorothy's dog Toto.
Rather than the windows just being a set of props, they cleverly integrated products from all of their departments giving each feature of the original story a modern and glamorous twist. My favorite example of this is Toto who is wearing a diamonte collar and lives in a Caesars Palace kennel showing that a little artistic license goes a long long way!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Christmas Trend Spot: Oversized Baubles

Christmas is always an exciting time of year in the world of Visual Merchandising and this years displays do not disappoint!
On a research trip to London this week, I kept my eye out for concepts retailers have used for Christmas 2009.
A big trend I noticed was the use of giant baubles; the examples above show displays in Topshop, Harvey Nichols and Banana Republic. What I really like is how each brands display, is a unique take on the trend, reflecting the individual retailers image and taste. For example, Topshops display uses very soft and metallic colours, reflecting the tones and styles of their key trends this season. Whilst Harvery Nichols boldness and use of colour are very different in comparison, it is entirely appropriate for the department store.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Feel at home with Joules

I visited the Joules store in Cheltenham last weekend as a part of my research into lifestyle brands for my final project. I really like the concept Joules have used of making the store like a home. Each area of the store has different props and fittings that reflect a room in a home, like in these examples above that use a bath tub and an ironing board. All of the props, like the stores interior are painted in very neutral tones. This enables the brands products to really stand out with their vibrant patterns and colours. The concept reflects one of Joules core values of being a brand for all the family and creates an enjoyable store environment for customers.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Thomas Pink Library of Shirts

This window display for womens shirts at Thomas Pink in Edinburgh uses a really interesting concept. Pink's tailored shirts in every style and colour imaginable are their signature garment. I really like the way they have used the idea of a library as an analogy for their shirt collections. Referring to it as a 'Shirt Library' and using a backdrop of assorted books communicate ideas of volume and collections that you associate with a library of books.
The composition of the backdrop, the mannequins with only shirts on and the text on the window, work really well together. The display promotes one of the brands signature garments in a fun, and easily recognisable way.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Trend Spot: Vintage Sewing Machines

These photographs were taken in three different retailers. The first is from River Island in Nottingham, the second, Topshop in Edinburgh and the third was of a display in a store called Tattinger and Marsh in Marlborough, Wiltshire.
This trend of using old fashioned sewing machines really interests me because with each store they have used the prop (or image in River Islands case)in their own way. The sewing machines obviously make references to garment production but because of the style of them, they also communicate ideas of vintage and the old fashioned. They appear quite authentic (less maybe with the River Island image) and suggest quality; two attributes that the brands want to communicate.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Reel Appeal at Jigsaw

I took these photographs at Jigsaw's Nottingham store earlier today. The window display really stood out to me because of the vibrant colours and sheer size of the cotton reels. They're really fun and the thickness of the thread really emanates the sense of Autumn and knitwear that is dominating the high street.
I like the way the mannequins are interacting with them, it helps to draw your eye onto the products displayed, especially as some of the colours of the thread mimic colours in the garments.
This display makes a strong impact and playing with scale was a big factor in creating this effect. As it is something often used in Visual Merchandising, I hope to find more examples of scale and proportion in the research I do.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Harvey Nichols Chalkboard

I took these photographs at Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh on the 14th of September. I thought the use of chalk to show the detailing on all the props was very unique and cleverly done. It really gave a sense of charm to a window display that besides that was very simple, displaying a range of products on props as though they were in a house.

The design works particularly well for a department store that has a wide range of products because they did a number of windows in this style. Each one was for a different room in a house with different products in, for example these images are of a females room showing beauty products, lingerie and accesories. Whereas the children's room was like a playroom with clothes and other products suited to that particular consumer range.
This concept really allows the products to stand out against the dominant black and has a playful character that is in keeping with the Harvey Nichols brand.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Topshop - You've Been Framed

I took these photographs in Topshop in Edinburgh about two weeks ago. I really like the use of large ornate gold frames in the display to give an added feature but also to draw the eye in towards the products. Frames were used throughout the store in a variety of scales, including in the window displays to create a consistency and to strengthen the trend. A very simple technique, the frames help to give a sense of grandeur and occasion that are integral to the trend the products belong too.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Juicy Couture's Menagerie

This display was a part of the Juicy Couture concession at Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh, photographed on the 14th of September. I really like the use of birdcages throughout the display to give the brand a feminine feel. The strong, modern tones maintained an edge of Juicys attitude, keeping up their strong image. Displaying one of the collections handbags in a bird cage was effective, giving the prop an added feature. Although using birdcages as a part of a display is not a new concept for fashion brands, Juicy Couture applied their own twist, making the props relevent for their brand.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Miss Selfridge's Faded Chic

These images are of Miss Selfridge's window displays at their London Oxford Street store, taken last week. I really like the worn and faded style of the props and backdrop used, as they complement the products on display, particularly the faded denim and washed out floral print. Using predominantly white allows the imagery and products to stand out. The painted brick work effect prevented the white from looking too bland.
The use of different height plinths is very clever as it allows each look to be complete with various accessories. Providing the customer with an idea of how to put together an outfit from the product range. It also breaks up the space within the display making it easier on the eye.

Monday, 31 August 2009

A Picture Postcard Summer at French Connection

I took these photographs of the window displays of French Connection's London Oxford Street store back in July. I thought the whole concept for the display was really strong, communicating the idea of summer in a youthful and fun way.
The postcard design helped to frame the mannequins and focus your eye on the bright colours of both the clothes and the beach balls. The display stood out really well as you walked down the street as it was completely different to the other retailers windows and filled the whole space with colour and props, creating maximum impact.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Londons Calling at Monsoons Childrenswear Department

I photographed the childrenswear window display in Monsoon at their Cheltenham branch about two weeks ago. Amongst all the shops giant sale signs and blank windows this display really stood out to me. I think the graphics of the London skyline are very strong and create the right balance between being sophisticated and young looking for the childrenswear department. The coloured areas of the backdrop suggest a colouring book style which reflects the audience of the product range perfectly.
I like the play on words with the signage "Monsoon Street" taking another aspect of London iconography along with the London Eye and other architecture in the backdrop. It adds another playful element to the display and of course promotes the retailers name.
The display strongly represents the key theme of London for this Autumn collection that is used throughout the product range in graphic prints. The three outfits on the mannequins in the display are examples of this, I have included an image of one of the t-shirts as the detail is hard to make out in my photograph.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Urban Outfitters Quirky Changing Rooms

I took these photos yesterday in the changing rooms of Urban Outfitters in Cabbots Circus, Bristol. The entire changing rooms were made of wood including the doors and entrance area. Black line drawings were used on all of the features of the changing rooms, including the door and the mirror to mimic elaborate framework and detailing.
The hooks shown above were my favourite, as they are quite amusing and add character to an otherwise quite neutral space. The concept is really simple which gave it added appeal as I often feel the simplest idea can make a strong impact in visual merchandising.
In addition, the design is very in keeping with the retailers quirky image and is appropriate for both their female and male consumers.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Topshops Round the World Travels

These two photos were taken at the Topshop flagship store on London's Oxford Street in March of this year. Worn and torn old-fashioned luggage is used a lot in visual displays, I believe part of the reason being that they symbolize both travel and a sense of the past very successfully. The luggage helps to communicate trends that encompasses either of these concepts and can be used in a number of practical ways.

In these two displays the luggage is used as a way of building up height and as platforms for mannequins and stands. This allows the product styled on them to be seen more easily by the consumer in a busy store where product displayed lower down may be easily missed.
I really like the use of antique luggage, on my various trips to discover new and exciting visual merchandising I will look for more examples of it being used. Perhaps by a completely different brand, or used in a new, innovative way.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Agent Provocateur's Striking Structure

These photographs taken at Agent Provocateur in Selfridges, London Oxford street, highlight the lingerie brands striking concession displays. I think the gloss and luxury of the black really complement the femininity and softness of the wire mannequins and the dusky pink, conveying the brands image well. Your eye is immediately drawn to the display situated next to the escalator because of the heavy use of black in a fairly neutral and pastel dominated lingerie department. However once it has caught your attention it is the product that gains your focus as the frame and heavy spotlighting draw your eye in.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Topshop's Summer Florals

A Topshop floral skirt is brought to life in this display, proving that a simple mannequin provides you with endless possibilities. I love the way the wings reference the floral print in the skirt along with the smaller butterflies on the wall behind. The three elements together along with the fake grass communicate the British summer floral trend that dominates Topshop's product range this season. This photograph was taken at Topshop's London Oxford Street store in March 2009.

Bergdorf Goodman Pure Indulgence

The window displays of luxury New York department store, Bergdorf Goodman, at Christmas 2007 were so incredible I didn't know where to look! Each window on Fifth Avenue represented a different element, this one I have chosen to show is Earth. The attention to detail was so thorough that an inch of the display had not be filled with something spectacular. The limited colour palette and stunning evening gowns helped to create a display that was luxurious whilst expressing the notion of Earth.

Urban Outfitters Homely Touch

This photograph is of the lingerie and nightwear section in Urban Outfitters London Oxford Street Store taken in November 2008. I love the use of hatstands, wire mannequins, picture frames and lampshades to create a very soft and feminine look. The display has a very old fashioned, homely feel, that works very well with their floral print and lace underwear and nightwear.

Anthropologie's White Winter Windows

These photographs are of two of the windows of the store Anthroplogie in New York City, for their Winter season 2007. I really like the use of the window decoration limiting the visibility of the homely scene in the first image. The repetition of the circular shape in some of the picure frames on the wall is also a strong concept. The second window is of an igloo made entirely of milk cartons. A really simple technique that is very effective in communicating a message of recycling and the idea of home.