Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Dsquared2, London


We have tried a few times to capture the windows at the new Dsquared2 store but the weather is so unseasonably hot and incredibly light here in London right now that it is proving very difficult to communicate the enormity of these windows very effectively.  These huge windows are stacked to the rafters with 'old school' speakers in which the product on very elegant mannequins are placed.  Looking great guys.



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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Dior, London


This is one of the better windows that we have seen at Dior in a long time.  Its looks even better when you see it in the 'flesh' of course.  With its large digital screen which shows a background although we're not sure of what?  The colour looks just right for the vibe in the city however.  


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Monday, 29 June 2015

Mathew Williamson, London


Gosh, we haven't looked at this brand in a very long time.  Well, hands up we are struggling to find something interesting to look at right now as literally everyone is in Sale.  The weather is strangely hot here in the centre of the world and while most of us are probably enjoying this freakishly warm weather (unless of course you happen to be travelling on the tube which currently is like wearing clothes in a sauna - we're not talking from personal experience of course). If we ruled London then Transport for London would be hiring some buff boys wearing only a hand towel (obvs..!) at every station to issue passengers with cool towels, and some soothing drinks, possibly drunk from a coconut with an obligatory umbrella? We are so not beach body ready but who cares if you arent either, be proud of your fidoobiders, flash your welcome mats and hairy backs but don't travel in the same carriage as us - please.  This brand is sporting a collaboration with Mehta Bell Projects and presenting an installation by Tsai and Yoshikawa.   


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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Scotch & Soda, London


While Sale time is we guess a necessary evil part of the retail process, it does annoyingly disrupt our rhythm in keeping you up to date with the latest schemes.  However, we came across this one at Scotch & Soda which we were rather drawn towards amongst the sea of Red.  Offering us a kind of market / holiday vibe the colours of the deckchairs and fabrics do look quite delicious and while the presentation is perhaps the kind of thing Anthropologie would do we appreciate the warmth of the tones projected by this scheme.  Oh but that annoying Sale graphic on the fenestration.  


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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Mulberry, London


We haven't been here in ages.  Well, we have been passed by of course but not actually stopped and captured this brands windows.  Sadly, with security so tight here in the centre of it all the windows do have a hideous security grille and jeez, how brutal is it..!  This is the kind of thing only men do..!  But that aside we do like the subtlety of this presentation with the use of the, are they sculptors' stools?  Well, anyway, the subtlety is in referencing the artisan quality of the product here which of course is so desired the world over.  To be honest we actually don't know if they product is hand made or whether there is a little factory in deepest China churning out this stuff.  Either way we know so many of you like to visit your favorite handbag so we wouldn't want to kill the dream.


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Friday, 26 June 2015

J Crew, London


Oh we do try to like this brand but it really is so bland (and over priced).  The scheme is great fun though and we do love the repetition of these lollipops which form the background although this store is the equivalent of listening to one of those instructional videos on YouTube; Gawd they are boring and flat (and yes we sometimes have to listen to those types of videos and they really do drive us to distraction).  Cu'mon guys, get some Glocalism and a smidgen of personality?  You are in the centre of culture and in an Uber cool vibe and this just looks like a whole lot of corporate blandness and we're just not buying into it.


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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Proportion>London, Stake In The Ground Time, London

Visual merchandising design company proportion>london, has put a stake in the ground to protect its creative credibility by taking legal action against Far Eastern copyists. It’s a determined move by its new owners to show they intend to protect the business’s valuable heritage and creative expertise.

Frustrated with their creative work being directly copied by Far East sources, Tanya Reynolds and Antonia D’Marco, new owners of proportion>london, put a stake in the ground during 2014 by successfully suing Chinese mannequin copyist Qingdao Deliya – trading as Global Mannequins – for breach of copyright laws.

A tough task, but one the determined owners will not shy away from, going forward. Sales Director Antonia D’Marco states ‘We will take future action against anyone who copies our designs. We have a team of creative artists at proportion>london whose work we must protect.’

It’s a problem that’s seeing the best quality producers – usually a more competitive bunch - band together to share information and legal teams to help protect the industry from copyists. In 2014, Italian designer Bonaveri successfully stopped Shanghai Chaunfa Mannequins, from copying and unlawfully selling its Schlappi mannequin designs. When it won its case, Bonaveri mailed the heads of every quality mannequin company in Europe and the US offering its help and legal connections to anyone who needed it.

To uphold its creative credibility, proportion>london employs 60 experienced artisan workers: designers, sculptors, technicians, upholsterers, tailors, and skilled craftspeople to create its beautifully nuanced forms. Extensive research goes into developing new concepts and shapes that follow retail trends and hit the market exactly when required.

Creative Director, Tanya Reynolds, states that due to the company’s Clerkenwell base being at the heart of London’s creative hub, it’s able to tap into embryonic trends before they go global, resulting in a product that is at the front end of the design curve for the VM industry.

For Reynolds and D’Marco, the need to protect the artisanal heart of the company is embedded in their creative DNA. The pair aim to put the authenticity of mannequins at the top of the agenda for both the luxury and value end of the industry. Reynolds continues ‘We’ve seen our work copied and we’ve even been asked to copy other makers work, it’s theft, and why would brands want to endanger the reputation of their product by getting involved in fraudulent behavior in mannequin supply?’

In a world where supply chain transparency is increasingly on the consumer’s agenda, particularly in fashion, it’s a valid point to consider.

D’Marco hopes VM clients will help share the responsibility when they consider where to buy their mannequins. The timing is pertinent, as heritage and authenticity are key purchase drivers for consumers. Might ‘who made your mannequins?’ be the next question asked by consumers of a brand, as clearer transparency is demanded out of supply chains?

All very well if you have the budget, you might be thinking, but D’Marco is keen to point out that proportion>london is market-level sensitive, with an ability to value cost-engineer product to suit every purse. ‘We can be creatively exciting on anyone’s budget, without compromising on ethics.”

Reynolds increasingly sees proportion>london’s strong creative heritage being used to support a brand’s story. ‘Our own company history and rich creative environment is something brands should tap into to support their own stories. We’re very proud of our company heritage, original designs and talented artisan workforce and the incredible work it does.’

In another fashion life, ‘fast and cheap’ was the accepted norm for both garments and the accompanying mannequin and VM support. But today’s consumers have changed; retailers who compromise on business values because of budget are likely to be viewed adversely by consumers who hold authenticity and honestly as key purchase benchmarks.

Reynolds and D’Marco are confidant retailers will take the issue of illegal copyists seriously.



Debenhams, London


Wow, we are mightily impressed by this scheme at Debenhams here in the centre of it all.  For a brand which is a little middle of the road, this is a very bold and welcomed statement and highlights that when the confidence in the team is in place they produce excellent Visual Merchandising.  In fact we have seen some real corkers at their Oxford Street store and this is up there with the best of them.  This 'White' scheme with highlighted product looks superb.  Please keep them coming guys and we'll keep including what you are doing.


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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Coach, London


We've recently shown you the latest scheme from this brand in Madrid and the application of a bit of Glocalism and Totemisim - key trends right now. Here in London, while Sale dominates much of the high street (as it does here) the brand have linked their scheme to, well we're not sure.  We often use this brand as an example of joined up thinking from their website to the store although a cursory glance at their website and we are still not entirely sure which campaign this relates too?  This isn't to say of course that the scheme isn't very effective but beyond advertising the 'Mans shop' and of course all men are either hairy-Neanderthal-beasts or camp-as-ya-like we just cant make the link.  A great fun scheme otherwise and brilliant props.


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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Jigsaw, London


You know those moments when you wish you had thought of a scheme before someone else did it, well this is one of those times.  The Argyl street Jigsaw store doesn't necessarily have the best version of this concept as we fleetingly passed their larger Kings Road store which looks mightily impressive.  If you cant make out what this is, essentially this is a version of sand painting although of course on a larger scale than those you may find on your holidays to exotic or just far away places.  Thankfully no camels are included in this design but the shade of Blue is quite delicious.


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