Sunday 5 September 2010

Max Mara, London

One of my favourite paintings in the world must be Jan Van Eycks, The Arnolfini Portrait, where the use of a convex mirror reflection in the background of the portrait reveal his (the painter) own presence. I do find mirrors within schemes a fascinating concept which have been enormously unexplored within retail design and visual merchandising. We, as viewers, are simultaneously captured elsewhere within the scheme in the mirrors reflection while the product acts as an instrument of imitation capturing the reality (at least in part). Our reflection ensures our participation within the scheme while being able to view the front and back of the fashion merchandise. This is the commercial angle. The perpetual image captured here at Max Mara with its intelligent use of tube lighting absolutely fascinates me. While figures are used as a reflection of oneself, here we have the addition of a mirror which also reflects us and thus ensures that we feel part of this scheme or at least a little more than we would have otherwise. If we feel included we are more likely to make a purchase. Interesting stuff. And we thought we were just looking at a box with a mirror in it.

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