Jonathan Baker M.A. (UEL), M.A. (CSM) is Course Director at one of the world’s leading centres of Fashion, lecturing in Fashion Visual Merchandising & Branding and is former Chief World Expert in VM for WorldSkills.org. He produces visual research for global retailers and industry suppliers, is a freelance VM and Retail consultant with clients in China, Russia, USA, Middle East, guest speaker for commercial events, Academic External Examiner and if that’s not enough is based in LONDON. Look out for our first book, Fashion Visual Merchandising, Winter 2013 published by Bloomsbury Press
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Is there a cure for pathological visual deja vu? Apparently sufferers of this condition are convinced that they have seen this stuff before - strange that hey? If you happen to be around Oxford Circus here in London this week, then please do be careful, its not for the faint hearted, those suffering from respiratory conditions or children under twelve.
If you have seen the Korean horror film 'In to the Mirror', you'll know what I mean. If you haven't seen the film then do, but what I am referring too is how some of the high street brands are eerily mirroring each other - scary stuff, non? OK, you're not likely to have your jaw ripped apart by your own reflection in these windows, and if you walk away from the fenestration your reflection will not be left behind. And no, you wont suffer all of that other shockingly spine chilling 'redruM' scrawled on a mirror, screams of "don't be scared mommy", or children with White hair eerily singing nursery rhymes surrounded with atmospheric dry ice, kinda stuff. However, you may well see the below, (please tick/delete as appropriate)
(a) Topman across the street reflecting the male version..ish of this window
(b) the reflection of the back of your head in your own reflection
Of course it is difficult to say which of these two brands produced their schemes first, however, just have a guess and tick/delete as appropriate:
(c) Neither Topman or Warehouse
If you ticked either (a) or (b) of course you would be wrong, but how easy was that? If you ever saw Armani Xchange's scheme in New York 2006 (image below), then that's right, you guessed it.....taadaaa, same concept, different city (minus glitter ball) and completely unrelated brands - chronic visual deja vu, hey? As with other chronic visual deja vu sufferers please allow me to offer you some reassurance that you are not alone. For now, I'll leave you with your reflections (if they're still there of course).
Incidentally, having had a cursory glance through Google, there is actually a cure for those of us suffering from pathological visual deja vu. Unfortunately it does rely on the 'multiple' brands being creative and communicating some form of differentiation (at the very least). You really couldn't make this stuff up, could you?
In the mean time, let me out of this psychomanteum, I'm trying to get my 'jamais vu' to kick in again.....again......again
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