Thursday, 31 March 2011

Rootstein, London

On Monday 4th April, 2011, we're going to launch our latest images from the incredibly cool Rootstein at their fabulous new showroom in advance of the VM and Display show here in London.  We've had the fortunate pleasure of viewing their new delicious collection, and just to whet your looks stunning.  What a terrible tease we are, but......just watch this space and we'll show you the rest of the images Sunday/Monday at midnight.  In the meantime, click on their website and just get licking your screen in anticipation.

G-Star Raw, London

G-Star have been doing so much interesting work recently that we feel compelled to include them once again on this site.  With their new 3-D denim these guys are really being so innovative with this every day piece of merchandise, that we would like a piece of it please?  If you have a look at their site, their runway show looks incredible.  Sadly, they never invite us so we cant give you this information first hand, however from the outside looking in, it looks like the bling and belt-and-braces denim is finally on its way out and something rather more sculptural is appearing on the high street.  We may have to swing by and make a little old purchase in this store ourselves as these guys are so incredibly talented, who wouldn't want to buy into what they do, hey?

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Illamasqua, London

We weren't very aware of Illamasqua until recently.  Of course the neon did bring it to our attention just a smidgen, and that's a good thing.  We really like the concept here which really is a refreshing change from the mass multi-presence global companies that seem to rule the world of cosmetics in just about every department store of the world.  It looks cool and fun and as exciting as MAC once was before Frank Toskan sold it to one of the mass multi-present global companies that seem to the rule the world of cosmetics.......etc.  We're not sure who owns you, but please stay cool and independent, if you still are?

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Diesel, London

Wow, we do love this scheme at Diesel right now.  Being such a fun scheme.  Mannequins wearing the latest merchandise offering from this brand are hung around multiple test tubes with various coloured powder inserted.  Incidentally isn't this "Mercy" from a Rootstein collection?  Anyway, you may have noticed that we only have close ups of these images?  The reason for this is of course is because of the recent riots in central London the draw bridge was up on this brand and so we had to photograph it though the grille.  But, anyway, we love what these guys have done and we're sure you get the gist of what its all about even just from these tiny images. 

Monday, 28 March 2011

Liberty, London

We had a good scout around this store last week and it really does look so good.  Everywhere is a visual dream, clearly thought through and the most wonderful merchandise from the best designers around.  We only wish we had the cash to part with to buy some of these things, but there you go.  Anyway, the current window scheme based on the Cult of Beauty Exhibition currently at the V&A.  According to the V&A site "This is the first major exhibition to comprehensively explore Aestheticism, an extraordinary artistic movement which sought to escape the ugliness and materialism of the Victorian era by creating a new kind of art and beauty". "It shows how Aesthetic artists, designers, poets and collectors promoted the idea of 'art for art's sake' and how the idea of the 'house beautiful' became a touchstone of cultured life."  Its so refreshing to see retailers (well this one in particular) supporting the arts the way that they do.  And always so beautifully produced too.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Alberta Ferretti, London

We weren't sure if we should include this entry onto the site here from Alberta Ferretti.  Its not that we don't like what they have done but the mannequins arm over the balcony was a bit of a shocker.  Clearly someone somewhere has realised this and its now corrected.  However here at, it still is rather amazing how little these brands at the centre of it all spend so little on the 'visual' aspects of their brands.....isn't it?  And this is a cheap little number, every expense spared scheme, right?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Vivienne Westwood, London

We love this scheme at Vivienne Westwood right now.  Stacked televisions or images of them can be seen at quite a few stores around town right now.  Vintage ones are particularly fun, rather then the glossy flat screened variety.  We had a quick whizz around this store the other day too.  The atmosphere is wonderful and quite an experience, although staff attitude is rather on the completely unfriendly side to say the least - borderline rude, we left without buying anything.  Still, we always like the product and sales staff come and go. 

Friday, 25 March 2011

Burberry, London

Wow, the merchandise at this brand is quite incredible right now and we are huge fans of it all.  Its incredibly sexy, desirable and we so want it...!  However, the legacy of the Burberry patterned-just-about-anything-we-can-print-it-on still lingers in the background.  We really love what these guys are doing merchandise wise but images of Daniella Westbrook dressed in this-dare-we-say-it motif and her lacking septum still haunt us rather than the brand heritage design that this brand seem to want to promote.  Could we ditch it please Burberry?  We're asking you not just as viewers on the street and flaneurs but as customers too.  We just don't like it.  Although we know our plea will fall on deaf ears (even though you read this site)  But, its no longer brand heritage, its simply our worst nightmare.  So c'mon, ditch the Burberry motif and lets see something exciting happening visually.  Maybe you need a new Head of Visual Merchandising?....;o)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Daks, London

There is something strangely romantic about this installation at Daks right now with their room and getting ready to travel kind of scenario which we really do rather like - strangely.  Possibly because the colours look so delicious in this scheme that it all just works so well.  It is a little unfortunate that the use of stacked suitcases happened all through 2010 so in this instance this scheme is completely off trend (come on someone, lets get reading those 10 Commandments of Visual Merchandising 2011) however we really are trying super hard to say kind things about this brands' schemes and to like this "innovative" approach to what they do as opposed to the "laggard" brand approach of what they have actually produced.  When one has seen this kind of presentation in a value retailer, isn't this a screaming-shouting-exploding-missile-of-a-clue that you've got it all just so wrong?  If not, we'll swing by and pick up several jackets for under a tenner please?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Alexander McQueen, London

This brand just never seem to get 'it' wrong.  From a Visual Merchandising angle of course we have the high Red gloss full mannequins with their dipped arms in Gold.  We absolutely love this look.  The merchandise of course is incredible although sadly the coffers don't quite stretch as far as this brand.  However, looking is absolutely free and we can at least enjoy the spectacle from a distance.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Harvey Nichols, London

Our sincerest apologies to Harvey Nichols.  We had to prise our new and very excitable intern off the windows when she saw the amazing Louboutin's so teasingly close and yet so far in your latest dramatic and theatrical installation at the Knightsbridge store.  We did try and clear up the smears and mess on the fenestration, but, well, ya was a bit like the Science Museum exhibits at half term.  Smeary glass up to a certain height on all the displays and you dare'nt touch any of them without forceps and rubber gloves.  Anyway, as usual the team have produced another incredible Spring-like scheme at this store with ceiling roses, incredible product, flowers and mannequins with the most incredible elongated legs and in the most delicious tones.  These guys just get it all so right.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Louis Vuitton, London

We happened to see this scheme at the store in Knightsbridge being implemented last week and have been drooling over seeing the completed scheme all week.  Small Golden bees swarm around the product here at Louis Vuitton, dripping its Golden liquid onto the floor of the window.  Of course this hasn't gone into the Maison along Bond st. so its such a treat to see different schemes at one brand at the same time.  Just superb stuff.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

There's nothing better than replenishing our visual resources for our commercial concepts than with a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Very often, as we know, if we work full time for any particular commercial brand our resources can become quickly depleted.  We're often working like battery chickens in banks of desks - possibly placed amongst the procurement department too.  And, we know the joy of that, don't we?  But anyway, with the luxury of a free afternoon, we managed to venture to view the new-ish and amazing Ceramics department with its historical and contemporary collections in this centre-of-the- Universe-Museum - how lucky is London to have this place, hey?   If you do have the opportunity, you must spend days and days here.  There is so much to view and we often visit the same historical exhibits which eventually become like faithful old friends.  If your boss wont let you out of the business for at least one afternoon a week to replenish your resources, then they are clearly bleeding you dry and  its time to move on to a company and brand that will support you as well as embrace your skills and knowledge.  Does one exist or is their way of thinking as historical as some of these pieces in this incredible museum?

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Swarovski, London

Butterflies are everywhere around London right now, from Selfridges to Smytheson and McQueen to Accessorize, this clearly is the trend of the moment - beyond the market stall installations of some of the major multiples.  We do like this brand (and we're not just saying that because we know that Austria is checking out this site on a regular basis, we genuinely do think they do some great stuff).  However, lets get bigger and even more exciting Swarovski, hey?  Lets push the boundaries even more.  You guys do some wonderful stuff, but could we see some drama and theatre too in your installations?

Friday, 18 March 2011

Diane Von Furstenberg, London

Its such a shame that this store in London only has such a tiny space for its window schemes.  The DVF store in New York is comparatively huge and they always seem to produce some incredible installations.  While we're not a fan of this merchandise we do like that the scheme has been designed around it and enlarged to fill this window.  We have the usual White high gloss mannequins in place that we have seen for quite some time at the various luxury brands, which of course are fine, although a little differentiation would be quite welcome right now.  But anyway, the larger than life jigsaw pieces are a bit of fun although we do hope that they'll invest in a bit of decent LED lighting soon. 

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Dior, London

For some reason we always feel just a smidgen bit guilty talking about  this brand.  We guess that because they are such an institution that they should receive a certain *, huge*, none* amount of respect  (*delete as appropriate), although quite honestly how many designer brand turds can one polish in a lifetime hey?  We do love the colours used here at Dior with these gorgeous palm back grounds.....but plastic logs.  Are we really reaching for the stars here?  Come on Dior, lets get a quality scheme installed in store.  Lets not even talk about the wiggy wigs on these mannequins.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

MCM, London

Eye, Eye.......MCM is not a brand we know a lot about although they are clearly rather successful and global.  This installation by Craig Redman celebrates the brands entry into Shanghai, China.  This does look very much like a Contemporary Asian influenced scheme and is huge fun. It is so refreshing to see such a different angle on store windows and really is a breath of fresh air on the high street.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Gucci, London

We love the colours of this installation at Gucci right now.  The latest scheme featured in the best parts of town is oozing luxury across the high street.  The window schemes here have become giant postcards from 1930's Firenze with their vinyl franked stamps, address labels and serrated edges placed on the fenestration and the postcard images forming the backdrop.  Of course we have the usual incredible merchandise from this brand - to the left stacked luggage with associated product and a group of two mannequins in their usual Gucci headless signature.  Our only criticism - the two females below have possibly been moved since installation of this scheme and not placed close enough, also the arm/hand are not in the correct position for this pose.   

Monday, 14 March 2011

Pucci, London

If you happen to be in Knightsbridge soon do go and check out the new scheme at Pucci.  Text inscribed and patterned plates in Blue and White cover the mirrored walls of this stores' windows in a repetition format of radiating forms.  A plaster bust form is placed behind the Silver finished mannequins and ancient European urns placed in front with the usual delicious merchandise from this brand.  A considered installation from a quality brand with we felt compelled to share with you.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Hermes, London

We just cant understand what is happening with this brand?  It seems that they are localising creativity, which of course we absolutely embrace but surely there are some quality assurance indicators in place with these luxury brands and that someone somewhere is looking at this stuff before implementation?  We don't really understand how this scheme got to this stage?  Ultimately, of course the responsibility is not ours so what does it matter, we hear you say?  However, as viewers on the high street and flaneurs, and  from the outside looking in, this is possibly one of the worst schemes we have seen this year.  Worst, not in the quality, as this clearly is a quality scheme, however absolutely worst in lack of concept and subsequent implementation.  We receive a lot of e-mails here at towers from a lot of companies, VM crew and so on which we always welcome,  although we are wondering if anyone will own up to producing this little gem?  Probably not?

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Longmire, London

Three words rocketed into our minds when we saw this scheme at Longmire - WTF?  Who did this?  We don't know much about this brand at all as it seems to have sprung up behind the hoarding of one of the jewellers clearly having a security vault botoxed - you know the one that was raided about 18 months ago and usually has big beefy men in very,very tight suits perched outside and with wires coming out of their ears?  Now, if that's not a deterrent to come inside to have a look at the merchandise, what is?  Just don't turn up on a motorbike with a baseball bat and latex make-up if you are expecting to get through the doors there.  Anyway, we came across these luminous Tulips the other day as they glowed across Bond st. like a scene from E.T. or Close Encounters......  In a way, this is not a bad thing at all, however, we just feel that the pieces themselves could have been an awful lot better.  It never ceases to amaze us how some luxury brands seem to churn out such hideous motifs in their windows.  There really is a knack to this, although thankfully, it is one knack which we have no desire to learn.  

Friday, 11 March 2011

Tiffany, London

There are so many interesting layers contained within the latest offering from Tiffany.  On the one hand we have a kind of biblical perspective of Adam tempting Eve (albeit with this gorgeous bit of jewellery) and on the other a kind of Surreal approach, possibly Ce n'est pas un collier?  Who knows?  We also have references to La Scala in Milan, however ultimately,  'Celui que vous preferez, nous sommes surs que vous apprecierez le spectacle.'  This really is a stunning scheme, although we're still rather concerned about the interior of this site along Bond St. as its probably as old as some of the references in this text. 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

John Smedley, London

Tucked away and working quite quietly, John Smedley never ceases to amuse us and often impresses us.  Their tiny store in central London have this equally tiny window where they always seem to manage to implement such interesting and/or fun schemes.  Here the brand have installed a variety  of spools of thread in a horizontal repetition format in delicious tones set against a White background.  The vinyl placed on the fenestration announces the arrival of Spring 2011.  We love the colour also, but could someone do something about the weather too, to match it?  

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Gant, London

We were really quite impressed with this latest scheme at Gant in London.  Prior offerings have been perhaps a little to out-of-the-manual and clearly global-type schemes.  However this latest campaign and collection from Michael Bastian really is very cool.  The films and collection on their website are so beautifully produced and have been translated into a window scheme so brilliantly, that we are beginning to have a certain amount of faith in globalisation of the high street window schemes.  We're not wholly convinced and definitely not converts however. We seem to have been going in the same direction for the best part of twenty years, although this is an interested direction delivered here.  Michael Bastion's "At the Hotel" is presented almost as a Jacques Tati film set - possibly "Playtime", as the colours are so perfectly placed in monochrome with hints of coloured tones.  We'll keep a distant eye on what these guys are doing and hopefully we'll see even more interesting concepts being blasted at us on the high street.

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