Thursday, 30 June 2011

Liza Minnelli, Royal Albert Hall, London


Well, today was either Sale window schemes or photos of 'Pop Royalty' and well Liza clearly won.  This month seems to be teeming with invitations to shows and events here at http://www.retailstorewindows.com/ towers and, well how could we resist but to go and see the Queen of torch songs and other stuff, Liza herself when we had such amazing seats at the Royal (Uncle) Albert Hall here in London?  We're sure you will read all about it in the popular press anyway, although from our perspective, while the music was a little lounge lizard-esque,  it was great fun, great entertainment, incredible energy and a good old trip down memory lane.  How long can this incredible woman go on?

On the Streets, London


What is a PEDESTPIAN?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Red Border, London


For all those aspiring to enter into the world of Visual Merchandising, what a wonderful opportunity..!

Visual Merchandisers Around the World



We're always pleased to hear from Visual Merchandisers around the world and we often receive e-mails  of support, questions and thanks from a lot of you out there struggling with the 'system'.  The industry, sadly, can often be a difficult and solitary path to follow.  Low wages, no thanks, redundancy, the list  goes on.  However, there are also a lot of you who are soldiering on regardless and you're the guys who make the difference and contribute to the visual merchandising industry in a positive way.  We recently received these images from Australia from Nic Groom who is doing wonderful things on the other side of the world from London.  Nic, who moved from London to work in Melbourne, produces these really interesting schemes across enormous stores (we particularly love the wall of toast)  There are an awful lot of them too...!  88 stores across Australia and New Zealand.  Here we have a selection of Nic's installations ranging from a scheme called Time Flies and another inspired by feminine romance novels.  We are in a privilege position to receive so many message from you all out there, so please keep the images coming and lets all see what you guys are are doing around the world?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Harvey Nichols, London


Wow, if you haven't seen the latest scheme from the creative team at Harvey Nichols then you really are in for a treat.  As a special one-off we've decided to download our images into one of our on-line books in order for you to get a 'feel' for what these guys have produced.  The bizarre, the surreal and just a little bit sinister the guys here have created their latest scheme with their usual cool, informed and seemingly effortless (although of course it really isn't) style of working.  Always on the pulse, these guys always seem to get it so right.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Amouage, London


If you are around the Knightsbridge area soon, do go and check out the newest installation at Amouage.  This latest piece is a collaboration between the guys at www.KSHT.co.uk and our favourite artists Dallas and Angel at the DnA Factory.  Their latest piece, loosely based on Madame Butterfly is used to promote the latest fragrance from Amouage - Honour.  Hidden amongst the Rose petals and Butterflies are placed the amazing perfume in their gorgeous White bottles, just oozing luxury.  If you cant get to Knightsbridge you can always check the work by the DnA factory in in particular the link here of the work they produced at Harvey Nichols a few years ago is a real treat  http://www.thednafactory.com/harvey-nichols.html



Sunday, 26 June 2011

Inspiration Books, London

As part of our on-going review of our site and of course freely bringing you the latest and greatest from the visual industry in London and wherever we are in the world,  purely benevolently for the visual industry and anyone else out there who is simply interested, we are trialing these visual inspiration books.  Firstly, to see if the system works and secondly to bring to you, in one tiny publication some interesting visual information about whats happening 'out there' and where we are looking.  The book above is still quite raw, but thats work in progress for you.  Please let us know what you think?

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Gap, London


Is is just us that thinks the following, we wondered?  Do the children in this Gap poster look like they are blowing out smoke?  This is how this poster appears exactly as it is on the outside of the store on Regent street.  We actually walked around this image in case it was light bouncing onto it from the store opposite, but this is just as it is.  Strange, eh? Get your box of 20 Gapboro lights, Gap Slims, Chester-gaps in store we guess?

Friday, 24 June 2011

Cos, London


As Sale windows go COS are certainly one of the best currently on the high street.  Creating the scenario that any retailer would wish to view, Cos have done the job for us.  Fun, ironic and new....but lets get Sale time out of the way though now, eh?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Energie, London


These guys at Energie are absolutely rocking London right now with their schemes.  Creating and installing them faster than Gaga can change her outfits the team here are strutting their stuff with the confidence of a mega-brand.  With their 'air-con' freezing and dripping lettering spelling out Summer thankfully these guys haven't tarnished their installation with massive 'Sale' signage plastered on their windows, but maintained their scheme with a discrete 40% off placed just at the bottom of their window - thank you..!  We love where these guys are going with their schemes and fingers crossed they don't become so massive that we just see a large format graphic placed behind every scheme in the future.  Guess....watch this space.... 

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

East India Tea Company, London


We're so embarrassed mentioning this scheme again (OK not really) But regular readers will remember just last week we asked these guys at the East India Tea Company to get rid of their Black Plastic Bin Liner (home trash can liner for our readers in the US) rippled base and Christmas-gift-stylee-wrapped plinth, while teasing just a little about the pseudo fabric created figure in the background.  It seems our (probably unwelcome advice to go and view Fortnum and Mason windows to see how it should be done) has resulted in the below...taadaaaa...!  Fabric from previous pseudo mannequin / figure is now covering the base.  How versatile is this fabric, hey?  We're now just left wondering what kind of origami-like-thing-type-of-construction this fabric will be by next week.....watch this space....  In the meantime, please can someone else just go and tap on the windows and tell 'em, eh? For our part, we'll just keep telling it like it is.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Diane Von Furstenburg, London


We're not massive fans of this brand but they do what they do very well.  This store in particular has quite a difficult space to work with, being both narrow in depth, several metres high and beyond railings.  So, no easy task to be creative here.  Their usual style is to use the merchandise as the starting point for their installations, pulling on pattern and colour as the main theme as we can see here with the use of vinyl applied to the fenestration and then adding a bit more interest with stacked chairs to create that sense of height and therefore the pyramidal format.  While not necessarily the most exciting scheme in the world, it does what is says on the tin.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Hackett, London


Its all about 'Sale' around town.  Red % off signs are dominating the majority of store's windows right now, which of course is the standard approach.  We're always on the look out for the latest and greatest and someone who's doing something just that little bit different.  OK, well Sale time is an inevitable consequence of the industry that we are in, however it is so refreshing to see a company do something just that little bit different.  Here at Hackett the guys are clearing out the old stuff but showing us a teasing glimpse of whats to come.  How fab is that, eh?  We've never seen this combination before (and we've been looking at this stuff a long time) so this is a refreshing and welcome strategic approach.  When we did look through the sneak peek camera lens,  almost like naughty school boys looking through the dormitory key hole,  whatever it is behind it wasn't actually working at the time when we looked (but it is now) This was a real shame as we were really excited and drawn in to see what was going to be revealed.  However thankfully we've been sent a copy for you to view.  We love what these guys do, this is quite a leap forward, something which is great fun and to be celebrated too.


video

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Vertu, London


Hey Vertu, your sign has fallen off.

New and Lingwood, London


We don't often venture along Jermyn St. although so much of central London is going through a period of deconstruction and subsequent reconstruction and everywhere it seems is impossible to get to and from.  And all for an Olympics games, to which we are unable to obtain tickets.  Anyway, we really, really want to love this scheme here at New and Lingwood as the colours of the merchandise and the neon Ice Creams are great fun and almost edible.  Unfortunately the dressing....and we are trying to be diplomatic here....leaves a lot to be desired.  This is such a shame and we just want to climb into this space and give these guys a hand.  Great merchandise + great potential fun +terrible presentation = No customers.  Great merchandise + superb presentation = A wider range of customers.  Simples, eh?

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Lanvin, London


We quite like the newest scheme here at Lanvin at the moment although it is reminiscent of their scheme that we saw at their Paris store in January earlier this year.  We're not quite sure about these wiggy looking wigs however.  Some are OK although the Brown wig at the back of the top image has hair tucked inside the wig which makes it appear as if it has fallen or been taken off at some stage and replaced incorrectly?  These were also quite difficult windows to capture because of the cars parked outside, but still, great product and very cool brand.

Friday, 17 June 2011

East India Tea Company, London


The guys at the East India Company are ones we've been watching for a while.  They do produce some great window schemes with the limited product that they have and all of the dynamics are there.  However, we do have to mention the Black plastic bin liners that they have used here and....well.....while we are trying to be our usual diplomatic selves (yeah right), the boxes and floor panels covered in Black plastic bin liners with faux mannequins are just making you look like a suburban independent.  Cu'mon guys sort it out?  If you are not sure what to do with your product, just go and have a look at Fortnum's and see how its done?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Tiffany, London


This is such an interesting scheme at Tiffany right now, don't you think? 
We also came across a very interesting site recently called anthroposts.com Anthroposts is a site dedicated to notes, well actually Post-it notes to be be precise that were left abandoned, thrown away, or just discarded when they had served their use and then collected by the author who placed them on the site.  As the site says, "The notes comment on contemporary life". "They speak to a heightened pace, which leaves many feeling so pressed for time that we turn to lists and notes to help us make the most of it, to be efficient and organized." [And] "When collected from the street they speak to the ease with which we pollute, one of the many (arguable) consequences of consumerism."  The majority of the post-it's are of course as one would expect local to the author and therefore have a US bias.  However, it is fascinating to read some of the messages that we write to ourselves.  A lot of the notes simply contain seemingly random numbers, some shopping lists and addresses.  The site makes sense of these as "urban artefact's, that hold something interesting for those willing to look".  "Not only do they document a moment in a stranger but they hold something of the stranger them self: the way they write, how they capture ideas".  Really fascinating stuff.  The site also begins to make connections between Colour, Complexity and commonly used words.  Although the scheme currently at Tiffany may not have possibly been developed from this perspective, it is really interesting to read the private notes of others even when it just doesn't feel right and we know that we shouldn't (although can).  Reading the notes in these windows does emotionally feel is as if we are prying into the private lives of unknown others out there, although as the curious animals that we are, we are compelled to look and read them nonetheless.  As these notes at Tiffany are placed within this context, it is, perhaps, as if we are granted permission to read them even if we feel we shouldn't, but perhaps we simply glance and acknowledge them while making a connection with them? After all, we've all written something similar to these, haven't we?  There is an interesting response with in us that while we felt it was not OK to read these notes, we do, and then somehow are drawn into the personal lives of albeit fictitious 'others'.  Of course, perhaps what is happening is that we feel a closer bond to the brand itself for letting us in on something so apparently private?  Clever stuff.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Melcom, Ghana

Image Courtesy and Copyright Raj Nakar

Did anyone know that Ghana has a department store and visual merchandisers too?  This is such interesting news to us, and quite unexpected, actually somehow bizarre.  We had always understood that this area of the world was still developing, however it transpires that Melcom is actually quite a large company selling around 15,000 products.  Apparently Africa will be the next consumer society and therefore wise to keep an eye on whats happening here.  Under the creative eye of Raj Nakar who kindly sent us these images, who also has an incredibly visual blog http://rajeshnakar.blogspot.com which we think you should check out.  Raj has clearly been working hard to put Ghana on the visual map and we have to support these kind of guys working in isolation and forging ahead in Visual Merchandising simply because they love what they do. 

Image Courtesy and Copyright Raj Nakar

Guess, London


We have been quite moved by the headline from the BBC here in London that "Two women have admitted leaving the corpse of a dead grandmother unburied at their home for up to six months while one of them kept her benefits".  "The body of Olive Maddock, 95, was left in a bedroom at the house in Wirral by daughter Olive Hazel Maddock, known as Hazel, and granddaughter Jasmine, 35...... Mrs Maddock's remains were found at the home she then shared with her daughter and granddaughter on Saltburn Road in Wallasey, Wirral".   To us, and we are sure the majority of you reading this, to ever even momentarily consider doing something like this is beyond being despicable and certainly just incomprehensible?  How desperate could these women have been to do this to a 95 year old woman and what kind of monstrous people could they possibly be?  Certainly detached, definitely uncaring and as reported in the UK 'popular' press..."scroungers".  If you are translating this, as we know a lot of you do, the dictionary definition of scrounger is   "To seek to obtain something by begging or borrowing with no intention of reparation". 

These seriously documented situations keep us awake at night time.

Can you ever imagine being faced with this kind of situation other than in a press report?  We do often try to make links between the everyday/zeitgeist and what is happening in presentation on the high street as this kind of information is so difficult to find, as are the connections, therefore we do feel that if we don't write it, who will? That said in a strange twisted course of fate we are also haunted by, without intent to lighten the situation, the scheme here at 'Guess' along Regent St.  We did mention the use of these large crates a while ago when they were used at French Connection (and various other retailers) and how coffin-like they are.  Death is a taboo subject in window display, as are religious and political connotations and links.  If you are going to do it, then be prepared to stand up and defend it.  We mentioned a similar-type scheme at G-Star Raw last week and their hanging corpse-like bust forms.  Just don't do it.  Or, at least do it and have a bloody good reason for it because everyone will jump on it and want to know why?  And it will, no doubt backfire on you.  'Guess' can attempt to be subtle, but this scheme screams Boxing Helena (1993) to us and therefore just down right creepy.  Think these things through guys.  We know you read this site so just check back and see the French Connection article we wrote months ago.  This scheme may be right from your office thousands of miles away from London but its just not right for London.  Either get it right from your offices far away or localise your creativity that can react to whats happening in each city or at least country.   We just cant understand why you always get it so wrong?  (actually we do)

DnA Factory, London

Image courtesy and Copyright theDnAfactory
Here at www.retailstorewindows.com we're excited to announce the launch of the first in a series of collaborations between The New English and theDnAfactory with 'These Treasures Held Near', Princess Tea Cup and Saucer.  Hand finished in the finest bone china with 22 carat Gold handle and rims. Each are numbered and sold in a special presentation box set and with just an edition of 100 available to purchase direct from The New English for the sum of £150.00 inclusive of VAT  (P and P not included) you must get yours now.   To order  yours contact Paul@thenewenglish.co.uk or telephone : +44 (0) 1782 373469.  Credit cards are accepted with Ref : theDnAfactory / Princess 1
"Made with love in England".  "The New English combine a 250 year legacy of traditional Ceramic manufacturing techniques,  with the finest materials and the brightest of contemporary design talent,  standing out in a world dominated by sameness,  proudly defending the idea that quality is not the exclusive preserve of the conservative"  For more information about The New English do have a look at their site at  www.thenewenglish.co.uk
For more information about our gorgeous friends at theDnAfactory and this limited edition product just get in contact with Dallas or Angel at : info@thednafactory.com

Monday, 13 June 2011

Quicksilver, London


We were quite wowed by the latest scheme at Quicksilver.  We never look at this brand ordinarily as they don't do very much visually, so we were quite pleasantly surprised to view this latest installation at their Regent St. store.  It is following the trend that we have seen at a lot of retailers this year with this suspended merchandise, market-look.  Although, with their illuminated large format graphic and hard hitting yet poignant slogan "Don't destroy what you came to enjoy" this scheme is really quite interesting.  OK, well we wouldn't have used mannequins in a Black finish and the merchandise and the mannequin itself are not illuminated so they are rather lost in the scheme, although surely this is the point of putting it there in the first place?  Anyway, it is interesting to see this brand be rather more creative than usual so we'll keep an eye on them from a distance.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

For all Mankind, London


We're not sure who produced the schemes here but this one is a corker.  For such a difficult space (open backed) the guys here really do make an effort to install such interesting things.  Here we have what appears to be an Abstract piece of Art work forming the backdrop and a painted armchair, guitar, books, a camera and hangers.  All in the same tones as the merchandise.  The merchandise itself is not particularly interesting although they are making an effort and that needs to be applauded.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Energie, London


These guys have been producing some really fun schemes recently.  We saw the giant blinking eye balls a while back and and their latest offering is these cut-out Black and White drawn faces with outrageously large moustaches which is great fun too.  This is such a simple scheme which illustrates that one doesn't always need lavish budgets to produce something that is quick and effective across multiple sites.  

Friday, 10 June 2011

Alfred Dunhill. London


We're not sure who produces the schemes at Dunhill and particularly at this site next to Fortnum and Mason, however these guys always seem to produce such wonderful quality schemes.  Someone here knows all of the product dynamics and all the rules of window presentation as they always seem to get it so right.  Quietly working away and doing what they  do we are very intrigued to know who does these?  Does anyone know?

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Esprit, London


We're loving this new promotion at Esprit through their window scheme, although we cant find anything linking this on their website?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Anthropologie, London


Anthropologie are still very much rocking the London visual scene and we can never resist but to pause and take a look at what these guys are doing.  Post repetition cork scheme we have this suspended embroidery-frame-like-structure surrounding the merchandise and beckoning us into their commercial space.  We are inspired by the brand philosophy but as we have commented before, the bust forms are just not right.  Cu'mon guys, check out Proportion>London or Panache and have a look at their incredible bust forms with articulated arms.  We know you don't want to be 'All Saints' but
you can create a wonderful sense of movement rather than just incredible props and environment with quite nice merchandise attached dressed on bust forms which are completely static.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Selfridges, London


We'll avoid saying that there's something a bit fishy going on at Selfridges right now.  But, wow, what an awe inspiring scheme.  While dodging the tourists and practising our 'umbrelletiquette' in the pouring London rain (nothing new there then) these windows are just incredible to experience.  With heaps of interactivity, information, entertainment but with a serious message, Selfridges remains at the heart of the industry and draws on the historical references of what department stores are all about, although, not dragged but leading the way through the 21st century.  No wonder this place is always so busy when they clearly get it all so right.


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