Thursday, 31 May 2012

Graduate Fashion Shows, 2012

If you weren't at this graduate fashion show last night, where were you?  Students from Southampton Solent University (yeah, how amazing are these guys..!) showed their latest offering as part of 'Free Range' in this Uber cool area of Brick lane.  Presenting collections and utilising a range of fabric types (we particularly loved the laser cut wood accessories) they incorporated diverse themes from 'Immortality of Sentiment' to collections wonderfully named 'East meets West'. With a stunning show, it really does communicate how exciting things are outside of London. We only seem to leave London on a plane these days, probably just like so many other Londoners; so, it is refreshing to see Southampton firmly stamp their place on the Fashion scene.  These guys clearly worked incredibly hard to put this show together and it looks like Southampton grads. are truly rocking. 
You must also try and get yourself a copy of the publication 'Third Floor' too.  With contributions from the likes of David Downtown, Alex Knox, Rob Templeman, Terry Mansfield, Nikita Karizma......and well....ahem......Jonathan Baker. You simply must have a copy as part of your personal collection. Contact and order yourself a it right now.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Gant, London

With the Queen's Jubilee just a few days away, stores around town are nearly all sporting the Union flag (apart from a luxury brands who are clearly above all this malarkey).  Anyway, it all looks very patriotic and actually quite moving.  We don't remember an occasion that looked this involved.  Anyway, Gant has joined the celebrations also and looking very cool.  We love the Red, White and Blue street scene and the small showcase windows of course apply the usual dynamics.  Job well done we thought.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Anthropologie, London

We love the giant sunflowers at Anthropologie in their Regent St.'s store right now.  These guys are so incredibly creative and produce schemes which are just delicious, reusing, recycling and injecting masses of fun.  We could happily live in this store as it oozes the creativity we would love to see everywhere else on the high street, however the philosophy is quite unique with this brand and they always get it so wonderfully 'right'.  We are amazed that the brand is celebrating 60 years however as it is so vibrant and young but we know that they have the best people in place in order to maintain this.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Louis Vuitton, London

Louis Vuitton's new London scheme has arrived.....hurrah...!  Wow, well here you go, here's a snapshot from the amazing Maison along Bond st., and we have a scheme of levitating mannequins, spinning hoops and rabbits galore.  We love the gorgeous new colours of the luggage too;  we must have one.  We've been dying to see what the guys here would do next, trying on occasion to peer behind the blinds and here we have it,  Retail Store Windows at their very best. 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Asprey, London

New scheme coming from Asprey.......looking very exciting.  We cant wait to see the end result.

Market Day, London

This weekend we're searching and scouring for clients at the markets and looking for the latest finds and particularly the latest trends.  We've seen the chairs above at the coolest Cafes already in London and there are lots of these, so we're tempted to purchase a few of these ourselves.  We have also found tonnes of stuff that we will see on the high street over the next year from the reflective, shanty and just about every other trend.  If you want be at the forefront of it all, just get in contact.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Tods, London

Wow, we're loving Tods scheme right now.  These guys are going hell for leather with their recent schemes (no pun intended) and producing such wonderful quality installations which are also thoughtful, make sense, entertaining and still sell the product.  If you want to see 'how to do it' look at these guys right now.  All of the components of excellent Visual Merchandising are here together with the-massively-lacking-everywhere-else, a sense of humour.  Job well done we think.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Bombay High, Mumbai

Images Courtesy and Copyright Alokita Biswas

We have so few very good examples of store windows from India in our now enormous archive of images from the around the world so it was such a pleasure to see these little gems sent to us.  Clearly India is catching up to the rest of the world in visual presentation and actually this is a fantastic example of the theatre of Visual Merchandising which is better than most other places around the world that we have seen.  How exciting is this?  This beautifully produced scheme by Surreal Brand Solutions based in India is a clear indication that this country is rising rapidly within this area of design and that they really do understand the value of excellent quality presentation and how important it is to draw the customer in.  Anyway, if you want to see more of their work maybe check out their website at

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Laurent Debraux, Paris

Images Courtesy and Copyright Laurent Debraux

We're always fascinated by what artists around the world are doing as they tend to think in such wonderfully abstract ways. Unravelling this and understanding different ways of working is so incredibly exciting, don't you think?  The work of Laurent Debraux in Paris is one such artist that draws us in to take a closer look.  Optic sculptures in Acrylic and glass offer new or alternative methods from which we can develop new ideas for product presentation and narratives within store windows and in store visual merchandising.  We wouldn't wish to simply lift and place the work of Debraux into a commercial context of course, however understanding the thinking processes behind his work is a very good starting point from which to develop new methods and inform our own journey from concept to completion.

Alexander McQueen, London

We are always quite mesmerised by the schemes at McQueen as the guys here always produce such beautiful contexts, and within such a difficult space too.  The product as always is delicious, of course, although the creative hand of Laurent is missing here.  Please come back to London Laurent and work your magic?  This is the flagship of the world for this brand and we're missing the nuances and the edge that you produce.  So, in the meantime we have a scheme that we like, but want to love.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Smythson, London

After battering this brand for goodness knows how long, hands up, these guys have got this so damn right.  OK, well the handbag is the hero product, blah, blah, blah; however we love the context in which this is placed.  The beautifully produced drawings of the Palace and the Victoria memorial in a theatre-type scenario just works so well, right?  Well done guys for producing such a wonderful Jubilee scheme.  It looks brilliant and we couldn't wait to include it here to let everyone around the globe to see it too.


Monday, 21 May 2012

Hackett, London

It appears that Hackett have upped the ante regarding Jubilee Schemes around town right now.  These guys are getting it so right and we're always itching to see what they do next.  Thankfully these guys also have huge doses of humour which is definitely much needed on the high street.  With their nostalgic references (which one would expect given the subject) there is so much to draw one in and keep our interest.  How many other menswear brands are looking this cool?  Well none actually, these guys are leading the way and looking damn fricking good too.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Louis Vuitton, London

We're dying to see what the latest scheme from LV will be.  The blinds are down while these guys work their magic and we'll show you their latest completed installation shortly.

Christian Louboutin, London

If you haven't seen the current Christian Louboutin Exhibition at the Design Museum then you really are missing a treat.  This is such a fantastic show that we are tempted to go back again and take another look.  The collection of Louboutins products is absolutely fascinating, drawing on inspiration from Architecture, Design and the city amongst other key areas.  Footwear has been created from a wide variety materials from Bark to Fish skin and leather to metal; remarkable stuff.  Anyway, if you do manage to have a 'dental appointment' this week, then swing by and take a look.  We particularly love the virtually impossibly wearable fetish wear placed inside bell jars in a darkened space - stunning. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Damien Hirst, London

For some bizarre reason, while we've seen Hirst's work countless times, we haven't ever seen it in the flesh - so to speak.  We hadn't realised how enormous some of these pieces actually are and very impressive too.  We're on a culture mission at the moment, soaking up everything London has to offer and loving every minute of it.  OK, well this show is a little pricey but if you are in need of information, inspiration or just an excuse to get out of the office, then you could do no worse then pop over to the Tate Modern and see this all of the vast amounts of other Art works here also.  These are incredible places to top up on that much needed culture in Visual Merchandising on the high street, and consider how we can apply and build on what we see in order to erode the literal use of work like this that we see so much of.  What we mean by that is that we wouldn't wish to simply drop a Damien Hirst lookie-likie piece into the middle of a department store, but consider and unravel the thinking behind the pieces produced in order to inform our own design processes. 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Hermes, London

If you haven't been to the Hermes exhibition at 6, Burlington Gardens then why not leave work a little earlier today and swing by to be inspired?  The boss wont mind and we wont tell anyone if you do.  We've already visited this twice as it is such a wonderful venue and such an interesting story.  Also, being able to actually watch and interact with the Artisans here while they are working and making this product is quite mesmerising.  You wont be disappointed.

Penhaligon, London

We are really trying to be constructive, but cu'mon guys make an effort?  We love the product here but clearly budgets are, as usual, as tight as Greece's annual spend right now and 'voila', here's the celebration of the UK's moment of historic glory in a 3-d cardboard graphic crown; every expense spared and any enthusiasm communicated like wet lettuce surrounding a fantastic product.  The saddest words are always......'another missed opportunity'.  We doubt that there will be another Jubilee like this in our life time no matter how hard we are working on living for ever (although so far so good).  Therefore, unfortunately this scheme will be relegated to the history of one of the ones 'of how not to celebrate an historic moment'.  Maybe Penhaligon are saving their budget for an amazing Olympic scheme?   Fingers crossed then.  In the meantime, we're reminded of the work of Craig Damrauer who produces the amazing mathematical equations such as Love = Like x Like, and April = March + Optimism to name just a couple, although perhaps in the case of this scheme Fantastic Product + Cheap Scheme = Brand Damage?   Or, what we think + what we write = Telling it like it is?


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Boodles, London

Its such a shame that Boodles haven't really embraced the moment right now and captured the zeitgeist in their scheme. Apart from this vague nod to a pending remarkable event,  simply utilising what they already have in their windows year in, year out with a bit of bunting and a few graphics 'chucked' in is almost begrudgingly produced and is rather half hearted, don't you think?.  We're just telling it like it is  spoil sports.  Maybe they have a spectacular Olympic scheme pending? 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Energie, London

We love the graphics at Energie and Miss. Sixty along Carnaby St. at the moment.  This collaged effect of a combination of what appears like screen printing, news print images and silhouettes works so incredibly well don't you think?  This has a kind of Vivienne Westwood / Malcolm McClaren feel to it (although not as aggressive) but nonetheless really does make this end of this historic street look cool again.  It is a shame that 'they' had to put a mid season sale vinyl on the fenestration, although that's a commercial enterprise for you.  However, these guys are rocking right now and we keep coming back to see what they do next.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Hamleys, London

Hamleys has probably one of the most spectacular Jubilee schemes we've seen happening right now; and very impressive it is too.  The image above is made of, we would guess, thousands of pieces of Lego; bonkers, eh?  Do go and have a look at this little gem as it really is amazing.  We would love to know how many people worked on this and how long it took?  Also, how on earth did they get it in this window?  Incredible stuff.  Hamleys are going for it this year with this giant image of Her Maj' against the Union flag backdrop, rotating crowns and and this rather impressive graphic image of the Palace, making us proud to be British.  We can only wonder what these guys will do for the Olympics?  What an incredible year for London and the UK.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Jubilee Schemes, 2012

Well, it looks like London is notching up a few gears with the pending Jubilee and its related window schemes right now.  We're going to show you what we've spotted this week around town so far plus of course a few extra bits.  There are some incredible Diamond Jubilee schemes happening, and of course a few schemes which are a little more 'Diamond Geezer' than Diamond Jubilee.  Thankfully, these events are not only a time for reflection on where we are right now but also a welcome relief from the global corporate schemes we see everywhere else which plague us.  So......goodness knows what the rest of you around the world are doing right now visually?  Its all crown jewels, Union flags, congratulations messages and pictures of Her Maj' happening here.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Lanvin, London

The windows at Lanvin are always so difficult to capture well so we can never really do them justice.  However,  while we are not massive fans of their schemes, this one actually is probably one of their better ones.  Mannequins stood on giant wind-up gramophones in front of large mirrors doesn't shout very  loudly to us or actually make any sense.  Maybe they are so abstract that they are beyond our comprehension?  Well, no, not really, they just don't mean anything, although interesting on some level we guess?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Daks, London

We're not sure how we feel about the latest offering from Daks right now.  We want to love what they do here, but we're not actually sure if we even like it?  This is a difficult one to describe, apart from racquets and balls on a kind of Abacus-like structure.  Maybe the next one will have something a little more interesting or maybe they're saving for a Jubilee extravaganza.....fingers crossed then.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Etro, London

Etro have been producing some fairly interesting schemes recently.  Interesting in as much as they have been producing schemes reminiscent of tableaux very much along the lines of traditional Wax Museums, i.e. telling a story.  Here we have a kind of drawing room scheme complete with 'traditional' paintings and obligatory mirror above the fireplace.  However,  the difference here to tableaux is that the viewer would catch themselves within the scheme via the mirror and therefore become part of this impossible scene.  Unfortunately the angle of the mirror doesn't allow this here and therefore an opportunity is lost.  Still, these guys produce quality schemes (although we don't like the mannequins that they use)

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