After a marathon flight courtesy of Emirates airlines, which incidentally is really very good if you have never flown with them before, we have finally landed in the gorgeous and welcomed warmth of Dubai. Ahhhhh. Well, first stop is the Dubai Mall which is still (we think) the worlds largest shopping mall? It really is exhausting walking around here as it is so enormous but you know how much we suffer for our Art. Here at Bloomingdale's they are asking us which side are you on? No, not in the same way as 'Which side of the church are sat on?' or 'Which team do you play for?' if you get our drift, but 'Are you up town or down town?' (maybe that has slightly worse connotations?) Here we have a largely stripey space separated by a 'glass' screen and in some places creating this faux perspective. It does look great of course but then these guys clearly invest in their teams to produce such a quality output.
Friday, 28 February 2014
Thursday, 27 February 2014
This is another department store which we could only skim passed as time hasn't allowed us to hang out here for very long but we did want to capture the zeitgeist of this city somehow. OK, well we've seen the Butterflies glued to wall countless times before but we felt that at least they had made some effort here to create some interest. What do you think? Its quite cold here at the moment so tomorrow we are off to the warmer climate of the middle east. It is winter there also but we have a feeling we will be like those lizards warming up on a rock somewhere trying to get some heat into our bones.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
We thought that we would include this tiny little retailer called Golden Eyes Opticians as we really quite liked the repetition of these heads in so many different colours. It is of course slightly creepy and perhaps a little 'Total Recall' but it is nonetheless great to see that even this store makes so much effort to show their wares.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
We were quite drawn to these windows as we saw them from a distance. A very simple scheme using neon lighting in various hand gestures in front of which the product has been placed. Sadly this is another one that we didn't have time to view in more detail but at least you get the giste of what they are about.
Monday, 24 February 2014
On our very brief travels around Dusselfdorf we did manage to find this Uber cool boutique; Apropos. Don't you just love these windows? Rather similar in style to Bergdorfs we thought? Anyway, showcasing there super new mannequin collection 'aloof' by Bonaveri, these ones have been covered in a mountain of different coloured birds. Great collection and fantastic presentation here.
Sunday, 23 February 2014
We included this brands store a while ago on a visit to Berlin. We have to say that the windows actually always look great but the interiors are quite dull by comparison really and appear like large airline hangers. Anyway, celebrating Berlin Fashion week Peek and Cloppenburg look cool, although the merchandise could have been rather more interesting, don't you think?
Saturday, 22 February 2014
We've never seen or heard of Galeria Kaufhof before but what a treat it is....;o) OK, well its not Harvey Niks or Bergdorfs but what a luxury these window spaces are. Most will kill for the space these guys have. We weren't quite sure about the content however and where these guys are coming from but we guess a little bit of fancy dress tickles the bits of the locals here? There is clearly a raw talent in place but there is possibly a long journey to get to the dizzy heights of the likes of Lafayette, Selfridges and De Bijenkorf?
Friday, 21 February 2014
If you have had enough of Euroshop then you can do no worse than have a quick look around the city centre here in Dusseldorf. This is the first time ever that we have managed to have a poke around to see what was twitching on the fash. front and we were actually rather surprised what it has to offer. Our previous experience of the city has been very limited and although we aren't going to spend a holiday here any time soon it does surprisingly have a lot of shopping places on offer, and interesting ones at that. Here at Eickhoff, we found this fantastic installation with these incredible faux perspectives and amazing merchandise. What our European neighbours don't really 'get' however is that shoes should be worn my mannequins not simply placed next to their feet (we're ignoring the mannequin groupings for now). It was a buttock clenching moment but we have to say we are surprised to see such a quality installation anyway in this city.
Thursday, 20 February 2014
This week just about anyone and everyone within the retail and visual merchandising industry from around the world has descended on Dusseldorf here in Germany for Euroshop. We are exhausted by the size of this venue and couldn't possibly include everything that we have seen, so here's an overview of some of the exciting bits.
What is more noticeable than ever before is how guarded everyone is about their latest collections. So much so that if you happen to be remotely Asian in appearance or perhaps working for an Asian company then the chances of getting onto some of these stands is ever thinly sliced. Sadly it seems, allegedly of course, that the experience of some of these companies is that within a matter of 'hours' their work appears on Chinese websites and up for sale at a fraction of the cost. We cant verify this as it is purely anecdotal evidence and there really isn't enough time in our lives to follow every single product shown here and neither does it interest us to do so, although simultaneously it doesn't surprise us either. OK, well design theft is nothing new and will possibly never go away particularly if one doesn't have ones own legacy of design history to protect, in which case why would anyone care anyway? Our own feeling with this is that if one is truly creative enough then another bus load of ideas will come along anyway so why worry; this is not said flippantly and we realise that it is very easy to say it. This blog site has also been directly copied in China, but then without the real critical voice how can it ever be a threat? It also rather amuses us.
It is of course frustrating when ideas and designs are stolen and of course this can generate financial ruin. In the meantime, while the theft of work is despicable sadly the 'Chinese' (as in the ones visiting here) are being very obviously excluded. With ever greater spending power, it seems China will become an even bigger force in the world and clearly determined to get there fast. The shameless theft of design and industrial sabotage is hurting us all and even we were faced with hostility by our own British counterparts Thankfully our Britishness (or probably Brutishness) got us passed the gatekeepers but it took a lot more of 'working the floor' to get there than ever before. This selective presentation of the latest offerings tarnished our visit even if we did see some amazing new 'things'. We will get over it of course, well, we already are but in the meantime it is an interesting insight to where we are headed, even if its just culturally as well as creatively.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Another scheme for London Fashion Week is rocking the high street right now; look at this amazing little gem here at Oasis. All the fun of the fair. Unfortunately what a still image doesn't capture is that the letters LFW below move up and down just like an actual carousel. Great to see recognition between Oasis and our lovely friends at Minki Balinki et al being recognised on the front windows too.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
If we had shown you these images without the name at the top of the page, would you have guessed that this was BHS? Certainly not. How fricking good is this brand looking; borderline Anthropologie we'd say, and you know how much we wax lyrical about that brand. The products look so desirable and so beautifully handled that we cant help but want to pop in and purchase a few bits. Job well done guys.
Monday, 17 February 2014
With London Fash. Week well and truly upon us it is particularly interesting to see this fantastic installation, a collaboration between Liberty and Helen Bullock. If you are not familiar with her work then do go and have a look at her site at www.helenbullock.com Great to see Liberty leading the way on the collaboration front too; its what Visual Merchandising is all about right now.
Sunday, 16 February 2014
We've only just realised that we have never included River Island here before but we were drawn in as the mannequins looked fantastic. Great to see this brand rise from the ashes from one which no-one would possibly admit to shopping to one which looks so good how could you not? We haven't been inside this brands stores for as along as we can remember but we will swing by now and take a closer look at the merchandise. Job well done guys..!
Saturday, 15 February 2014
Another great installation at Pull & Bear along Oxford Street here in the centre of it all. With references to sport and we guess in some way those broken new years resolutions this scheme and the brand itself are looking super cool. We particularly loved the props here. Clearly these guys have great manufacturing going on.
Friday, 14 February 2014
Thursday, 13 February 2014
Oh beejeezus, its the swinging bird cages rearing their heads again this time of year. Those are chocolates at the bottom of the bird cage, aren't they? Well, their saving grace is at least they are sprayed a colour, but come on guys, lets get something a bit more original going on? The best scheme we saw here was during the jubilee and what a corker it was too. It all just went down hill from there we guess.
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Oh F.....is the latest offering from French Connection on the high street right now. Wow, the guys here have really turned this brand around and what a F.... statement. Whatever could the 'F' mean we hear you ask? Well, F.... it who cares, these guys are looking FFFF....antastic, simple and doing what it says on the tin extremely well.
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
We haven't had a chance to look at this season full collection from this brand yet but they do manage their presentations particularly well, don't you think? We love the contexts that they create around their merchandise which captures the mood on the high street and where we would all like to be so well.
Monday, 10 February 2014
Sunday, 9 February 2014
Oh this brand is just the gift that just keeps giving. We adore this one tiny window here in the centre of it all as it never fails to either amuse us or impress us; in fact one of their schemes is in our book Visual Merchandising for Fashion. If you fancy getting hold of a copy yourself they are super cheap and available on Amazon.com by following the link here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Visual-Merchandising-Fashion-Basics-Management/dp/2940496129
Saturday, 8 February 2014
Thankfully it seems someone has grabbed this old brand by the throat and given it a good shake up. We were a little, well, not really concerned about the brand, but it was looking just a little bit shabby recently but 'Voila' great props, gorgeous colours and it looks like this brand has bounced back.
Friday, 7 February 2014
Good old Banana is looking slightly 'old school' at the moment; this is a good thing. We haven't seen props laid out on flooring like this for quite some time and it looks great. Of course there are references to their product which you can probably find through their website. The mannequins have been wired very well too. If you are not familiar with wiring it is a traditional technique of securing a mannequin in place without the use of base plates and which these days is usually the reserve of department stores or luxury brands; so very refreshing to see this technique in a global brand.
Thursday, 6 February 2014
How do you feel about this scheme? We're not entirely sure what we think, but then we have been spoiled recently by their previous interesting schemes. At least for us it is lacking a certain something. Ah yes, a concept. Come on guys this looks like all of the other generic brands on the high street and this isn't really the kind of scheme you have wowed us with over the past few months. Its was all looking so good too.
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Regular followers of this site will know how we wax lyrical about this brand, well, gush really if the truth be known, but then the we are also big fans of localised creativity rather than the one size fits all schemes we see just about everywhere else on the high street. Anyway, embellishment or application of the surface texture, in this case with the use of embroidery on the backdrop is something which we will possibly see more of over the coming months.
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
This is an interesting direction for this usually traditional brand, don't you think? And very welcome it is too. OK there are references to the historical with the use of the traditional frames, but how gorgeous are these colours. The product is perfectly focused too and therefore highlighting its importance in the scheme.