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In Transition

28 Sep

The leaves have started falling, the mornings are dark. I’m still gripping onto the last moments of summer with the senseless optimism of wearing sandals every day, but I know there will come a day within the next fortnight that the desire to wear a coat and a pair of boots will overrule. The shops are ready. Oxford Street is already a vision of cosiness and autumnal sophistication.

TOPSHOP

Coats have never been cooler.

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TOPMAN

A glimpse into the home of the Topman guy

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H&M

Intergalactic cool

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OASIS

A good yarn…

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ZARA

Painted ladies

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Selfridges Does It Better

7 Aug

Apologies for the complete lack of posts for the past few months. Besides getting a promotion at work, visiting New York and going to 4 festivals I have had very little time to scour the streets of London for great displays.

The photos I’ve used in the post were taken at the start of June, so it is no longer the current scheme at Selfridges. However, I felt that the scheme is so detailed and interesting that the pictures were worth sharing, nonetheless. Check out the window filled with My Little Ponies – my personal favourite.

Enjoy – I hope to deliver a fresh, new batch of windows soon.

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Think Outside the Box

20 Mar

A couple of weeks ago whilst popping to Harvey Nicks for lunch, I spied a striking scheme at the Knightsbridge Topshop. With a beachy, Talented Mr Ripley kind of feel to it, it merely consists of mannequins standing inside wooden frames. So simple, so chic.

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With the Zara at Knightsbridge currently under refurbishment, I then headed up to Oxford Street to get my Zara fix. As usual, a wonderful window – also featuring mannequins standing in wooden frames!

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Check out the Mexican sugar skull-style face paint!

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The late, great Harry Gordon Selfridge

18 Mar
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Harry Gordon Selfridge

Founder of Selfridges & Co., London

If you’re anything like me, you will have spent every Sunday night for the last couple of months cosied up in front of ITV’s first big period drama of the year: Mr Selfridge. Loosely based on a book by Lindy Woodhead, the series is set during the opening of the eponymous Selfridge’s store on London’s Oxford Street in 1909. The show entwined the fictional lives and affairs of the staff working in the store, with facts and history about Selfridge himself and the huge stir the store opening created in London at the time. I picked up a copy of Woodhead’s book (in the Selfridges book department, of course) in eager anticipation before the show hit the screens to broaden my knowledge of the man and the wonderful legacy he left behind. So here’s a list of my favourite HG Selfridge facts – be inspired!

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Selfridges in the year of its opening in 1909

Before the opening of Selfridges, ‘browsing’ was not acceptable in stores.  Goods were kept behind the counter only to be removed upon purchase – the concept of being something that you didn’t need was unheard of – ‘shopping’ as an activity was simply not done. Because of this revolution in the method of retailing, within a matter of only a few years, the women of London would gladly while away a whole day purousing the shops – as many of us do today.

Selfridge came up with the idea of ‘Sales’! His idea of selling old stock at slashed prices was totally new at the time, completely revolutionising modern retail.

Selfridge was the first to put toilets in store for customer use – encouraging customers to spend hours in store.  He did the same with in-store tea rooms and restaurants too; previously an unimagined concept, within months of opening the Palm Court restaurant at Selfridges was THE place for ladies to lunch.

Selfridges was the first department store outside of Paris to put fragrance and cosmetics at the entrance to the store. At the time these products were considered personal and this was considered to be a controversial move – now almost every department store in the world does it!

He coined the phrase ‘Business as Usual!’

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One of Selfridge’s window displays

And finally, to warm the hearts of any fellow VMs,

“Selfridges became London’s first store to employ a large staff dedicated to window decorating and interior display”

quote from The Department Store by Jan Whitaker

All vintage photos used are from The Department Store by Jan Whitaker. I highly recommend this, along with the Lindy Woodhead book Mr Selfridge. (below)  The ITV series is available on DVD now.

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The Shoe Carnival and other attractions

9 Mar

Roll up, roll up there’s a circus going on at Selfridges and the shoes are the main attraction! A window scheme with minimal colour – just metallic silver with jewel tone accents – puts the shoes at centre stage, sometimes with very humorous results. Some of the settings feature movement, with a steady stream of heels whizzing down the helter-skelter and a couple of pairs of trainers driving a go-kart wheel.

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Then round the corner on the Duke Street side of the building is a colourful window celebrating wool… I think.

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And round on the Orchard Street side (or, the one with the entrance into Pinkberry as I prefer to call it) there is a lovely Chloë retrospective, with information about the history of the brand. Check out those incredible wigs!

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Modernist Jungle

1 Mar

A truly original and fascinating scheme at Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge right now. Naturalistic props such as cardboard and wood are mashed with pops of neon lighting to create a post-apocalyptic landscape where fashion reigns supreme. 💜

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Year of the Snake

26 Feb

Although it’s a couple of weeks since the Chinese New Year, I just spotted this wonderful window scheme at Harrods, Knightsbridge. With a nod to the fact that the emerging Chinese market is keeping the luxury trade alive, the scheme features cherry blossom, dragons, bamboo and all the things we associate with traditional Chinese culture, and bathes Brompton Road in a bold red glow.

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Breaking the Rules

21 Feb

Whether it’s chalky pastels or acid brights, the one rule on the high street now is: COLOUR

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LUSH Covent Garden


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ANTHROPOLOGIE Regents Street
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TED BAKER St Pauls
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H&M Regents Street
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LIBERTY Noel Street

JW Anderson at Topshop

18 Feb

I snapped this pic of Topshop Oxford Circus at the weekend.

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The ad campaign images (which you can view online here) have been circulating for weeks now, featuring these 2 girls (?) with absurdly long hair. One of them reminds me of the girl from the Ring, the other of a particularly unkempt elderly Maths teacher I once had. Either way, it’s a bold look. Fantastic to see it brought to life in the window, though!

What do you think of JW Anderson’s new collection for Topshop? Did you bag any of the pieces? And more importantly, will you be rocking the Sadako look any time soon?

Windows to the World

16 Feb

I’ve discovered a handful of fantastic Visual Display blogs recently, so I thought I’d share a few with you.

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The blog by this Welsh-based creative production company showcases their current works. Features photos of fantastic window schemes for Topshop and Wallis, plus internal props and display pieces.

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Urban Glass Worlds on Tumblr
A Tumblr featuring plenty of gorgeous up-close photos of the lovely windows of London.

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Studio Grabdown
The team responsible for the incredible windows of Selfridges showcase their work on this blog. Inspiring.

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Really Studio blog on Tumblr
Really is a creative retail display studio based in East London, and their Tumblr gives us both a glimpse into some of the fantastic work that they are creating as well as some of their favourite display work from around the world.

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En Devanture
Wonderful photo blog showcasing the best windows in Paris – I love this blog!