Saturday, 26 January 2013

Valentino: Master of Couture Exhibition, Somerset House London

If you have not already seen this wonderful fashion exhibition of Valentino's dresses and life work then there's still time to get down to Somerset House in London to get lost in some of the most beautiful dream-like gowns on display. The Valentino Master of Couture exhibition allows you to get close up to some of the most sought after fashion pieces worn by icons such as Grace Kelly & Sophia Loren. Photographs and other fashion paraphernalia documenting Valentino's life as a designer and the craftsmanship of his work is ore inspiring and marks a very special social time in history. Exhibition mannequins are designed and produced by mannequin company La Rosa: The exhibition is on show until 3rd March 2013

Valentino: Master of Couture Exhibition, Somerset House, London

Valentino: Master of Couture Exhibition, Somerset House, London

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Top Drawer & Home Exhibition: London Jan 13

Interior design shows are an excellent source of visual inspiration for anyone working in retail visual merchandising. Its always great to see whats happening in the world of interior decoration to gather insight into the latest products and styles. At this seasons Top Drawer and Home Exhibitions at Earls Court in London last week there was treasure trove of textiles, wall coverings, lighting, decorations and interior innovations for you to admire...just a shame we couldn't take it all home with us! Top visual highlights include interior room sets by Eightmood and exhibition walls designed from digital photos by Lomography

Top Drawer & Home: Washing line example of textile prints by various designers at the show 
Top Drawer & Home: Eightmood Interior Design, inspirational home sets

Top Drawer & Home: Eightmood Interior Design, inspirational home sets

Top Drawer & Home: Lomography Analogue Printing, these guys do everything creative with film!

The Sale Continues...Converse, Fenwick & Hackett

The playful nature of these window concepts tap into the very essence of our British audiences' love of humour; even with the familiar 'sale' display theme. Sometimes I think to myself  its all been done before, but these sale display schemes are a little bit more tongue and cheek, each with their own quirky strap lines for you to enjoy..!

Converse, Carnaby Street, London - The Good Kind of Cheap

Fenwick, Bond Street, London - The Best Dressed Sale

Hackett, Regent Street, London - Alfred Hitchcock Film Style Windows with Harlequin Design 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sale Typography

In this bleak winter month it is a pleasure to see so many ingenious ways of presenting sale promotions in our stores. Long are the days from hanging a bulky red banner in the window and hoping for the crowds to pile in...visual merchandisers out there are clearly raising the bar in terms of capturing a more intelligent audience. I love the way Urban Outfitters has created a giant scrabble letter type shelf made from raw materials and how Camper has used a scrabble vinyl with the play on words with sale interpreted in different languages. Replay has used type in the style of a movie/cinema hoarding, whilst Calvin Klein Jeans have warmed us from the cold with their glowing rod lights spelling with word 'sale'. Grab a bargain while it lasts!

Urban Outfitters Oxford Street, London
Camper Bond Street, London

Replay, Carnaby Street, London 

Calvin Klein Jeans, Regent Street, London

Friday, 11 January 2013

Customisation: Street & Shop Art

Here in the gorgeously trendy east end of London, street art merges with independent customized shop fronts. Public and private ownership of the space is completely submerged creating a strong visual identity for the community of growing independent shops. This is a highly creative street identity connected specifically with this area of London, quite like the lower east side of New York...
Brick Lane Book Shop 
House of Vintage, Cheshire Street, London - Handpainted window graphics by

House of Vintage, Cheshire Street, London - Handpainted window graphics by 

Street Art Exposed; open gallery spaces in London E1

Kazmattazz, Brick Lane, London E1 - Customised shop front merges with the graffiti art on the walls and buildings

British Street Art, Brick Lane, London E1 

Monday, 7 January 2013

Topman: General Store Concept, East London

The Topman General Store concept has apparently been knocking around for over a year now. Designed to fit among the trendy artistic set within this neighbourhood of east London; Topman General Store could be mistaken for one of the many vintage or second hand design outlets in Shoreditch. An understated, hand crafted approach to window design profiles this concept store worlds apart from Topman's usual multiple chain identity. Inside exposed brick walls, reclaimed vintage furniture, graphic montages and hand made signage don the interior surfaces... not a whisper of mass production in sight. Filled with industrial look features such as concrete exterior, grey washed floor boards, chalk board signage and edited ranges of Topman product; this General Store concept redefines and re-positions this brand into a more intimate fashion elite market.
Topman General Store, Shoreditch, London

Topman General Store, Shoreditch, London

Topman General Store, Shoreditch, London

Topman General Store, Shoreditch, London

Topman General Store, Shoreditch, London

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Foliage: Anthropologie, Macy's, Ippolita, Cofrad Mannequins,

We all like being surrounded by nature; research shows customers are more likely to spend time in public spaces providing natural light or natural features, it must be human instinct. A return to greenery is a trend seen within the coolest store interiors hence it makes a big comeback for 2013. The more green leafy type of foliage the better; think moss, ferns, grass, giant leaves and living walls. Bring the outside in!

ABC Carpet & Home, NYC - Moss lined trays to display wooden dining collections, mixed with industrial metal wired props 

Ippolita, Madison Ave NYC - this new kid on the block jewellery brand experiment with a landscape of foliage framing the entire window focal piece. 

Macy's, Herald Square NYC - Shoe focal point with live plants under glass domes with metal bases

Macy's, Herald Square NYC - Shoe focal point, distressed mirrors complete the look by reflecting the table displays
Cofrad Mannequin Showroom NYC - feature foliage focal points, dried hydrangeas 

Anthropologie NYC - Dip dyed leaves suspended by gold thread. A simple example compared to the living wall in the brands Regent Street store, London. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2013: Digital Store Windows

Visual merchandisers are now challenged with both the digital and physical worlds of presenting product at store level. Most recent brand examples prove the more successful digital installations do not loose touch with the traditional tactile nature of window displays whilst incorporating future systems to enhance already craft creative schemes. However some stores seem to have entirely stripped their displays entirely of human touch; which ultimately disconnects the viewer with the product by keeping it out of reach by barriers of connectivity, sensitivity and reality. The major refurbishment at Macy's iconic store in Herald Square NYC brings the digital replacement of nearly all paper printed signage in-store. I am actually surprised to say it feels like a somewhat refreshing and instant way of communicating with customers, gone are the worn out dog eared hanging banners and crooked signage which haunt our early visual display days!

Barney's NYC - Electric Holiday, Disney Collaboration, disappointing series of flat imagery and illumination. 

Macy's, Herald Square NYC - digital screens and holiday themed suspended mannequins captivate a young audience

Macy's, Herald Square NYC - New Digital signage Michael Kors Accessories shop in shop, digital mixed with physical product.

Macy's, Herald Square NYC - New Digital signage Michael Kors Accessories shop in shop, digital mixed with physical  product.