NATURE THE GODDESS – WINTER

white frost on the trees in winter

WE MAY HAVE MANY GODS

But we should have one Goddess and it should be the nature. Inspiring and unique images full of shapes, scents, colours and sounds are like free gifts undervalued, invisible, unnecessary. Nature gives back what has received. It is either going to be a dull, destructed life, with no spirit and hope or the utopian version of it. Do take care of your Goddess, always where ever you are.

WINTER AND THE WHITE FROST

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

THE ARCHITECTURE OF DUBLIN

Dublin-architecture

LOOK UP AT THE ARCHITECTURE OF DUBLIN

Only recently I started to pay more attention to the Dublin’s architecture and the facades of the buildings even though I have been living here for many years now. It is hard to keep the head up when walking through Dublin’s streets as they are very active and busy most of the time. When in town we all have to pay more attention to what’s in front of us rather than what’s above us.

Heads up when in Dublin!

 

 

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

HISTORY AND THE EVOLUTION OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

EVOLUTION OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING THROUGH THE HISTORY OF EUROPE AND AMERICA

  • THE FIRST AWARENESS OF SOPHISTICATED MARKETING TECHNIQUES, 1780
  • VICTORIAN STORE
  • Kansas, 1872
    Kansas, 1872
  • Soho, London, 1883
    Soho, London, 1883
  • LE BON MARCHE, PARIS, 1838
    LE BON MARCHE, PARIS, 1838
    THE ARRIVAL OF DEPARTMENT STORES
  • TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS DEPARTMENT STORES TO USE PLATE GLASS WINDOWS, MACY'S, NY, 1862
  • Paris, 1912
    Paris, 1912
    EUGENE ATGET DOCUMENTS PARISIAN WINDOWS LATER INSPIRATION FOR SURREALIST ARTISTS
  • Paris, 1912
    Paris, 1912
  • The customer is always right
    The customer is always right
    HARRY GORDON SELFRIDGE BRINGS RADICAL CHANGES TO THE MARKETING TECHNIQUES IN THE STORES, 1890
  • High Street, England, 1895
    High Street, England, 1895
  • Selfridges Store, 1909
    Selfridges Store, 1909
    REVOLUTIONARY METHODS OF DISPLAY AND MARKETING
  • Selfridge Store, London, 1909
    Selfridge Store, London, 1909
    SELFRIDGE MARKETING METHODS ARE SPREAD ACROSS EUROPE
  • Pierre Imans, 1920's
    Pierre Imans, 1920's
    LEADING MANNEQUINS MANUFACTURE
  • 1920's wedding dresses display
    1920's wedding dresses display
  • Berlin, 1925
    Berlin, 1925
    WERTHEIM DEPARTMENT STORE
  • WASHINGTON D.C. 1928
    WASHINGTON D.C. 1928
    WINDOW DISPLAY FOR ATWATER KENT RADIOS
  • MODERNISM MOVEMENT ARRIVED IN AMERICA, SAKS STORE, NY, 1929
    MODERNISM MOVEMENT ARRIVED IN AMERICA, SAKS STORE, NY, 1929
  • HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR INFLUENCED WINDOW DISPLAY,  1920-1930's
    HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR INFLUENCED WINDOW DISPLAY, 1920-1930's
  • 1930's
    1930's
    ELECTRICITY ALLOWED TO LIGHT UP WINDOWS AT NIGHT TIME
  • BONWIT TELLER COMMISSIONED SALVADOR DALI TO PRODUCE SERIES OF WINDOW DISPLAY, 1936
  • SALVADOR DALI WINDOW DESIGN, BONWIT TELLER, 1936
  • Berlin, Germany, 1933
    Berlin, Germany, 1933
    WWII - EUROPE IN CHAOS
  • 1950's Desirable Life Style
    1950's Desirable Life Style
    FUTURE HOMEMAKERS, STYLE EQUALS FUNCTION
  • New York, 1950's
    New York, 1950's
    AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN CREATES MASS CONSUMPTION
  • ANDY WARHOL BRINGS FRESH IDEAS TO WINDOW DISPLAY, BONWIT TELLER, NY, 1961
  • ARTIST JASPER JOHN'S WORKS AS WINDOW DRESSER, BONWIT TELLER, NY
  • NEW CONCEPT - LIVE MODELS IN WINDOW DISPLAYS, 1970's
  • Biba Store, London, 1973
    Biba Store, London, 1973
  • 1980's Funk
    1980's Funk
    POSTMODERNISM, WINDOW DISPLAYS INFLUENCED BY ELECTRONICS
  • Late 1980's
    Late 1980's
  • Hermes, 1993
    Hermes, 1993
  • Hermes, 1995
    Hermes, 1995
  • Hermes, 1996
    Hermes, 1996
  • Hermes, 2002
    Hermes, 2002
  • Hermes, 2002
    Hermes, 2002
  • Hermes, 2002
    Hermes, 2002
  • Joseph Fashion
    Joseph Fashion
  • Aishti Christmas window
  • Ivy Moda
    Ivy Moda

Images linked to the original source click to find out more

The most creative period in the history of Visual Merchandising seems to be the early 20th century until the 1960’s in America, in Europe until the 1940’s. WWII created so much chaos there was no room for creative ideas.

The time when the skill of window design was at its lowest creative point happened between 1970’s-1990’s which is odd considering it was a very creative period in music, fashion and cinematography.

Technology had an impact from the early stages, at first, it was plate glass window then electricity, then air conditioning. Today internet stimulates the shopping experience and it is the greatest competition for the traditional form of retail. Early 2000 is the start of e.commerce. The competition forced many retailers to be very creative – again!

***

In my opinion, high street retail stores have not changed much since Mr Selfridge revolution. There has been nothing new added to make the experience more pleasurable or even adventures. Stores look the same, not even across the street but across the globe. No personality just globalised pure business in the same dated uniform.

Perfumery section at Selfridges, 1909
The jewellery sections of Selfridges, 1909
The jewellery sections of Selfridges, 1909

Even though I write about Visual Merchandising I personally do not really like traditional shopping (except Flea Markets) I find it a tiring and stressful experience. My reasons: some stores are just too big, there is too much to choose from (yes, that can be a problem), I do not like noise in general so I do not enjoy the loud music played. I have to walk up the stairs (when there is no escalator or lift) but I’m already walking through the streets from one store to another, so please do not make me walk even more. I’m tired I want to rest on a nice soft couch that is not here!

Well, I am big time e.commerce because I can shop online in the middle of the night in my pyjamas, I can drink a coffee while browsing, I do not have to rush to make a decision, I do not have to queue or move around disoriented shoppers. I can read the customer review or search through categories all that while listening to my favourite music.

It will be interesting to see how the traditional retailers and e.commerce will evolve in the future. Both still have plenty to work on as online shopping is very practical it does lack the creative side. There is no big window display where a potential customer could go… ‘Ah Cool’!

Joseph Fashion Christmas window in collaboration with Harlequin-Design 

     

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

Additional note:
While doing my research I have noticed how much better the images were archived up till the 1960’s. Most of the images from that period have a date and place provided. Between 1960’s up till 2000 was hard to find well-archived images. It does get better after 2000 … A lesson learned – I will try to organise my images better too.

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DUBLIN IN IT’S HOLINESS

Dublin in it's Holiness

THE GREAT CHALLENGE FOR PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLIST

Sadly Dublin is not the most friendly town for the cyclists. It is an old town and well, unfortunately, today roads cannot be stretched to gain more space for bikes. You really have to pay any attention here while cycling among the busy traffic. One can laugh at it as it can be either hilarious or very frustrating – depending on the mood … a bit like watching Monty Python.

I start with a question … Was there ever an earthquake or a tsunami that went through Dublin?
Cracked tiles on the pavement are moving under pedestrian’s feet as walking by. Like a broken eggshell that has not been sealed and probably never will be. Try not to lose your balance and you be fine.

 

 

There are also holes in the pavement! The same pavement that during weekends hosts alcohol’s connoisseur often supported on high heels. Those holes are totally unexpected, surprises – I prefer to call them as it is a better word than a – trap. A ‘surprise holes’ left open from a construction worker. Best avoided at night time.

 

 

There are splashes of concrete on the ground! Concrete is now bulging from the surface turning into miniature hills or layers of melting ground created by volcanic lava. Once there must have been an intention to ‘fix the problem’ but with the contrary result. Today they look like embedded prehistorical animals, watching pedestrians like crocodiles watch a prey on the river banks. Wait till they catch you!

 

 

To be fair it is not that bad, in fact, mostly it is fine (or did I just get use it?) – sadly the problems never seem to be fixed, just left to evolve in its neglect. Guess it makes the cyclist feel more alive!

But eh … shure that will do …

 

Photographs were taken on Camden Street, Rathmines and Rathgar.

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

 

MALE ACCESSORIES

one man army

HANDMADE MALE ACCESSORIES

One of my projects during the Visual Merchandising course I was doing in DIT College, Dublin was to create accessories following the micro-trends of the time S/S 2014.

We were given a piece of mannequin each, it was either just the head or an upper body or head with an upper body. I can not remember today what styles we could choose from except the one I have chosen to follow called One Woman Army. Because I was given un upper body of a male I slightly changed the trend to One Man Army.

All our mannequins were in a pretty bad state covered in an artwork by previous year students. I had to give mine shiny spray treatment.

ONE MAN ARMY

The main materials for making the piece was pasta penne and a feather. Also strings, gold acrylic paint, bits of fabric, elastic band.

One Man Army accessories made of pasta penne
One Man Army accessories made of pasta penne

 

 

pasta penne
pasta penne

 

 

 

Inspiration Military&Tribal Culture

The inspiration for my pasta jewellery piece came from military-style uniform and Maasai tribal accessories. I wanted to mix more of a formal style with something that is considered more of a primitive style, yet very passionate and courageous.

maasai-warrior
Maasai warrior
Kenya Masai People
Kenya Masai People
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte

View the rest of the work created by students of Visual Merchandising, DIT College, Dublin, 2014

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

TEXTIFOOD THE FUTURE OF TEXTILES

stinging nettle

THE TEXTIFOOD EXHIBITION

The exhibition originated from the project Futurotextiles and was dedicated to innovative fabrics. It is a French contribution to the Expo Milan 2015 a global event which was themed Feed the Planet, Energy for Life.

Textifood exhibition offers the opportunity to discover the world of textiles and its future with its incredible diversity, sustainability, and potentials. Orange, lemon, pineapple, banana, coconut, nettle, coffee, rice, soy, corn, beet, flax, lotus, algae, mushrooms, wines, beers, shellfish … all at the service of fashion!

      

Could it mean that in the future there will be no synthetic fabrics? such as polyester, acrylic, nylon, acetate, spandex, lastex all massively sold by high street stores. The sources of toxins which affect our health and the health of the planet – all produced with chemicals. I do hope we keep making general progress by taking care of ourselves and nature.

Bananas have already been used in Japan in 13th-century to make a fabric similar to cotton. In 2014 banana silk fibre came to the general public with a dress made entirely of dried banana leaves creation of Ditta Sandico.

banana leaf
banana leaf

Nettle has been used by the Germans to produced their uniforms during The WWII as the textile trade at the time was mainly run in England. Nettle is one of the most sustainable material as it does not need fertilizer and it needs very little amount of water.

nettle
nettle
nettle fibre
nettle slippers

Citrus fibre is the first fibre made of citrus fruit, silky in appearance and biodegradable.

citruses
citruses
orange fiber
citrus fibre

Fermented alcohol. There is also a new fabric created from the fermentation of alcoholic beverages. The fabric is red for the red wine, translucent to white and amber colour for beer.

beer
Beer
beer-dress
fermented beer-dress

Coffee is used by S.Café® company which does not only recycles coffee grounds for fabric but also extracts a high concentration of essential coffee oil which is re-used in textiles and also can be used in cosmetics. The brand claims that one day there will be no waste made out of coffee.

coffee dress
coffee dress at Textifood in Milano

STRAWBERRY LACE

strawberry lace
strawberry lace

Fashion designers have been experimenting with other organic sources to produce clothing.  Suzanne Lee was inspired to design from bacteria which grows on Kombucha a healthy drink, a mixture of bacteria and yeast, originated in China in 220 BC. In 90s Kombucha started to sold commercially in Europe and the US. I do remember buying it in Dunnes Stores and Tesco here in Ireland, but unfortunately, due to low demands, the product did not last more than a few years on the shelves.

biocouture clothing
bio culture clothing designed by Suzanne Lee

 

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

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