NOT MUCH EASTER IN THE WINDOW DISPLAYS,
Early morning on Sunday is the best time to take photographs of the window displays, the town is still sleeping and the streets are empty. The only problem is the reflection of buildings, buses, cars, and myself! But this time I tried to turn it into an advantage and show a bit of Dublin architecture at the same time. Like kids who are looking for chocolate eggs hidden in a garden, I went searching for an Easter window display!
For some time, I wasn’t paying much attention at all to the windows of Dunnes Stores in St. Stephen Green Shopping Center … simply because I did not think they were that great. But I was nicely surprised during my walk, last Sunday. Their style very much resembles displays on George Street, in my opinion, one of the best in town. Always.
JOANNE HYNES DISPLAY IN DUNNES STORES
There is a very strong presence of Joanne Hynes funky style in most of Dunnes Stores windows, the displays are very colourful with a story behind it (what I like the most). A young girl went out shopping, she got inflatable jungle toys in her trolley. The colours and the patterns of a jungle must have been an inspiration for Joanne Hynes collection. It is a bright, tropical and a very playful display.
DESIGNERS WINDOWS IN DUNNES STORES ON GEORGE STREET
Not much Easter in Brown Thomas windows this year, rather than eating chocolate eggs and bunnies the store is encouraging the potential buyers to get fit, sign up for yoga classes, go for a run or join the gym. I quite like the construction behind the mannequins, it reminds me of a graphic symbol that stands for an option on a treadmill – called Fat Burn! Ha, very clever idea 🙂
I don’t really get the hidden clue behind Chanel window display … It all looks very digital, electronic, colourful cables connected to the accessories … yet the mannequins style is very 1920s, 1930s. What’s the message? The technology is changing but Chanel style stays the same – is that it?
Hermès display refers to the classical Greek columns, here they could mean long tradition. The columns are very elastic. Is it a similar message as in Chanel windows? Hermès is classic and adaptable …? Perhaps.
AROUND GRAFTON STREET
GRAHAMS SHOE STORE
Very few stores created Easter display in their windows, I find Graham Shoe display very cute with the little chicks and rabbits living among shoes and high hills, like if that was their natural environment. It put a smile on my face 🙂
The artist says she often finds an inspiration for her design during her walks in nature. She collects plants, sticks and any other unusual organic pieces that could, later on, turn into a jewellery.
It reminds me of prehistoric jewellery, found during archaeological excavations on an old settlement somewhere in the world … The combination of ancient tradition combined with today’s trends concerning anything that’s organic just works wonderfully! The Undergrowth Studio jewellery pieces also make me think of mythological societies, old and new civilisations. In the future, I believe we will understand how precious and inspiring nature is.
So far I have purchased two pairs of earrings that I am very happy with, to touch and to look at every so often, I return to the Undergrowth Studio for more another time!
‘EARLY SPRING’ WINDOW CONCEPT FEATURING LAMP AS A MERCHANDISING PRODUCT
Initially, I wanted to make the lamp with a white cotton, adding a bit of white feather here and there and paint the walls in a very fresh, sky blue colour. Unfortunately, I was directed a slightly different way, as the goal of the exercise was to work with a material without putting a pressure on it. Apparently, the white cotton was too easy and I had to work with something more challenging. The Pantone Colour of the S/S 2015 was Radiant Orchid, so the colour had to be used in my window.
There is the short time in the year when winter has not finished yet and spring has not started. The transition time when nature is dying and has yet to be reborn. This lamp window design references the cycle of life, with the idea that a lamp light is an important part of what makes a living space … like in a night garden.
THE MAKING PROCESS
The lamp is made out of textured wallpapers that are shaped into flower petals, swirling on the ground are encouraging new plants to show up and blossom. I was aware that the window at this stage looked a little bit dark for the spring season, the colours of the lamp reflect more on autumn and long dark evenings. It needed something uplifting, therefore I added the white swallow at the top left corner. All the symbols put together helped me to develop the story of a cycle of life in nature, with an idea, that everyday objects surrounding us can transform into something else as well.
The display is inspired by an architectural style of an American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The creator of an organic architecture who believed humanity should live in harmony with its environment. He designed several iconic buildings throughout his career, two of them were the inspiration for my college project.
The luxury hat is inspired by The Guggenheim Museum in New York which looks to me like a ready to wear a hat, simple and stylish. The display plinth is inspired by The Falling Water House in Pennsylvania. These shapes complement each other and yet are a suitable contrast.
‘LUXURY HAT’ WINDOW DISPLAY PROPOSAL
THE MAKING OF THE HAT
The hat is made out of a white cardboard paper. I turned the original design upside down like that was able to wear it as a hat. The structure had to be made on the day when I was constructing the window – it just had to work and resemble The Falling Water House. I covered the boxes with brown fabric, painted the walls sky blue to bring it closer to Frank Lloyd Wright philosophy on organic architecture. The blue colour is the reference to the blue sky and brown colour of the plinth is very natural and woody.
I had previously prepared blue accessories (handbags, gloves) but they really were not working, the colours were clashing. I decided to go for the monochromatic look with a small touch of blue with a silk scarf.
Everybody talks about China. How much do I know about China? What are the first associations I have with the country?
It is a big piece of land with an old history and a massive world population. They love their food and they live to work. The country had its cultural revolution under the leadership of Mao Zedong where the traditional art, craft and literature had to be destroyed to create a new, equal society. So far, for years anything that was ‘Made in China’ meant poor quality and mass production. It’s kind of still the case … Today everyone wants to trade with China, some even see the country as an economic and military threat.
I really wasn’t sure will I have enough to write about before I started my research on Chinese design. How wrong was I! Seems, I have found material for a string of posts.
Ai WeiWei is Chinese most famous, provocative, contemporary, multidisciplinary artist and an activist. The guy is a living legend, went through a lot of hardship dealing with Chinese authorities. His work reflects on social issues with an emphasis on violations of human rights. He has a great compassion to most vulnerable people.
Le Bon Marche department store in Paris, featured in January 2016, Ai WeiWei exhibition called ‘Child’s Play’ a creation of mythological creatures using an old technique that involves stretching silk or paper over bamboo frames. The exhibition was inspired by Chinese antiquity legends and fairy tales, written by Shan Hai Jing.
Sadly, the artist could not read the stories as a child as it was totally forbidden at the time in China. During Mao Zedong ruling the intellectual property had to be destroyed with an idea of creating a different society. Society cut off from the past, roots, traditions, arts and crafts.
‘CHILD’S PLAY’ EXHIBITION
The exhibition features refugees clothes and shoes collected on the shore of Greece. Clothes are presented in a desirable way, placed in a trendy store created by Ai WeiWie. Wall is covered with images of refugees gathered from social media.
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.
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.
View the rest of the work created by students of Visual Merchandising, DIT College, Dublin, 2014