THE LUXURY HAT DISPLAY

Hat inspired by Guggenheim Museum in New York

LUXURY HAT AS A MERCHANDISING PRODUCT

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.

INSPIRATION

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.

The Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright
The Guggenheim Museum in New York designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

‘LUXURY HAT’ WINDOW DISPLAY PROPOSAL

Frank Loyd Wright, The Falling Water House, The Guggenheim Museum in New York, luxuries hat, luxuries accessories, ladies fashion

Luxury Hat Display inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright architecture
Luxury Hat window display inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright architecture

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.

Author: Walkowska Aleksandra

All images are linked to original sources, click to find out more.

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CHINA, CHINA, CHINA

Origami roosters celebrating Year of a Rooster 2017

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.

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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.

Ai WeiWei during an exhibition in Le Bon Marche, Paris
Ai WeiWei during an exhibition in Le Bon Marche, Paris

 

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

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‘LAUNDROMAT’ 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.

Ai Weiwei: Laundromat at Deitch Projects

Ai Weiwei: Laundromat at Deitch Projects

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Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

All images and videos used in this post are linked to the original source. Click to find out more.

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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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CHRISTMAS WINDOWS, DUBLIN 2016

Author: Aleksandra Walkowska

DUBLIN WINDOWS 2016

Early Sunday morning is the best time to take a stroll on Grafton Street and appreciate window displays on one of the busiest shopping streets in Dublin city.

December this year as many others years previously is very mild, our garments are just a little bit warmer than those in the very early spring. It is well noticeable in the Christmas window displays where mannequins are styled quite light too.

Christmas window display on Grafton Street, Dublin 2016

The Christmas theme is displayed in the windows but not so much of the winter itself except maybe Brown Thomas. The theme of their windows this year is based on an old-school Christmas card, all kept very kept to the roots of festive tradition. When I saw it first my first connection was made to Russian fairy tales …

Brown Thomas Christmas window
Brown Thomas Christmas window display 2016
Brown Thomas window display
Brown Thomas Christmas window display 2016
Brown Thomas window display
Brown Thomas Christmas window display 2016
Brown Thomas window display
Brown Thomas Christmas window display 2016
Brown Thomas window display
Brown Thomas Christmas window display 2016

M&S is boosting with red colour and plenty of good quality looking gifts stock around female mannequin the position of her arms suggest she expects to receive even more presents.

M&S Christmas window display
M&S Christmas window display, Dublin 2016

Personally, my favourite once is Massimo Dutti windows.  The suggestion that those are Chrismas windows is very settled. The props are very minimalistic, well composed, all products are well exposed and visible to the public. It is the warm light coming from the suspended lamps that suggest it is the time of the year when we want to keep warm when we want to party when we want to be stylish despite long and dark winter’s evenings.

A few minutes away from Grafton Street – Dunnes Stores on Dame Street has as always perfectly styled windows. Same as in Massimo Dutti all the merchandising products are visible even though the windows are quite busy or busier than normally – the products look very tempting to buy, to have, to own. The construction of the display is very harmonious. All three windows are kept in the same colour scheme what creates a perfect balance. To me, windows in this particular store are always more of an art installation. Perfecto!

Dunnes Stores Georges street
Dunnes Stores Georges street Christmas display, Dublin 2016
Dunnes Stores Georges street
Dunnes Stores Georges street Christmas display, Dublin 2016
Dunnes Stores Georges street
Dunnes Stores Georges street Christmas display, Dublin 2016

 

More Christmas windows 2016 on Grafton St, Dublin

Nespresso

Christmas window
Dunnes Stores Christmas window on Grafton Street, 2016
Topman Christmas window
Topman Christmas window on Grafton Street, 2016
tommy hilfiger Dublin window display
Tommy Hilfiger Christmas window display, 2016 Dublin

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ENDURANCE BESTSELLER BOOK DISPLAY

Endurance bestseller book display for Book store

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage is a bestselling book written by Alfred Lansing

 

First published in 1959. The cover of the book was the major inspiration for my window display. Available on Amazon.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (Anniversary Edition)

ENDURANCE

One day in late 1914 what was intended as an important Antarctic expedition went terribly wrong. Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton took on the board of Endurance 28 men heading towards Antarctica.  Close to the shore, the ship got trapped in the ice and keel over 30 degrees. Attempts to rescue the ship into the free water failed after few days Endurance sunk. The crew was left with no hope of being rescued. The decision was made to try to reach Elephant Island, the more stable land. The rough journey on the boat through the ocean took seven days in -20 degrees.

The harsh land was still miles away from civilisation and any hope of help. To rescue his crew Shackleton decided to take a journey on his own to South Georgia an island further south. The rough long journey through the glaciers and mountains had to be made on foot. It paid off, he found long needed help. As soon as possible he sailed back in search of his crew. After three months of sailing and four different attempts to reach the shore, he finally got reunited with his men.

cold-wind-isolation-rough waters

Endurance Book Display by Aleksandra Walkowska, 2014

I kept this set quite simple in my Christmas bestseller book display as I wanted to create the feeling of extreme cold and isolation. Before reading the book, one could imagine the feeling of … what would it be like to be trapped in this place?

The props were built mainly with cardboard and paper, except the floor, which is a bubble wrap foil, turned upside down made an impression of a frozen water. I used a similar technique making the iceberg and the ship. Designing my own version of the book cover (with the male figures) helped me to create an impression, that part of the Shackleton crew just left the sinking ship. Nothing is kept in proportion to each other, the props have more of a symbolic meaning. I was lucky to partly recreate the display in MRCB Paints & Papers store in Dublin 8.

MRCB Paint&Paper recreation of the window display
Endurance bestseller book display for Christmas window

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

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