ANOTHER EARLY SUNDAY STROLL AND SHORT VISUAL REPORTAGE OF WINDOW DISPLAY IN SOUTH DUBLIN
The town is not very big, so I tend to stay in one area with the most attractive visual merchandising. Wish it was a bigger town I could take longer walks and admire the creative work.
My most favourite one is Dunnes Stores on George Street, the spring is there with the colours and texture, all looking very playful and fresh.
Always enjoy Massimo Dutti windows for the perfect composition. The negative space creates an impression the characters played by mannequins are bit dreamy and distanced, they are in the world of their own.
Brown Thomas windows look quite urban with the squared props and minimalistic use of the walls. The colours are selling in the spring season. Even though it is still rather cold outside!
Featured image – Hermès silk scarf in Brown Thomas window, Dublin
Today is the 14th of February 2017 The Valentine’s Day
My most romantic window project is called Poetic Technology and at the same time, it is my least favourite window I designed in DIT College, even though I think the phrase is well caught in the design. Somehow I did not feel it, wasn’t sure how to interpret the theme, it felt vague and too philosophical. It was the only time I chose a male mannequin and surrounded him in a pink colour. I was playing with the contrast between masculinity and femininity.
Stella McCartney once said, ‘For something to be feminine it has to be a little bit masculine and vice versa’ I followed her phrase in this project.
Inspiration: Nature and Modern Romance With the use of advanced technology and electronic devices in these modern times, we are moving farther away from nature. At the same time, we have begun to see the details in the world around us, but we have created a gap between nature and the need to be a part of it. Today we try to resurrect the strong connection we once had but have somehow lost. My model in this window display has a bohemian nature, his attire is contrasting with pixelated patterns of birds in flight in the background.
To develop my visualisation further I wanted to create photomontage and place the window in a suitable window display. That did not work I should approach it differently from the start. I created this single window display, which now looks like a space tube or a condom sale stand with a slogan Buy your condoms from Valento supported by Safe Sex Organisation 😉
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.
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.
EVOLUTION OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING THROUGH THE HISTORY OF EUROPE AND AMERICA
THE FIRST AWARENESS OF SOPHISTICATED MARKETING TECHNIQUES, 1780
Soho, London, 1883
LE BON MARCHE, PARIS, 1838
THE ARRIVAL OF DEPARTMENT STORES
TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS DEPARTMENT STORES TO USE PLATE GLASS WINDOWS, MACY'S, NY, 1862
EUGENE ATGET DOCUMENTS PARISIAN WINDOWS LATER INSPIRATION FOR SURREALIST ARTISTS
The customer is always right
HARRY GORDON SELFRIDGE BRINGS RADICAL CHANGES TO THE MARKETING TECHNIQUES IN THE STORES, 1890
High Street, England, 1895
Selfridges Store, 1909
REVOLUTIONARY METHODS OF DISPLAY AND MARKETING
Selfridge Store, London, 1909
SELFRIDGE MARKETING METHODS ARE SPREAD ACROSS EUROPE
Pierre Imans, 1920's
LEADING MANNEQUINS MANUFACTURE
1920's wedding dresses display
WERTHEIM DEPARTMENT STORE
WASHINGTON D.C. 1928
WINDOW DISPLAY FOR ATWATER KENT RADIOS
MODERNISM MOVEMENT ARRIVED IN AMERICA, SAKS STORE, NY, 1929
HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR INFLUENCED WINDOW DISPLAY, 1920-1930'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
WWII - EUROPE IN CHAOS
1950's Desirable Life Style
FUTURE HOMEMAKERS, STYLE EQUALS FUNCTION
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
POSTMODERNISM, WINDOW DISPLAYS INFLUENCED BY ELECTRONICS
Aishti Christmas window
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.
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’!
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.
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.
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.
Citrus fibre is the first fibre made of citrus fruit, silky in appearance and biodegradable.
Fermented alcohol. There is also a new fabric created fromthe fermentationofalcoholic beverages. Thefabric is red for the red wine, translucent to white andamber colour for beer.
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.
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.