I have chosen three male characters from Shakespeare’s plays: Hamlet, King Lear and The Merchant of Venice. In styling the denim products, I wanted to create a display for male customers of M&S, creating a contemporary look mixed with the presence of Shakespeare’s characters and the versatility and long tradition of denim as a fashion material.
TRADITION OF DENIM FABRIC
Through my research, I found out some interesting facts about denim fabric. It has a long tradition goes back to as far as seventeen century. There is a dispute where did it originate from Italy or France?
The colour of denim wasn’t blue at the start and the Italian sailors in the city of Genoa where making trousers out of it for work in the harbours. The material was strong and sturdy. The French pronounce the word Genoa – Gênes, it may be the origin of the word jeans.
In France, in the city of Nîmes the French were trying to reproduce the jean but instead, they created similar fabric later on known as denim. From Nîmes as the French say de Nîmes – denim.
The aim of this window display was to create a contemporary version of 1960’s style. My inspiration was a movie called Guess Who’s Coming to Dinnerby Stanley Kramer. It was originally written as a play what is quite noticeable while watching the movie, through the narrative, dialogs, and the set up feels like a stage too.
At the time American white middle class was not ready for the mixed race relationships or marriages. Black Afro-Americans only started the struggle to become equal with the white Americans.
It was really an influential film for me growing up. There were so few representations of black people living as fully dimensional in a white culture. — Dawn Porter, African American filmmaker
I concentrated on Christina character played by Katharine Hepburn and chosen her as the main character for my window display. I found her the most important figure in the drama, the peacemaker, she is the one who built the bridge of peace inside the moral conflict.
Intensive blue was the most trendy colour of A/W 2014/15 season. I was working with blue, white and black colours on the mannequin accessories, walls, and props. I tried to recreate Christina’s style with the hat, long coat, and the striped shirt.
The gel filter used on the light was warm blue, I wanted to create the winter atmosphere. Later on, the gel was taken off … the light was warmer and it worked well during my photo shooting.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
directed by Stanley Kramer
In this story, the invitation of a black man to a white family’s dinner table is challenging the family. In my window display, the suspended upside down wine glasses reflects the change of values and chaos caused in the family in this 60s movie.
I was meant to write about The Graduate Exhibition Show of Visual Merchandising course in DIT, Dublin … probably two months ago, shortly after it happened … nevertheless, it is here now. My apology for such a delay.
I must say there are probably only two maximum three displays I found interesting or well finished. There is no story behind most of them, there is no link between the hand made accessories and the merchandising products.
I hate to say it but there is not much intelligence behind them, those are just displays, basic marketing, not much creativity behind them. It seems the students had to rush to put the show together.
My favourite one is the one with the bathroom and the sea weeds splashed all around. There is a bit of a story in it but I am not sure where does it lead to …
I wish the student were allowed to think more like Brian Lambert the Visual Communication student further down in my post.
CLOSE-KNIT BY BRIAN LAMBERT
Well observed everyday life by Brian Lambert turned into a humorous documentary with a story to follow.
This concept could easily make an interesting window display as there are few intriging characters in it. The viewers could easly build up the rest of the story in their heads … if they wanted to. It is engaging and that is why it works so well.
I have the feeling Brian Lambert may have been one of those students that interpreted the brief his own way. By keeping detached from it he allowed himself to keep an open mind, therefore, the inspiration found him in the Starbucks Coffee and not the other way around.
This is only a proposal without any budget limitation. The concept was to design a summer window for a fashion brand that took part in New York Fashion Week 2016.
Desigual is a casual clothing brand based in Barcelona, Spain. Founded by a Swiss man Thomas Meyer in 1984. Desigual in Spanish means uneven/unequal and the concept is applied in the brand design, through the use of asymmetry, patchworks, prints, graffiti art, and splashes of intense colour.
The project involved design of two window display for the summer season. One for a large window at the front of the store with a dividing panel in the middle and a small window which in real life, would be somewhere off the main foot traffic. Both windows had to follow the same theme. I called the theme Summer in the City. Summer in a very hot climate can be hard to bear, without much greenery and water to cool down the end of the day is a blessing.
My large window is based on an idea of a play. A bunch of friends who feel comfortable with each other are jumping across cascading water. The heat is making them bit crazy, they feel free and they need to cool down, la vida es loca (life is crazy) as Desigual motto says.
The smaller window is focussing more on the city as a ‘concrete jungle’. A couple of friends are hanging out in the skatepark, they are preserving their energy chilling out.
Perhaps at the back of my mind, I was designing the windows for Barcelona city where the hit can be as high as 40 degrees. Probably in other cooler places the concept would come across more as people having fun rather than an escape from the heat. At least I would hope so 🙂
Every garden, including the one in Sant Pol de Mar, is a unique creation with its own atmosphere and purpose. The principles and elements used in visual merchandising and in the garden design are very similar. It is a visual display, an escape into the mythological idea of paradise where the world is ruled by nature.
This spring I had a chance to visit few gardens in the province of Catalunya, Spain. Below garden can be found in Sant Pol de Mar a small, dreamy fishing village with the scattered beaches and small boats. It is located on the coastline of Maresme, half way between Barcelona city and Girona.
The charming, herbaceous Mediterranean garden is located on the top of the hill at the bottom of the facades of a Romanesque-style chapel which dates back to the XI century. The garden is a creation of an Italian family who lives at the top of the hill beside the historical chapel.
During my Visual Communication course, I had to create a handmade book with illustrations for a chosen poem. It had to be an interactive book. I worked with a poem Warning by Jenny Joseph, an English poet. To me, the poem is about the passing of time, reflection on life, regrets and promises. There is a mystery of the narrator age. Is it an old lady looking back at her life? or is it a very mature young person making decisions about her life?
I built the book like an accordion, so the illustrations could fall from one to another creating a story. Covered it with Financial Times, which is printed on pink paper, the colour has faded away now …
I put seeds and leaves of a linden tree in the background of the illustrations with an idea of creating an impression of a circle of life in nature. From the seeds at the start of the poem towards the falling down leaves at the end of it. The narrator talks about wearing purple, I tried to place purple or pink in most of the pages, also used pink ribbon to wrap the book, as pink is considered very girly and youthful colour.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people’s gardens And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.