This is the very first window display I have created during the Visual Merchandising course I did in DIT College in Dublin. I wanted to create a window which was a mix of a traditional British style and child-like drawings. I wanted to show this in a grotesque way, as a place where little girls like to dress in their mother’s clothes pretending they are adults. The window proposal is made of an electric tape, chalk and handmade paper bags as a merchandising product.
THE PROCESS OF MAKING
Researched British folk, illustration and patterns to develop the design idea.
Last weekend I had a quick run through Dublin town. I wanted to check the spring windows display. It is a long and cold winter this year anno domini 2018. Only very few stores have made a reference to the Easter time and mostly inside of a store rather than in the windows. Otherwise, the displays are domineered by a splash of vivid and intense colours for the coming season.
Here is a link for Abama display company, recently I have been receiving catalogues with their products. The company is based in Germany and it is a supplier of a wide range of props and products for window displays and various decorations. Hope for those who are interested in or work in visual merchandising it would be a useful website to browse on 🙂
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.
The year 2016 was the year of the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, this event became an inspiration for my project. Among other things, I also wanted to work with men’s fashion. It seems to me it is less restrictive than women’s fashion and also it is difficult to dress a man badly. The styling is very informal, and each of the models wears a denim fabric.
The most consuming of all was making the props: skull, mask, crown and wreath. Props have been preserved to this day, decorated with Swarovski crystals, they look very good on the white wall of my apartment.
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.
The objective of this project was to create a window display with a found object, a material that could be up-cycled and revived. As we were not given much time in advance to keep our eyes open for an object that we could call a found object, most of us including me, went for an object that I would describe more as looked for rather than found.
So, I found 😛 few phone books in the cabinet in the hall where I live and I went to look for it 🙂 I always wanted to make a paper dress and there was a chance to do so!
I try to work with three colours. The phone book pages provided me with a ready solution and a colour scheme: yellow, black and white. I styled the mannequin in those colours and went for a deep grey for the back wall. Pure black I was told once is a flat colour and will make everything look flat too.
Old phone books (called Yellow Pages in Ireland) were the inspiration for this model’s accessories. I wanted to show a thrifty creative young woman, who used her imagination to make this outfit for herself, out of what was basically rubbish. A modern Cinderella with a pro-active attitude.
FOUND OBJECT WINDOW DISPLAY PROPOSAL WITH A PAPER SKIRT
THE MAKING PROCESS
On the first image, you can see a quite long skirt, I did not feel it was working and it was getting really heavy too. Despite the work I put into it I cut it off. It can be a hard decision to make but the creative process has a lot to do with walking back and forth, testing and checking what is and isn’t working.
For the ballerina skirt, I was working once again with the rule of three. Prepared three different shapes made out of the pages. The back of the skirt is the most interesting as it is quite high up and looks like a bird tail.
It was my best display I got the highest mark for it and none criticism. I must admit till the day I was working on it I did not know how to finish it … the paper falling off the skirt and the crushed paper on the floor with the clips … that was something very spontaneous. At the time it felt good and it worked.
The photos of the fashion window display were taken in late June 2017, so yes it is a long overdue post. Never the less it is documented now, starting from the most luxuries brands to the more quirky once.
There are few more creative displays such as Louis Vuitton, Joanne Hynes in Dunnes Stores to really well-composed windows in Massimo Dutti store. Gold Brothers shoe store with all the shoes placed under an angle on the wall is probably the most crafty one. Lines going under an angle create an action, direction, and movement. From all the photos I took that day, this is the once I remember the most.
There is a lot of green colour in M&S windows following the Pantone colour of the year 2017. I do like the windows in The House of Ireland store, the mannequins look a little bit out of balance but there is a lot of Irish character in windows. Wooly jumpers and a cup of tea 🙂 what more do you need 🙂