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.
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 🙂
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 🙂