Monthly Archives: September 2013

THIS IS NOT A POST ABOUT LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL

Q.  What do you get when work sends you to do site visits in 15 UK and European cities in 15 days?

A.  No time to visit London Design Festival.  Boooo!

On the plus side though, I’ve visited some cities I’ve never been to before, returned to some favourite ones, and seen some pretty cool things along the way…

Those of you following me on Twitter (@designdevotweet) would have perhaps already seen a picture of these neons tweeted in Glasgow.  Very simple and a modern take of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh reference.

glasgow neons mackintosh

Then in Westfield White City, I came across this pop-up ‘My Favourite Shoe’ exhibition by Northampton Museums and Art Gallery.  Shoe designers such as Sophie Cox were asked to pick; their favourite shoe, a shoe they have designed, and to describe their influences, design approach and studio environment.  What I really liked about this is the way the exhibition has been made.  Plywood has been finger jointed together, with a graphical representation of each designers’ studio space printed directly onto the ply.  The simplicity of the plywood, the joint detail and the monochrome stencil style print give these units a superb finish.  I was really impressed.

my favourite shoe exhibition westfield 1 my favourite shoe exhibition westfield 2 my favourite shoe exhibition westfield 4

In Paris, I saw the Eiffel Tower…of sorts.  This temporary Trees and Forest exhibition in the Palais-Royal square opposite the Louvre was promoting using wood and they certainly did wherever possible from creating the flower bed perimeters to graphic stands.  It was a nicely put together exhibition in a great location and attracted alot of people.

 bois et forets 1 bois et forets 3

I made sure I had a quick look at the Colette and Galleries Lafayette windows before heading back on the Eurostar.  On the way I passed by the Penhaligon’s window for the Iris Prima fragrance.  I blogged about the styling of the fragrance launch back in May so it’s nice to see the theme go full circle into the retail environment.

penhaligons iris prima window 1 penhaligons iris prima window 2

Colette, which is a boutique department store selling all the latest, exclusive, limited edition offerings, is known for its windows.  Their current window is celebrating My Little Pony turning 30 with 30 unique sweaters by Andrea Crews.  I thought the window was quite good fun, but not completely sold on the quality of the minimal production.

colette my little pony window 1 colette my little pony window 3

Galleries Lafayettes ‘Mode in Love’ windows were brilliant- so striking.  For three windows, they had a large renaissance style sculpture prop made which they cut into in different places, so the configurations were slightly different per window.  It was a really good way of maximising the cost of tooling a prop like that- creating three arrangements from the one design.  The matte white finish really stood out against the dark marble backdrop.

gallery lafayette 3 j'adore la mode

 gallery lafayette 1 j'adore la mode

gallery lafayette 2  j'adore la mode

So those are just some of the things that have caught my eye over the past few crazy days here there and everywhere.  Time to catch up on what I missed in London last week!

Oh, one last thing- this street name made me laugh…

rue des mauvais garcons

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Window Display Trends

Like fashion, window displays also have trends.  They can be inspired by many things such as; current fashion trends, events (the Jubilee and Olympics were big ones last year), stylish movie releases (the High Street lapped up the Art Deco influence from The Great Gatsby), and the styling of a major Fashion Week Show (the white paper flowers from Chanel‘s 2009 Spring/Summer Haute Couture show is still influencing window displays 4 years on!)  Sometimes more random propping becomes popular…a couple of years ago we had cacti, then there was step ladders everywhere, all of which might have been suggested by the trend prediction services you can subscribe to.

So recently I’ve noticed a couple of trends…

RETRO TVs PLAYING CONTENT

I first saw this theme earlier on in the year with the clean, simple Calvin Klein windows.

calvin klein TV window trend

Then Fred Perry turned it up a couple of notches for their Twisted Wheel window and combined the dance footage playing TV with working old record players and eye catching Northern Soul dance move lenticulars.  The detailing was the quality you’d expect from a Fred Perry window from the retro laminate finish, vac formed TV button panel, and even the words ‘Twisted Wheel’ outlined on the floor with talcum powder referencing how dancers used talc on the floor to help them with their moves.

Fred Perry Twisted wheel Window

Image supplied by Hatch Design & Build

FP04

Image supplied by Hatch Design & Build

FP10

Image supplied by Hatch Design & Build

And just this week, I’ve seen that H&M have also gone with this trend to show footage from their Paris show.

H&M TV window

H&M Tv window close up

WHITE LIGHT

Bright white light is being used alot at the moment- it’s good for creating contrast to window mannequins dressed all in black, and for highlighting this season’s panels of shiny fabric and detailing.  Both Topman and H&M have gone for clean simple cold light stick lights.

Cladding the lights to the back of the mannequins, and almost mirroring their posture, gives the Topman mannequins a sense of movement, and an illuminated shadow effect.

Topman white light window

The clean light grid structure in the H&M window is repeated in-store, this time framing the mannequins.  The contrast between the straight, precise angled light grid and the circular overhead light features works well and gives the display more edge.  I also like that they have used LED stick lights- better for the environment and far more hard-wearing and practical.

H&M white light windows and in store Hatch Design & Build

Images supplied by Hatch Design & Build

COMBINATION OF THE TWO…

Yesterday I walked past Calvin Klein Regent Street where they’ve combined these two themes together with the strong white backlit letters decorated with photos, and small screens inset into the face of the letters playing the photo footage.

calvin klein white light and tv window

Windows will inevitably feature more screens, more moving image and more interactions to catch the attention of the ever-increasing more technological savvy/hungry shoppers, so it will be interesting to see how the High Street goes about it.

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