Friday, 11 September 2009

Topshop Triumphs

I took these pictures of Topshop in York. Each one shows a different theme or idea - all geared towards keeping the customers interest.

The Topman window below is my favourite - not particularly because of the way it's been executed but because the idea is brilliant. The storyboard idea could be taken in so many different directions. In this case they have images of deserts mixed with urban street scenes which I found a bit confusing as the idea of a storyboard is that it follows a story. The way the window is set out makes the eye skip back and forth from these two completely different settings with no explanation. Also the desert images are a bit random as they don't fit in with the clothes on display. However, I do love the sketchy look, the arrows and the clipboards along the bottom as they all add to the storyboard/film idea.

If I was going to use this storyboard idea for an individual store, I would do a storyboard where the customer could follow a story through their own town/city. It could also involve male and female mannequins and could possibly be a love story - it would make a great Valentine's window. I would go and take photos of local locations and have models in them wearing what the mannequins would be wearing in the window. This would connect the images and the mannequins to create more of a cohesive look which I think the Topshop window is possibly lacking.

I love the vibrantly coloured pansies with skulls in the middle which are plastered across the back of this wall. I like the grungy feel you get from them and also how there are blocks of them and then individual ones scattered above and beside them. It leads the eye nicely to the cubicles with shoes in.

This display is promoting the vintage area upstairs. It's located right near the main entrance and the colourful, patterned art deco look would gain customers interest straight away.

This is a well thought through display - I love how the peach and blue colours are linked through the clothes and props. Also, by hanging the chairs on the square column, the visual team have saved precious floor space.

Merchandise Display and Presentation Course

In July I completed a short course in Merchandise Display and Presentation at the London College of Communication. I had a fantastic time - I learnt a lot about Visual Merchandising and our tutor Sue Fraser was great.

For our first project, we had to go into the prop storage room and pick seven compatible items. I went for a country kitchen theme and chose rustic kitchen items with brown, light green and dark blue colours. I thought that this kind of display might look at home in the window of somewhere like Fortnum and Mason.

Our next project had the title of 'Colour Inspires...' After a brainstorm, I decided that colour inspires adventure and travel. The story of my display is that my mannequin was on the last day of her holiday and went to the beach while she waited for her transfer to the airport. However, time ran away with her and her realised she was running late so ran off the beach and dropped her suitcase in the hurry and everything spilled out. At the bottom right you can see that a crab that has crawled off the beach is hanging onto her clothes! Everything is brightly coloured and I tended to use items from the warmer side of the colour spectrum to create a sunny, tropical feel. I could imagine this display in the summer windows of a House of Fraser store.

This display had to be created around a mood and a style - I chose nostalgia. I wanted to use a brand in one of my displays so I chose a high end shoe brand called Strutt Couture. I decided to create part of a vintage themed ladies boudior and chose the soft, romantic colour theme to match the product (the high heeled shoes) and the mood and style. I used lace, roses, a fan, a black and white photo and pearls within the display to help bring about this nostalgic feeling.

Our final project involved creating a display where everything had to be suspended. I went with a theme which I called 'Midnight Mischief'. I had a group of magic blue and silver butterflies that were flying off with diamond encrusted jewellery and accessories in the middle of the night below a full moon. A silver butterfly net held by some invisible creature is trying to get the jewellery back. I could imagine this window being in something like Tiffany's or a high end department store that wants to show off it's new range of diamond encrusted accessories.