Selfridges, Oxford Street, London
Do you know your music? Selfridges are holding a competition, which is to guess what songs their street windows represent. You can enter at Selfridges.com and the winner will get £500 to spend on their online shop. I obviously don’t know my songs, because I found it quite hard, but thankfully the guy selling Big Issue helped me out a bit. Some I know, some need your help with. Put your guesses in the comment boxes with some You Tube links.
I like windows that really engage and make you think .
All photographs by Andrew Meredith.
Lets start with the easy ones.
I automatically though Lady Gaga when I saw this, but that is not a song title. I do know this now so I won’t ruin it for you.
First I thought this is Natasha Bedingfield’s Single, but with the diamond rings and this amount of single girlies, I think it’s the other much played song..
This one I know as well, but you won’t have any fun guessing if I tell you. It’s quite easy. A very cool concept to incorporate red shoes into a scheme.
There are so many songs that say ‘la la la la’ so I find this one a bit tricky. There are red cherries and lips in this, so one of my guesses would be Cherry Lips by Garbage. although it doesn’t say ‘la la la’, so it can’t be that.. Also I found a song called Cherry Coke. It is not very well-known. Any ideas for this one?
I thought this could be Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet, because the text ‘Love’ is all around the merchandise. I could be wrong. What a classic song!
The text on the back wall says ‘Black’ and all the stock is black too. Some black paint is on the door. Those are your clues. What song title do you think it is?
The answer is right above. It is so easy if you’ve heard the song. That’s all of them. Put your guesses in the comments boxes. Selfridges also did windows based on current hit songs. Wait for that post in a couple of days!
Liberty of London, Great Marlborough Street, London
It has been exciting times in politics in the UK, and the department store Liberty is taking part in the political debate with their menswear windows. I am attempting to analyze them a little bit, but I am no political expert so please do comment and discuss with me! The windows use colour, scale and repetition to communicate a strong message. The commercial purpose of them is to promote the Liberty menswear offer (although some of the windows have hardly any products in them), but more importantly to promote the brand Liberty. They also suggest to me that the political world is very male dominated.
Green is often the symbolic colour of environment and peace. Toy tanks have been decorated with flower power, and are surrounded by toy solders. They are shooting but not hitting the target on the back wall. The T-shirt in front of the target illustrates an explosion – destruction caused if the tanks were hitting into the bullseye. But are the tanks weapons of peace instead of war and why are they still shooting? What is also interesting is the scale – the tanks are very small, but the target is large. Does this symbolize the hopelessness of war?
These two are next to each other, and I think they belong together as a twin, because of the similarities and the background forms a sunrise. Which can only mean new beginnings, right?? Or something.. The first one shows four men all dressed in different kind of outfits. They are demonstrators and one man carries a sign that says ‘Power to the People’. The vinyl on the glass shouts ‘YES’. Yes to what? The next window is almost like an opposite with four men in a line, but facing the opposite direction. The men are wearing almost identical formal suits. Are they conforming, and the other four are rebelling?
The colour red in politics is generally associated with socialist groups and revolutionaries. In the UK the Labour Party uses red. Red together with black often refers to anarchy. The headless bust form is covered in badges: the black ones read ‘bother’ and the white ones have pictures of badgers on them. I think it is more of a play with words and images than an appeal for animal rights. The figure himself is the messenger who has lost his own identity and is covered with the message itself. The walls have The Liberated Press menswear fanzine all over them. The paper declares ‘We’re not posh, we’re arts and crafts’. The paper has an image of a naked woman with her head replaced with and old traditional male head. I am a little confused what is going on in this window. Instead of blowing up the message across the window, the political manifesto is getting lost in the information overload. But maybe that is the point?
The top of the window run is covered with ears. Tons of them. In the middle there is a microphone. We’re listening. To three piles of clothes and accessories. Are they ment to represent the three main UK political parties the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party? The crowd is wanting to hear a point of difference, but where are the politicians?
Can you spot me taking the photo? This windows plays with repetition to get the visual point across. The raised fists seem demanding and powerful. The background again is a sunrise (which I decided means new beginnings). The only thing I would say is that the stock doesn’t seem to play a role in the story.
French Connection, Oxford Street, Kingston, London
I think using movement in windows is definitely a trend in rising. You walk past these French Connection black and white lenticular photos and they give you the illusion of movement. It is a technique especially used in collectable children’s cards. I remember having some when I was a kid. But instead of holding the images in your hand and adjusting the viewing angle, you walk past them for different angle. It is really clever way of capturing the attention of passers-by. I wish I’d be able to record this with a video camera, but instead I’m showing two images from different viewing angles. I recommend going to your nearest French Connection store to have a look for yourself. I had a bit of a dance in front of them (for other people’s amusement!) trying to capture all the movement in the photos.
Kingston store’s women’s window.
At first the girl has her eyes open.
You walk past and the girl closes her eyes.
Walk to your right and the girl in the car looks at you. Somehow a little spooky as well. I’m sure something like this has been done before, but I found these windows very refreshing to see.
In some the movement is quite subtle and you almost have to ‘spot the difference’.
The man steps closer to the sinks.
Here he turns to look at you.
Oxford Street had placed the portraits instead of mannequin heads – same for men and women. Otherwise the images were the same as in Kingston. I do recommend going to see these!
Bentalls, Kingston, Greater London
With this post I take you to the suburbs of South West London, so you probably haven’t seen these windows even if you live in London. They belong to Bentalls, a department store in Kingston. They can do pretty much their own thing in their windows, because they’re not a big chain, but they are a part of Fenwick. All the windows are bright and summery, just what you need on a grey day like today in London. The theme is nautical and the painted back walls have vinyl repetitions of anchors etc. The slogan is (if you wondered why the title) Bentalls-On-Sea- Wish You Were ‘Ere.
Superdry. I like the shovels, they make this look really playful and fun.
Swimwear by Panache and Esprit. All the windows also have Polaroid looking images of the relevant brands.
All the stock is by Fred Perry.
Stock from Vilebrequin.
The two above both have Joules stock in them.
Scotch and Soda.
Hermes, Bond Street, Sloane Street, London
Hermes’ street style shots with actual accessories attached to them in the windows offers a very refreshing concept. I’ve liked street style fashion photography ever since university; it was our way of finding out new directions in fashion, and a lot of companies use this technique to make their fashion seem like it’s emerging from the streets. Street style blogs are really popular as well, probably most famously done by The Sartorialist. I think this concept is so clever, and in some of the windows you have to look carefully to realise which accessories are in the image or physically there.
All the photos on this post including the actual street shots are by Andrew Meredith.
The watch has been attached to the street style image.
The watch, bracelet, the rings and the scarf are attached to the shot.
Here it is the yellow scarf that is physically there. This concept also lets you see different ways to wear the product on different customer groups.
The bracelet has been added.
The scarf has been added. In some of the images it is a lot more obvious what doesn’t belong to the shot.
It’s really cool they’ve shown this brooch on a classic English gent.
Here it is the scarf, the necklace and the watches.
Both Hermes stores also have one window with just a picture of the street and a mannequin in the front. Shame the mannequins aren’t more realistic. At least they should have heads..
Thank you Andrew Meredith for supplying the photos. Needless to say they are amazing quality.