London based retail design company Elemental Design was commissioned to design, manufacture and install a Harrods window to promote the art and culture of Qatar. Since 2010 Harrods has been owned by Qatar Holdings, a wealth fund of the Qatar State. The window invites people to visit the In-Q cafÃ© and a gift shop on the second floor of the department store.
Â Gary Porter, the founder of Elemental Design has strong relationships with Harrods and visited Qatar in order to learn about the culture and get inspiration for this campaign. In his design the traditional mosaic pattern becomes contemporary 3D sculpture which is created by layers of high spec geometric frames and a gold faceted wall. In the middle stands the In-Q logo.Â
I visited the design company to have peak look at the building stages of the window campaign. The turnaround was very fast and I saw most elements been finished in the premises just a day before the late night install.
AboveÂ is a prototype for the gold faceted panel and undersneath the gold panel arriving at the workshops.
Metalwork being sprayed and finished.
I caught up with Gary on their recent work for clients such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Westfield LONDON, Museum of Islamic Art.. The list is long and impressive. Their expertise include in-store fit outs as well as window displays and can see you through from design, manufacture and final delivery. Have a look at their new website and blog at Elemental.co.uk.
Harrods, Brompton Road, London
Harrods have gone all out with their Queens’ Diamond Jubilee windows as expected. I know the celebrations have now ended, but I can’t not show you all these lovely displays!
The day at the races. The Queen is a keen participator at horse races and attends The Derby every year, and so do I!
The whole lenghtÂ of the Brompton Road has these different crowns in the windows, they really are amazing!
The masks are back, the last time I saw them around was at the time of the Royal Wedding last year.
Whilst some other retailers might be feeling the economic downturn, Harrods have created the ultimate luxury experience this Christmas with Spina Designs. Swarovski crystals decorate each icy forest scene from glistening chandeliers to gingerbread men. They are beautiful.
Â Just so you know: some of the colours may be different in reality as white balance is an artistic decision says my Photoshop book!
Harrods, Knightsbridge, London
J.M. Barrie, the creator of iconic story Peter Pan was born 150 years ago, and Harrods are celebrating this with their 2010 Christmas windows. They call it a vintage Christmas and it is luxurious as always. The windows are absolutely beautiful and feature classic scenes and characters from the story. To go with this years theme they stock a Peter Pan Collection, which includes Christmas decorations and gifts.
In the story Peter Pan refuses to grow up and flies off to Neverland, makes friends with Tinkerbell, the fairy, mermaids and Indians.
Peter is the leader of his gang The Lost Boys. In this adaptation of the story Peter’s outfit is made out of autumn coloured feathers.
Obviously in the story Peter can fly. I love this miniature London. The whole window looks magical.
Captain Hook, Peter Pans enemy.
Window Display - New Visual Merchandising by Tony Morgan, Laurence King Publishing; 2010. ISBN: 978-1-85669-685-2. Â£22.50
The new book by Tony Morgan boasts some excellent photographs of the best recent windows in London, New York, Paris and beyond. Morgan takes us on a personal journey with his writing, which shines through his passion for display. The book is well structured and looks at windows from different perspectives in seven chapters such as Colour, Lighting and Theatre. The book covers the top department stores from New YorksÂ Bergdorf GoodmanÂ to London’s Selfridges (Morgan worked as Head of Visual Merchandising there for 18 years), designer shops such as Prada and Moschino, as well as high street fashion concepts by TopShop andÂ Zara.
With relevant images and captions he shows how a window is more than just a useful space to promote products. “Today these glazed canvases promote the store’s brand identity, keep the customer informed of fashion trends and ultimately drive sales.” He explores several ways to make the stores windows stand out from their competitors. Would a tyrannosaurus Rex eating a mannequin get your attention? He quite rightly argues that good windows are the talk of the town.
The bookÂ successfully highlightsÂ how different elements of window design can inspire and increase sales. MorganÂ celebrates ”the creative retail gurus” who design the schemes. I always wonder who designed the windows, thereforeÂ I wishÂ he would have exploredÂ this further.Â Overall I strongly recommend the book.
Tony Morgan teaches visual merchandising at Fashion Retail Academy and is a guest lecturer at London College of Fashion. His previous book is called Visual Merchandising: Window and In-store Displays for Retail.
Harrods, Brompton Rd, London
These Harrods windows feature buildings not just from the window display capital city London ( I would say that now wouldn’t I?) , but also from New York and Paris just to mention a few.Â I often get a global feel of Harrods windows. These ones have fashions from different countries in them, but not necessarily from the corresponding cities of the schemes. The windows are a collaboration between Harrods and London agency JustSo.
Some of the shiny building have been used as pedestals for the mannequins.Â Â Gradients of hot colours decorate the backdrops. Different types of mannequins have been used for some of the cities.
Images by JustSo. Just So is a boutique visual communications and event management agency based in central London who focus on creative design, visual communications, art direction, window displays, party planning and events for the lifestyle, luxury, corporate, retail and fashion sectors. Check them out.
Various stores,Â Chelsea, London
I am very into props at the moment, and thought I would share some of my favourite props in windows at the moment. I just think props can say so much and create the story, the fiction. Hence the name of the post Prop Fiction. I have also experimented making some of my own props, and if you’re interested check them out at my new blog (I know.. how will I have time for this one too..) at http://www.propfiction.wordpress.com .
Very cute flamingo in Accessorize windows. I do think it has got one or two accessories too many..
Grass skirt in Anthropologie window. They are always worth checking out. The things they come up with are always top class.
Decorated guitar in Harrods’ windows.
Old style bicycle in Traffic People windows.
Old sewing machine, also in Traffic People windows.
Funky plate tables, and a mannequin leg table in Peter Jones windows. The knifes and forks used in the background are effective as well.
Chicken in Ted Baker windows. Made by PLANarama as far as I know.
Silver cowboy boot and a submarine in Thomas Sabo windows.
Flowers made out of wallpaper in Ollie & Nic- windows.
Harrods, Brompton Road, London
Harrods have based their windows on Alice’s adventures in the Wonderland. The windows have black and white stripe backdrops, and almost all the scenes happen around large tables. They feature all kinds of Alice-props from teacups to alarm clocks, flamingos to bunnies, and Cheshire Cats to Mad Hatters. And a Harrods window would not be complete without a grand chandelier. Some of them have really cool coloured lights that keep changing colour. So some of my snaps might not be the way you saw the windows!
Needless to say that I love the oversize tea-cup! All of the windows are very busy with products and props all over the place, a bit of a chaos like some of the storylines in Alice. Just click on the pictures to study them further.
Teacups and cutlery nyloned to look like they’re falling down the rabbit hole? If you’re looking for a cool tea-cup you can definitely find one in Harrods.
Kind of a garden scene with the green colour. Also note the grass on the table and in the chandelier.
I really like this Mad Hatter window. It is to a very small-scale, so the table and the tea party looks really cool.
Another small-scale on with a bunny vinyl cutout on the glass.
Harrods, Brompton Road, London
Harrods have gone for a Japanese style theme with each window scene taking place in a cherry blossom garden. They have traditional Japanese elements such as cherry blossom flowers, ornaments and kotatsu tables in them, and have quiet serene feel to them. The backgrounds are very beautifully painted, and they have lots of pastels in them. I find the Harrods kids mannequins usually too odd, but these windows they actually suit very well.
A couple gather around a kotatsu table wearing Japanese style outfits.
Cute little flower girls.. Occasion wear suits these windows perfectly.
I love this one, it’s so pretty all around.
It was snowing last night and to me London looked great. It’s funny how people have digged out their Hunter wellies. Now there are two occasions when they can be used as a fashion statement:Â summer festivals and January snow. Some shops are still in sale, but a few are already showing spring collections. Here are some more examples of the sale windows.
I wonder why they didn’t give themselves five stars? The mannequins are like showgirls, so I understand the styling. Sometimes if you accessorize lingerie too much it can look a little dodgy.. I wonder what colour they’re going for Valentines Day as they’re already doing pink?
Marie Chantal had sale written across four shopping bags, but it really wasn’t that effective because the letters are very small, and the bags kept spinning around so that you wouldn’t even see them that well.
Harrods sale message is always: ‘There is only one sale’.Â Some of their windows were still in Christmas mode, but all the main ones covered with vinyl. The sale ends the 23rd, so can’t wait to see their first Spring scheme.