Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
The song is 'Golden Cage' by The Whitest Boy Alive..
and the vids are embeded below for your viewing pleasure:)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
We had an artist friend of ours, Naomi Charles, draw the latest instore collections on post it notes.. then we photocopied them on to transarencies and opoed that on an overhead projector and copied the outlines onto the back wall of the window.
after this, we hand drew in the images copying the original fashion sketches..
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Not only did the SMH choose to interview a fledgling window dresser, crediting her with the window designs of Australia's premier department stores (nationally), but then they entitled the article 'window dressing for dummies'. Fantastic. Now our already much overlooked profession is being advertised as an arena for less than intelligent high school drop outs who seem to find their way to the profession with little direction or talent..
If I was David Jones, I would demand an apology that their VM department was shown in such a poor light, and that not one of their VM directors, either in store or of windows, was quoted for the story.
The sense of humour and intelligence required to create the Selfridges/Harvey Nichols displays that the interviewed VM aspired to, are of such a standard as to rival any major advertising campaign or innovative set design and installation art being revered in the international arena.. And these need to be constantly repeated 12 times a year, with a massive international audience, ready to praise or criticize.
And beyond the need to be highly creative and consistently so, marketing plans, customer movement patterns, balancing budgets, set construction, team management and trend forecasting are all skills held by Heads of VM and displays.
If the SMH had bothered to entertain journalism of a higher than tabloid level, perhaps they would have actually helped young people understand that our job is more than just moving around mannequins, and is actually integral in brand identity and market share.
How is Australia ever going to lift their visual appreciation and creative place in the world, let alone move forward culturally, if we continue to dumb down the skill set held by professional creatives?
It is astounding that one of Sydneys premier newspapers can put out such a poorly researched and biased piece of reporting.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
So in the lapse till the new season launch is done, here is another FANTASTIC Japanese window. I love the sense of freedom and the hopeful message of nature emerging from the constraints of technology and industry.
..and the use of a material that is so culturally relevant and so cheap!
you can't pay enough for skills:)
hope everyone is well x
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Bogong Moths belong to the Family Noctuidae and are well known in south-eastern Australia for their mass migration in spring. In some years, they have descended upon cities such as Sydney and Canberra in their thousands, causing disruption around outdoor sports grounds, most city skyscrapers and to air-conditioning plants.
Our thanks again and inspiration to Bruce and his lovely family.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
all in all , it was very cathartic..
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
i know i'm not the first to blog about this, but its such an awesomely great piece of creative....i wish would happen one day.. while i was walking down the street that playdoh rabbits would appear from pipes and trashbins and bring all their colour and hop-ness to the world...
Monday, October 22, 2007
im sitting in the virgin blue lounge in melbourne. The best thing is the wireless internet. Windows in Melbourne went very well with the opening of our new store (see pic below) and an irreverent play with the races theme in our GPO store...
Heading back home now,
Sunday, October 21, 2007
i guess i could blab on about being lazy/busy/no internet... but actually my life since the trip to new york has been amazing and destructive at the same time...
amazing: seeing myself as a part of a VM whole and that i'm actually working as well as my mentors... and that there really is a universal creative conciousness as there were things in barneys that i had decided to do in sydney without the same inspiration... blessed.. realising my windows are driven by my life and influences.. finding my confidence and realising my intuition comes from years of observation, not just fluke.
Destructive: spending the better part of half a year fighting with the most important person in my life, which ended in a horrible time in NYC... which then lead to the end of my three year relationship.. the loss of a friend, a lover and a life i had believed in.
And i have realised all to closely how linked my creativity is to my heart. And at the moment it has been in pieces.. as has my work and my blog.
i've still been putting out windows... The art of fighting (see next post - ive just been to vague to take a pic since i finished it) has been my expression of that hurt and conflict.
So it is of no excuse, but ive realised that a few things have to change for my blog to continue.. I need to be able to write about my life, as it is the impetus for so much of what i do, and it needs to not only be about windows, but also about the things ive experienced.
in the end i guess its who i am and where i am going.. windows and all.
heres to the new journey.
the king of sorrows, eva
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
i'll be in the big apple for the next 10 days so be prepared for an onslaught of window reviews and blog upon my return.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
'The Great Wave Off Kanagawa' from "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji"; done 1823-29 is a singularly famous image from the Japanese artist Hokusai. It seems to rush forward in 3d off the page.. you feel the energy and the depth of that water whilst viewing it from only one 2d angle...
So below is a piece of prop making mastery.. capturing that wave and creating into 3d display that has all the joy and realism of the true wave. The precision of that vision and construction are flawless and you wish that this was a piece of sculpture for your home, not just a temporary display in a shop front.
Again, Hats off the VM's.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
It wouldn't suprise me if Elbaz knows his mannequin history (see previous posts in June of this blog) and has created these as original french doll style mannequins for his collection.
There will be 800 limited edition pieces made, each hand painted.. At Belinda we have ordered a set, making me one happy VM as i will get to play with these very fun little things..
So i say a big hurrah for Alber Elbaz.. he not only knows how to tailor superbly, he also know how to make great displays and keep fashion fun!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
torrential rain, knitted dresses in bright colours like bernhard willhelm and christa michel (see christamichel.com), booking hotels in New York... and young guerilla artists with little works all over the city walls... keep it up , we notice!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
so things working for me today:
new order music whilst you are driving, multi coloured bella donna olives that look like lollies, my balenciaga space age daft punk shoes... and the paper art movies by pappirus ( www.eggnogg.org )
Friday, August 3, 2007
its the pinnacle of our art to make something seem so effortless.. and yet this probably took painstaking hours to weld them in place and create a solid weight bearing form.
big ups to the VM's.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
The silk petals were bought in bulk on ebay, coming direct from china. They come in a lot of different colours and are quite sturdy and easy to use... The most time consuming part is separating the petals prior to beginning.
i found that you should lay down a wide double-sided sticky tape (you can get it at the art store), and then above this add thinner mounting tape. The double sided tape will allow you to remove the mounting tape without marking the paint on the window or leaving foam stuck to the window.
each petal goes on one slightly above the next, layered and in slightly different directions. to give a natural effect.
We began with red and moved up through pink and orange to yellow. We also chose to leave areas of the window blank to give the effect of growth and random chaos(like nature itself).
The window detail is very feminine, highly decorative and creates a strong sense of spring in the store.
We complimented the window by creating a carpet of petals around the foot of the mannequin and adding garden gnomes like snow white and the 7 dwarfs.
All in all a great and easy way to announce spring in store.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
All your comments are invited on whether its appealing to you,
Below is some of the stuff people said today:
wont it melt?
can i eat it?
Thank you for this window, it'll be nice to walk up the street this week..
Are they chocolate? really? wow... Look how many chocolate coins!
How good, its just like a treasure chest..
If each one of these was a real dollar i still couldn't afford that shoe (the platform gold and silver) ha ha!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I'll post the pic of the window as its done tomorrow and then have a chat about if its been successful or not:) comments welcome!
Friday, July 20, 2007
1: Start by painting the base colour in blotchy shades of pink, by the time you have finished a large mozaic style pattern, you will be able to paint on top.
2: draw large flower shapes in dark hues throughout the wall.
3: start drawing smaller flowers in the lighter pink tones overlapping the larger ones you have done.
4. Now this is the final part. Staring with one colour in your paint pot, start doing small more detailed flowers sporadically. After doing that for 3 mins, add a colour to your pot, more red or more yellow, but don't mix it. Then continue the sporadic small flowers allowing the mash of colours to be seen on the piantwork of the flower shapes. Change again and again until your pot is brown.
5. Choose 3 accent colours to go with the base floral wall, and add very sporadic clusters of that colour flower (i chose white and red and black)
6. then check the floral composition, it should be erratic as nature isn't symmetrical, the viewer should also be able to view all the different size and shade flowers. Some area should have less flowers and detail as well, to give the wall some focus areas..
Then put in your mannequins and let spring do its thing:)
This window will work very well if you can do the painting during the day, the length of time its takes and layering of the flowers will allow the passer by to observe the human effort and art that has gone into the window, and increases their appreciation of the work. It surprised me how many people came in during the day to say they had been watching us and it looked beautiful now, or commented that half way through the day they were not so sure, but then they loved it...
Its also great to see something hand done vs ready made prints, and i can gurantee people will love you for it:)
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
The strong use of Pink and red juxtapositions within the Spring-summer 07 shows and its precollections has hit the racks of most high end designers. From a VM perspective, this season allows for key select colours and thier neutral counterparts (like stone, khaki and slate grey) to be planned for almost any collection you worked with. This opens up a wealth of ideas that neednt be designed for one specific label, but can work throughout the season, interchangably with labels coming in and out of stores.
I also found that each idea we have put into the windows at Belinda has effortlessly been layered with new windows in possibly the most sequential set of windows i have done in the last 2 years.
Pink (in any variant of fuchsia) worked with all the collections we have bought, including the khaki Donna Karan, acting as a punctuation for the sombre colour palette..(we used pink gemstones for that window.) Then the same pink (in the form silk flower petals and painted fields of colour) acted as a reference to the runway show for the window using Dries Van Noten.
I really think that Dries Van Notens floral background is the signature of the season. A testament to fashions spring obsession with all things pink and floral.
My Personal favourite moments of the SS07 red-ultra violet spectrum are:
Lanvin's Hot pink safari dress:
THIS is Fuchsia! and although it is a colour that doesn't suit many, and more are afraid of, this dress is the pinnacle of the season for me. Joyful, bold and yet demure with its high korean neckline. I know every other fashion person in the world is jumping on the bandwagon with Lanvin, but this is really a frightfully fantastic dress!
Miu Miu Tie Dye bags:
I worked with a a young artist last year on tie dyed leather in an un-hippy format, and this miu miu bag is a perfect example. The colours look more like water marked variants in colour than tie dye and yet both the purple and red hues retain the most wonderful strength of colour. A bag that will truly be able to be worn through the year.
Marni print dress:
The combination of grey, burgundy, watermelon pink and lemon yellow with a leather brown belt would have proved far too difficult for most, but here consuelo castiglioni proves yet again that often our rules with colour need to be rethought. I think that she belives that colours, like musical notes, can be combined in an infinite number of ways to produce wonderful and moving creative moments.
For me , this is truely one of her most magical colour combinations.
have a great evening,
Saturday, July 7, 2007
that i rememebered that your inspiration can come from everything and , here is the daft punk concert i saw:
heheh its funny what things make an impression on your subconcious:)
happy sunday x ev
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
I said' i'm a display designer.' then, not satisfied, i felt the need to elaborate..
so i added something along the line of "im a window dresser, like in the olden days, i create the props, the scene, the moment in a display. I do the styling and the layout, the graphics and everything in between'
Thats seemed far more satisfactory..
I wish i could find a faster way to sum it all up, but i guess thats part of our glorious profession, in that it cannot be pinned down to one word. I see us like mercury, we fill the spaces between the people and the product, between retail and aspiration.. and the spaces between defined jobs like 'set designer' and 'stylist'.
I love what we do, i like the lack of glamour in the processes of what we need to do to make a display happen. I also like the magic once its all complete and looks so damned effortless:) I also love that i can constantly put on another hat (sometimes literally) and do a million small jobs that happen along the display process.
I think that to be a windowdresser you need to have a fearless certainty about your creativity, and not ask too many questions about where it comes from. I also think you have to want to find out about 'stuff' and 'strange' things and how to do something.. and also a love of plastic people.
I love the fact that it only lasts a month max and yet a good window keeps getting reactions even in a photo. I like the impermanence of what i do. It never boring. Not even on my $70 budgets:)
i like that, like today i can be having a bad day but at the end, i still have a great sense of satisfaction of a job completed:)
this is what a did today:) most of it is one long piece of string with no knots, just anchor points. there are about 4 other strings tied at their origin and end into the display, but then just looped around the original form to create the tensile areas:)
hope you are all having a good one!
Below, i continue the history of mannequins, as a continuation of the previous interlude post.. This wonderful excerpt taken from www.displayarama.com, fills in the gap from the original interlude post to modern day:)
"Mannequins have been around for thousands of years but their use in store display is more recent. Kings and Queens who were concerned about their appearance, like the ancient pharaohs, would have a dress form made to their body dimensions. The court dress maker or tailor would use the ‘dress form’ to display and make the clothes thus avoiding any royal embarrassment during the course of a fitting.
The evolution of this ancient crude dress form through the middle ages and up until just before the industrial revolution is unknown because there are so few written records and no museum examples to study. Wickerwork mannequins were certainly around in the late 1700s and were probably filled with stuffing and leather. Wire-framed versions came into existence in 1835 but mannequins were still not in use for store display. The invention of plate glass, the filament lamp and the sewing machine were the catalysts that put mannequins in the store.
In the 1880s window panes began to be installed in retail establishments and street lights started to appear. The improvement of sewing machines enabled ready to wear clothing to be made in large quantities. The industrial revolution also created a new middle class with money to spend on what was previously only available to royalty and landed gentry - fashionable clothes! More retail stores opened and the store owners needed mannequins to display the latest fashions.
These early mannequins were made of wax, wood or heavy fabric and because they needed to stay upright their feet were made of iron. To give them shape papier-mâché and sawdust were used. Consequently the result was an expensive, hard to maintain and very heavy object. However such was the interest in fashion that by the turn of the century the mannequin was already the center of a fledgling industry called 'window trimming' which later became known as 'visual merchandising'.
The advent of the department store with its large show windows, behind which mannequins bearing the latest fashions could be admired by the crowds, encouraged window trimmers to be artistic as well as practical. Mannequins slowly developed from being just a simple prop to display the merchandise towards a more realistic form. Mannequins with glass eyes, real hair and facial expressions began to appear.
The First World War sent millions of European men off to fight and left the women at home to do the men’s jobs. This change brought about a revolution in women’s clothing, they shed their bustiers and crinolines and adopted a more fluid line of clothes. Mannequins gradually became more lithe and realistic to reflect these changes but never could they be mistaken for the real thing. Not until the 1930s and Lester Gaba did realism become ubiquitous.
Lester Gaba was a soap sculptor in New York and was asked by a large department store if he could produce some mannequins in a more stable material with the same detail and quality that he could get with soap. He created six astonishing specimens from plaster that become known as the 'Gaba Girls'. They were each given names and a party at a prestigious hotel where they were dressed in fine clothes and jewels, New York high-society loved them! The socialites also loved Lester Gaba who had taken to the eccentric habit of going everywhere with a sitting mannequin called Cynthia. Cynthia, elbow on her knees with a cigarette in hand, traveled by taxi and appeared with Lester Gaba in a box at the opera, the Stork Club and many other famous venues. The publicity was enormous and stores could not get enough of the Gaba Girls or their imitators.
The depression and the Second World War brought about shortages and shop windows became rather somber with the mannequins of the day looking slightly melancholy and concerned. However it all changed when the war was over and by the late 1940s mannequins looked happy and prosperous, some of them even wore a radiant smile. Male mannequins in particular looked relaxed and some even had holes drilled between their lips for inserting pipes!
In the 1950s new materials became available and by the late 1960s the true mass production of fiberglass and then plastic mannequins became a reality. Advances in technology have continued so that mannequin artists can now manufacture any conceivable design and are bounded only by the limits of their creativity."
and i found an image of cynthia:) gorgeous
Friday, June 29, 2007
There is always alot to see in this part of London city centre. And you really do need a sense of adventure as most of the great places are tucked away behind the main streets. Many mid size chain stores appear in the covent gardens area due to the touristy nature of the place, however if you walk away from the tube and walk down into neals yard you begin to discover some great little shops.
Two-see is always a winner in VM with their eclectic mix of designers (preen, burfitt to name a couple) Last time i went in they had all these horrid looking stuffed birds and glass domes covering their jewellery, needless to say i was pretty impressed:) This time, the avant garde fashion was matched to the interior. Large cartoon cats that appeared on the clothing also appeared in the window and in response to the sculptural and belted mens looks, they had taped up most of their mirrors with electrical tape.. it made you wonder if the mirror had shattered or it was just a frantic flight of fancy by the shop folk:) very fun..
Two doors down we find Coco la Mer, where this last visit, i was greeted by rope bound mannequins hung from the ceiling.. Inside, the old gold full-frontal mannequin was noticeably missing, but the rest of the boudoir was as lavish as ever. Chantal Thomas lingerie was hung sparingly on racks with the new range of bondage style leather accessories, books about fetish culture and art sit alongside sleepwear and feather ticklers..just gorgeous.
Not surprisingly the high street stores again failed to charm in this area, and overall I found the covent garden vibe a little commercial. Nice to see Paul smiths floral st windows filled with horseshoes to play up the opening of the new shoe store. They always do have a slightly left of field view of the world:)
Soho was packed with grungy little street stores, but that is the charm. I loved Cosh gallery with their street art and Japanese art prints.I really liked the layout of the tiny gallery, as there is not that many prints, but each one is beautifully considered and given room to shine. The knee high black 'c o s h' letters, that can be moved around the space, add a sculptural element to otherwise a wall art based gallery. The folk in here were really lovely and the art was quality contemporary work:)
China town was a wash of cheap wears and flashing lights but it gave me a sense of being back home in Sydney (in that there were plenty of nasty cheap things to be found, in the various warehouse style shops, to use en-mass in some fun window display.)
My favourite place here is not a shop but the lady making the fresh dumplings in the window of her dumpling shop. Its such a methodical and meditative thing and its lovely to watch.. even nicer to go inside and get some steamed for a cheap lunch.
Again, apologies for the superficiality of the sum-up of this area, but its such a diverse region and I'm sure you could go on for ages!
Have a great weekend,
See you monday!
thanks to the anonymous commenter! much appreciated!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
so back to the London review.
2. Harvey Nichols, Harrods and sloane sq.
In this part of london we find the flagship stores of most of the luxury market. As such, most of the displays can be viewed in your own home town.
The biggest difference here to Sydney is that the large open window spaces, with smartly placed key accessories, lineup one after the other on Sloane st and the impact is impressive.
As always the VM in these stores is less than exciting with the beauty of the product taking up all the attention, but at 3000 pounds a bag, i guess that the rest of the space should be left plain:)
Having said that, as always the fashions are beautiful, the stores are immaculate both inside and out and there is a tangible air of austerity that befits these fashion powerhouses.
Harvey Nichols and Harrods provide the decorative elements in this area. Highly considered window displays and facades always are a key to these two department stores, who both have held the title (perhaps now held by selfridges in the public mind) of the best windows in London.
Harrods is always as amazing inside as its windows are, and as such i will discuss the harvey nichols windows of the last visit as they were quite different to usual.
The display at Harvey Nichols was a huge set of perfume displays, the entire size of the windows, to promote Tom Fords newest perfume range. It was amazing to see what is traditionally a small scale display done to this size. The repetition and imagery was very well done in light box style and i found this reinterpretation of scale very powerful. It also points to the return to the public eye of one of the heads of the fashion industry, which is great.
All in all, (as always)a very successful piece of Windowdressing, although i was a little disappointed to miss the usual eclectic and traditional window displays, such as this one from sept 06:
The side windows were more typical of the displays i have seen the last few times with graphic elements and small props interacting with few mannequins and flat lays/accessories.
Dressmaker forms have been around since the time of the Egyptian pharoahs. It is documented that when Carter opened King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922, he discovered a wooden torso not far from a clothing chest. Dating from 1350 B.C., it may have been the world's first dress form. (From Smithsonian Magazine)
After the dress form, history has been a little sketchy. The next documented story was in 1396. It is said that Charles VI of France was involved in peace negotiations with King Richard II of England.
Henry IV of France dispatched miniature, elegantly attired dolls to his fiancée, Marie de' Medici of Florence, to update her on French trends.
And Marie Antoinette kept her mother and sisters in Austria apprised of the latest vogues at Versailles with the elaborately clothed figures she regularly sent them.
During the 1700s, "fashion dolls" were used to spread the "latest fashion." With its size ranging from 1 inches, to lifesize, historians agree that the fashion dolls were the progenitor of the modern mannequin.
Very few fashion dolls exist today, because they were reused until they are literally in tatters, or given to a child as a toy.
During the Middle Ages, France was a fashion capital, as it is today. Hence, the French is sometimes credited with the creation of the first full-figured mannequin.
Monday, June 25, 2007
I just come back from a week in London. As always there is a lot to see, and the size of the city limits you to what you can do per day. I managed to split the central city into 4 areas for 4 days:
1. Liberty/Carnaby/Newburgh st.
2. Harvey Nichols/Harrods and Sloane Sq.
3. Covent gardens and Soho including china town.
4. Marylebone High st/ Selfridges and new bond st areas (oxford high st on the way).
Unfortunately, i got sick and didn't get to Portobello Rd or Brick Lane & Knightsbridge, all areas which i feel also should be included in any VM map of the city.
Over the next 4 days i'll go over each area and what i saw and felt there. So to begin:
1. Liberty/Carnaby/Newburgh st.
A generally great area for shopping and VM. Liberty has surrounded itself with wonderfully creative examples of street level fashion and contemporary designs. As a 29 yr old it fits me to a tee.. so much so, i felt like i had walked into a target market.... Liberty itself is a great place for viewing well presented merchandise (mainly high end fashion on the first few floors ) and alluring displays throughout. The luxury of the store is punctuated by quirky and whimsical displays, like the forearms of mannequins sticking out like coat hooks from the wall holding all sorts of wonderfully expensive bags and coats and scarves.. The window displays this time were quite subdued and product based, but here is a pic of quintessential liberty's from my last visit in Sept 06'
Liberty is very theatrical, but imagination and wonder rests in the little stores tucked around this area... Personal favourites include Beyond the Valley, Concrete and 59. All have a great sense of merchandising, shop designs that include quirky features that elevate and interact with the stock and innovations in what a store provides in terms of merchandise and experience.
I'll focus on Beyond the Valley as the example of the stores in the area...
Here, new artists and designers have the opportunity to display short run, 'before mass- manufacture' style items, each with a sense of purpose and imbued with all the time and effort it took to make them.
The day i was at Beyond the Valley, half the store was being transformed into a new art installation. Its a great place to see the beginning what everyone else will pick up in 2 years time:) The shop itself is half gallery and half shop and the change rooms are part of a wonderful collage of old chests of drawers and bookshelves that cover the entire wall. Very cool.
It was particularly nice to see the inclusion of Kyo Hashimoto jewellery and Donna Wilson toys, both of whom were also a part of my own pop up shop Seasonal Fruits.
I'm sorry to have to be so brief, i'd be happy to discuss the area further in future posts but for now, its enough to take in:)
all the best,
Sunday, June 24, 2007
i am Eva, currently the Head of Visuals and displays for Belinda International in Australia. (www.belinda.com.au). I work on all levels of display design and installation as well as the occasional pop-up shop and public art installation..
The plan for this blog is to provide information for windowdressers/window display designers/ visual merchandisers or whatever other titles they decide to give us, on trends i have seen through my travels, latest catwalk collections and our art of display.
Hope you all enjoy!
To begin with, over the next week i will cover my latest trip to london and the displays i was influenced by.
I'll see you all tomorrow.