Monday, July 30, 2007

Randoms: today 30/7/07

Thing working for me today:

fake mice in many colours, garden gnomes under tables and mannequins skirts, the colour red.. and my hot pink glitter hat that gives me inspiration whilst doing my book-keeping:)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

musings: ideas vs budget : The outcome

Here is the window.. from the side and back, i didn't get a great photo from front on.. and a detail shot...

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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

Musings: ideas vs budget

Today i spent $90 AUD on 900 chocolate gold coins.These are going to create a playful window about the gold and silver Miu Miu shoes we have in at the moment.. rich rich rich... its crazy but i think the lack of budget keeps you more concerned on what to do in the window as an idea rather than purely focussed on the sleek end product.. it invites play and an obscure way of looking at things.
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

Tech: Painted picture walls

Yesterday I spent about 10 hours hand painting a floral background on a 7mtr wall.As a result of this i now have these tips for painting a pink floral wall (substitute colour for your own colourway):

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:)

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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

Spotlight: Hermes tokyo window june 07

here is the latest from Hermes tokyo..

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needless to say it is a wonderfully inspired display which shows just what you can do when you have site sensitive creatives and the budget.. &hearts

Monday, July 9, 2007

Spring Summer 07 - We &hearts pink

Summer 07 sees the very definite return of sultry pinks and purples. Seen on the catwalk collections of Fendi, Miu Miu, Lanvin and Gucci(to name a few), the fuschia and purple slant for this season heralded the strongest colour wave in a couple of years. While Winter 06 saw the inclusion of some dramatic emeralds, the main body of runway shows leant towards browns, grey and black, in standard winter form.

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:
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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:
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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:
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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

Musings: inspirations...

During this last trip to London, i was left rather uninspired by the windows and VM i saw. I was not feeling that any of it, although very good, was giving me a new answer to anything. I came home rather concerned that i would not be able to fulfill the great demand of windows and installations this trip was supposed to have inspired. It was only when i got home and started doing all these crazy art pieces and windows that look like this:
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that i rememebered that your inspiration can come from everything and , here is the daft punk concert i saw:

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heheh its funny what things make an impression on your subconcious:)
happy sunday x ev

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Musings: what do you do?

I was asked today how i would describe myself, what i do..

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:)
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hope you are all having a good one!

Interlude: mannequins in History 2

Sorry for the absence, ive been working too hard for the last 3 days, but never the less, tonight i will happily post twice..
Below, i continue the history of mannequins, as a continuation of the previous interlude post.. This wonderful excerpt taken from, 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
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x ev