A handy booklet to have when thinking of what colors to incorporate into your displays this fall.
Fall is here, I’m not talking the season, as in outside weather, I’m speaking in terms of fashion. So to repeat fall is here, evident by all the lookbooks, and magazines that have been crowding my mailbox of late.
These books are our bibles and a very useful tool as we get an idea of what the fashion merchandisers have been viewing at all the shows. Remember students it’s our job to take what the buyers give us and make it look spectacular. You may not be a “trendy” person, per se, but it is your job to follow and interpret the trends for the consumer, regardless if you like them or not!
Truth be told most of us aren’t “trendy” and to be called that would probably offend, we’re more of the mavericks, yet we follow trends when called upon. Last S/S season Lagerfeld sent all his models down the runways in clogs, all the magazines featuring Chanel editorials also used clogs. So the smart visual trimmer would’ve styled his/her mannequin in clogs if they were doing a Chanel display and not cowboy boots! Yet get what I’m saying?
This is not to crush your own ideas or prevent you from putting your spin on things, just making sure you don’t incur the wrath of a fashion buyer who doesn’t see their stuff prominently displayed!
What I’m seeing as the fall trends:
- faux fur
- the color camel, and all of its variations: taupe, toffee, beige
- the 50s, and anything ladylike: structured bags, kitten heels
- black is back, and red too
- loafers are being worn again: high heels and low
- pant suits
- knits: sweaters and skirts
- I’m seeing that olive military coat everywhere and splashes of leopard print accessories
Here are a few looks from the A/W runways of Milan and Paris.
(images via: Tais-toi, sois beau, translated it means “shut up, look pretty”)
Being able to see what other window designer’s are doing is very important in our line of work. Not for the sole purpose of being snarky and critical (although that does happen), but to see what techniques work, and what ideas have the most visual impact, not to mention if you truly love this line of work you can appreciate the efforts of the other talented designers out there.
Kaisa is a visual merchandiser in London, who does a great job of showcasing displays from her city. I enjoy reading her blog as she always posts lots of photos. This is so fantastic for those of us who can’t get to the fashion capital of London. I highly recommend you check out The Window Display Blog.
A photo by Kaisa taken from her blog post Camouflage in Prada.
(image via: The Window Display Blog)
The publication VMSD (Visual Merchandising Store Design) will announce at the International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) in Toronto, on October 13th, the fast fashion chain Forever 21, as the recipient of the Peter Glen Retailer of the Year award.
For those of you who have taken my class, you are familiar with the Store Study Assignment, so you know every week you visit a retailer and complete a series of questions. This past semester I actually had to put a moratorium on anyone turning in assignment from that store because I received so many; and I can only read about the same store over and over again so many times. I finally had to say, “ENOUGH, go visit other stores !” There’s no doubt this store is adored by its customers, despite all of its controversy over the years.
I’m in complete awe at the size of this store. I thought the store we had here in Union Square-San Francisco was huge, this one in Tokyo far surpasses it.
(image via: tokyofashion.com)
Why have I uploaded this striking advertisement from Christian Dior cosmetics?
Because I think this is a look that can easily be replicated on a mannequin, without causing any damage to the mannequin’s face.
If you work in a store where you have mannequins that have been made to look like they are in full face make-up, it would be best not to try to change the face paint. My students tell me all the time, how old and beat up their “models” will begin to look over the years, and I agree; but doing what we in the industry call a “renovation” on a mannequins face is a skilled trade. I still catch the occasional student applying paint to their mannequin’s face with disastrous results! I think the advert above is clever way to do something interesting with the face for a S/S campaign or a make-up display as they have shown here.
You can copy this idea or it may inspire you to come up with something clever of your own.
Visual merchandising is and always will be a place where fashion and art collide, and the window designs currently being showcased at Harrods in London is a great example of this, except in this case fashion meets architecture. The pairing is fitting, since many designers have also been playfully described as architects, because of their clean lines, and contemporary aesthetic.
On August 25th, Harrods collaborated with JUSTSO, a visual communication agency; and turned their world-famous Knightsbridge windows into a visual tour de force of the globe’s most stunning architecture! The world’s iconic architecture has joined with the world’s iconic fashion brands.
I love how these windows are clean, simple and very unfussy. Novice visual display artists tend to think more is better, yet that can distract you away from the merchandise, which is suppose to be the primary purpose of the display. In the photos above, the architecture “props” give enough visual interest to draw you into the window, which is the ultimate goal for any window designer.
Thanks to Patrick McAleenan for sending in these photos
We all know accessories make the outfit, but there is only so much you can do with earrings, belts, and necklaces. Not the scarf! I never met a scarf I didn’t like (or wedge heel, but I digress). Hermes’ new scarf site show fashion folk from different cities twisting, knotting, braiding, styling, and doing whatever else to their beloved Hermes. This is not your grandmother’s site, but it’s the perfect excuse to borrow her beloved collection of Hermes.
Can you guess what material this dress is made from? Once I learned the answer I was even more impressed because of how difficult it must have been to emulate all the draping.
(image via: If It’s Hip, It’s Here)
One of the things that shock most of my new students is how early stores start planning Christmas windows. When I tell them some start as soon as the current year’s window are installed (basically a year in advance) they don’t believe me. It’s true! In fact if you haven’t figured out what your Winter Holiday windows are going to look like, you might be too late.
When I worked for a big store our Christmas trucks (as we called them) would start arriving in October. They held all the decorations we needed to decorate the store. Management wanted our displays done by October. So, in order to have trucks arrive by October filled with props and such; this meant the visual design team would have had to design what the look and theme was going to be months in advance, so all the materials could be ordered and delivered to the stores by October.
(oh by the way, we as the trimmers would agree: having Xmas displays up before Halloween is too much)
So take this as a gentle reminder to get on the ball and start planning your holiday windows so you’re not left just throwing anything in your windows like this:
With proper planning and time you could do this:
(image via: redbubble.com)