Thursday, 28 July 2011

Made You Look! - The Art of Window Dressing

Daphne Guinness in the windows for Barney's

As a consumer, I've never thought much about how much effort goes into dressing a window however, with online retailing becoming more and more popular, there is increasing pressure on bricks and mortar retailers to attract customers into their stores. Have you stopped to think about what catches your eye when you're walking down the street? Is it a certain colour, shape, object? There are many techniques shops can use to catch the attention of passersby.

Unsurprisingly, there is a science behind the art of window dressing. Different colours are used to elicit different emotions from consumers. Hot pink suggests youthfulness, red is eye catching and usually associated with something passionate or a safe, blue promotes calmness, yellows and light pinks are feminine, the list goes on. Even the placement of products are important, with objects placed at eye level perceived as more important by viewers.

General Pants' controversial Ksubi campaign
Even shapes can influence consumers. Curvy lines suggest something natural and organic whilst square and rectangular shapes suggest stability. Strong diagonal lines are dynamic and are linked to movement.

Surprisingly mannequins can even influence a consumers perception of clothing. I always wondered why headless mannequins were used by stores. It turns out, they allow viewers to more easily imagine the clothes on themselves! 

Australian stores are taking the initiative to create more interesting and engaging window displays. General Pants' recent provocative window for Ksubi's Sex! and Fashion campaign had to be censored so as to not offend young viewers. As the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity so I don't think General Pants were complaining about the media coverage the display got. 

Australian pyjama king Peter Alexander knows the importance of window displays. Each display is planned six months in advance, with campaigns such a hit with customers that they buy the props after the campaign's over.

Overseas, retailers have mastered the art of window dressing, many employing local artists to assist with the design process. Barney's and Topshop have taken window dressing to a whole new level. Earlier this year socialite Daphne Guinness prepared for the Met Gala in the windows of Barney's. The adjacent windows were filled with stunning pieces from her collection from the late Isabella Blow. To promote her new Topshop collection, Kate Moss posed in the window for Topshop bringing passing traffic to a halt.

So next time you're out shopping, take the time to look at the window displays and think about what grabs your eye!

Check out some of the most interesting displays from around the world:

The amazing Bergdorf Goodman holiday window
Interesting use of an ostrich in the Louis Vuitton window
Calvin Klein's suspended mannequin display
Hermès' creepily interesting display
Barney's window display designed by artist Dennis McNett
Chanel-Kubricks window display in Nippon
Lanvin's Paris windows using fans to bring the clothes to life
The Hermès window display in Tokyo design by Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka.
The installation used cleverly timed videos of women and hidden fans to create the perception that the women were blowing iconic Hermès scarves. 
These many surveillance cameras would make anyone
think twice before trying to steal these Louis Vuitton bags.
The Calvin Klein Collection store in New York
featured a display of some of the world's most famous couples.
Post-It Pop Art in the window of Berdorf Goodman 
Apple for iPod Hi-Fi
Takashi Murakami wrapped the Louis Vuitton store in its signature 33 colours for the holiday season
The beautiful floral display in Le Printemps
Images courtesy of,,,,,,
Information sourced from Shop Til' You Drop,

1 comment:

  1. I agree.

    Some of the best windows I've seen have come from the luxury brands who have the budgets to support and relish in the art of being different. Simon Doonan has been given the reigns at Barney's and continues to transform the windows into a modern day masterpiece.


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