I’m pretty sure if you ask most people who like Visual Merchandising where their dream place would be to work in the UK, they would say Selfridges, or it would be at least in their top 3. I was extremely lucky to be informed by my tutor at Ravensbourne university that Selfridges were looking for Visual Merchandising enthusiasts to get involved with 1/2 weeks work experience throughout June to help make props for the new window scheme. Of course I said yes and was lucky to be accepted by Selfridges, this is what I got up to:
The scheme we were told about was all to do with Shakespeare and this would be in two parts. The Spring/Summer windows are based on Romeo and Juliet. In Autumn/Winter the windows will still follow a Shakespeare theme but will be much darker.
I was allocated the Christopher Kane window and this involved using a glue gun to stick fake petals on a huge piece of sheer netting. I underestimated how long this job would take! The plan was that the mannequin would be holding a bouquet of roses and the sheer net would drape down to give he illusion the petals were falling down. The drape would be fuller at the bottom with lots of rose petals. All together, this job took ages to do. At the end of the 2 weeks, the job still wasn’t finished. Once we stuck all the fake petals on, it was time to add some frozen real petals which were slightly darker.
I also got the chance to go to the loading bay and help out with a rather large mannequin delivery. Carrying mannequins out of the van and loading up crates to take upstairs was certainly an eye opener. How many mannequins does one shop need!?
The best bit of the work experience was helping install the ‘Queen’s 90th birthday’ window scheme. This involved placing corgis in the windows and scattering gold confetti and placing party hats/crowns on the mannequins. Getting into the windows was a task in itself, especially as we had to dodge the props in the windows as we tip toed and leaned to reach the mannequins heads to place the hats.
One day I was also sent out to source some more sheer fabric from The Cloth Shop in Soho. Having to find props and items last minute and getting taxis all over the place – this is literally the life of a VM.
Overall it’s been a great experience and I can’t wait to do more visual merchandising work experience in the future.
Here is the finished product:
Christopher Kane, Romeo & Juliet
“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?” Act II, scene II
You can read about the window scheme here
Originally posted on my personal blog.