Nehera’s Windows at Fenwick

 fenwick-3

Whilst I was taking part in the Mulberry workshop on New Bond  Street last week, I came face to face with a really cool window concept. It was Nehera’s window design for Fenwick and it really did catch my eye. The lighting was great and the visual effect of the water moving was really effective.

I hadn’t heard of Nehera before so I decided to look up the brand not long after I saw the window and found that it really resembles the brands Spring/Summer 2017 advertising campaign. The central window was transformed into a socialist public pool, and closely resembled features that were present in Mária Švarbová’s original photographs from the campaign. I thought the display was really simply but visually beautiful and I loved that it had a clear theme and minimal colour palette featuring blues and oranges.

All images from Nehera’s website.

Visual Merchandising Workshop at Mulberry

So today I was really fortunate enough to go behind the scenes at Mulberry’s flagship store on New Bond Street. One of my university lecturers is a current VM at Mulberry and so she used her charm to allow us to work in groups on a workshop downstairs of the store.

Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures for confidential reasons so I took some pictures of the current window design instead! Which I do think is really cool. I’m loving the neon-styled lights with the one nail painted red.

The workshop consisted of three main activities, these were; scarf/jumper folding, bag stuffing and mannequin styling. First up, I started on the scarf folding station which actually is a bit more complex then it sounds. How many times do you fold a scarf? Tassels on show or not? Mulberry logo visible or hidden? All these questions had arisen from the job of scarf folding, but yet they were all key factors that visual merchandisers must consider.

Moving onto the jumper folding was a bit easier, place the tissue paper and mould the jumper around the tissue paper and use it as the prime base/size. The struggle here was size ordering due to having the smallest on top, meaning some adjustments had to be made! Slight pull here and there and that will do!

Next I went on to the bag stuffing. Bags are stuffed in transport to allow them to keep their shape so they are pretty much ready to go straight into the store upon arrival. With three different sized bags, we had to have a  go at working out just the right amount of stuffing each bag required. First we placed the dust bag inside the bag, and then the stuffing began. Key things I learnt here were that you mustn’t overstuff as you must remember to allow the customer to still be able to see key details when looking into the bag, for example the concealed pocket at the back of the bag or any other inside feature. Also, the importance of how the product will sit on the display. For example, the handles… do they stand up? Lay to the side? Go round the base and pop out at the sides? It’s important that if a bag has a long shoulder strap, to show it, so the customer can see that this is a feature. Another example is when a bag has a small purse attached inside, that poking it out of the zip at the top is a good way to display it. It’s key to consider that when visual merchandisers come up with their ideas on how to best display bags and their straps, it must be a quick and easy thing to do so that it can be replicated across multiple stores.

The final activity was mannequin styling. We looked through some lookbook images and had to decide a look to recreate. I have worked with mannequins before however not ones quite this complex where their elbows and fingers moved too! Mulberry have a mock window display downstairs which they recently installed and so this is what we worked with. After a constant tweaking of the fingers, we managed to get the mannequin to hold the bag in the way we wanted it to and overall I was impressed on how much our mannequin resembled the look in the original image.

The workshop was a great insight into what a visual merchandiser gets up to behind the scenes and all the aspects they have to consider when setting guidelines to be followed by all stores.

My Visual Merchandising Internship at Selfridges

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.

New Blog

So I’ve recently decided to start a new blog. I’ve been switching between WordPress and Blogger for so long and despite having a personal blog on blogger, I’ve missed the community on WordPress and how everyone seems a lot more sociable!

This blog is for everything visual merchandising related! I am aspiring to be a VM and hope to share my thoughts and opinions of window displays, shop interiors and any news relating to retail and VM.

Hope you enjoy.

Tara x