The iconic British retailer Selfridges celebrates the Queen’s jubilee and Olympic period this summer with its dramatic eclectic themes in its series of windows as part of the Big British Bang campaign
“Summer 2012 is set to be an incredible time for Britain. To celebrate both the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympic period we wanted to create a set of windows which showcased all things Great and British. From Royalty to rebellion, festivals to high tea, even the rainy British weather. All manner of British traditions are described with great affection,” says Sarah McCullough, Concept and Windows Manager, Selfridges.
Conceptualised since September 2011, the Big British Bang concept is a series of ideas that have been given great attention to detail to create theatrical settings where many props were genuine articles to ensure realism.
“We wanted the windows to feel as authentic and detailed as possible. For example, the pub window features a real bar and real bottles of
whiskey, antique ale tankards and photographs of British darts players. The production team even bought a real Robin Reliant car from Ebay and had it sprayed with the Union Jack. We sourced hay for the fete window from a farm in North England. The carriage carrying the Queen and Prince Philip was made specially but is true to scale and so big it completely fills the window,” Sarah explains.
A staggering twenty seven window display themes were installed over 5 days, when different windows teams worked for 24 hours a day. The teams enjoyed every setting they installed and despite the tiring effort they testified having had lots of fun doing it. “The funniest piece to install was the classic "builders bum", a false plastic bottom which had to be padded and velcroed onto a mannequin’s behind. It was then tucked into a pair of loose blue Levi's to realise the picture of a typical English builder bending over during work,” Sarah comments.
Creating these elaborate settings had the teams face some interesting challenges to which they had to find spontaneous solutions. “We also had to work out how to drive a real car through the shop floor and install it in a window. This involved several men pushing the car through the beauty hall while one of our production team drove!” says Sarah.
The festival window settings featured some great cutting edge street style from British high street brands such as Topshop and All Saints. The fete window flaunted haute couture designer labels. “All favourite British designers are represented from the established Paul Smith and Burberry to the more emerging designers. We've also collaborated with Vivienne Westwood, the grande dame of British fashion, where her windows showcase this season’s collections, exclusive T-shirts and some rare archive pieces. A must see for any Westwood enthusiast,” Sarah adds.
True to their reputation of grand dramatic windows that earn world fame, Selfridges, continued to amaze and amuse its customers with this series of display stories.
“We strive to offer a unique experience that can only be had at Selfridges. Where else can a customer come and play Bompas and Parr's crazy golf on a rooftop on Oxford Street, see a punk smooching a Queens' guard in a window, or visit a world class British fashion exhibition by Judith Clark?,” Sarah concludes.
The excitement and celebration of the campaign was extended in-store with exclusive products, events and special activities to mark the most memorable year of the millennium for Great Britain