VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Chanda Ku­mar

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

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