I Do Windows

Louis Vuitton Store Opening

Posted in Mannequins, Retail News by Arcadia on September 29, 2011

Not much to say as I think the photos speak for themselves.  I was wasting time in between correcting assignments when I came across these photos.  They were taken from Chiara Ferragni’s blog, The Blonde Salad.  Her blog is fashion site where she posts photos of her “outfits of the day”, I tried to bypass those and just show you the awesome mannequin stylings of the Louis Vuitton store opening in Montenapoleone, Italy:

That’s Chiara in the middle, this photo would have been so much funnier had she put her bag over her head too!

Where have we seen this before?

I would love to see this store in person!

(images via: The Blonde Salad)

Green Windows

Posted in Learn from the Pros, Sustainable Design by Arcadia on September 15, 2011

Just to recap, my 9-to-5  job is as general contractor, and I teach part-time.  How I got into construction was by building window displays which led me to wanting to build bigger and better things.  15 years later I’m a general contractor who builds green (and is still addicted to fashion!).

I got into sustainability when I was joking with my boss on a former job that we could build a whole other house with just the stuff we throw away!  I think we as display artists are kings and queens when it comes to recycling, re-using, refurbishing, renovating and any other “re” words!

When designing a store it is important to focus on the store layout, fixtures, lighting, and storefronts.  It is now becoming equally important to look at sustainable design – Design work that is eco-friendly.  I won’t go into a monologue on the benefits of building green, as I’m sure a few of us are probably suffering from green fatigue because we’ve heard it so much, but whether you are opening a new store or working on your displays it is good to keep it in mind.

Some helpful tips:

I always use low or zero VOC (volatile organic compound) paint and finishes, luckily for those of us here in California almost all of our paint sold in stores meet this requirement.  Benjamin Moore is my favorite, for color choices and quality of paint.

Whenever we need wood for a display or prop I use scrap wood I’ve been saving or reclaimed wood I’ve purchased from my favorite junk yard.  I very rarely use brand new lumber for display work as it does not require the same structural integrity a house would need.

I’m starting to source fixtures from places that specialize in manufacturing fixtures in a sustainable way.  This also forces me to look at new ways of using non-conventional items as fixtures (e.g. barrels, luggage, wine crates,etc….) and come up with new ways to incorporate them into the design plan.  Check out Green Store Inc.

I’m NOT a fan of carpet, but I have installed them for clients, luckily there are some great choices that use renewable materials.  I recently installed FLOR into an office space.  I like this floor covering because you can easily determine how much you want to use.  I use it for a lot of office/retail environments.  Natural linoleum is also a good choice for high-traffic areas.

When your old incandescent light bulbs burn out I hope you are replacing them with CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs), and if you have lighting in your cabinets you had LEDs installed.

Do you offer your customers a small discount if they bring their own bags for their purchases?  The Goodwill I shop at does this.

I could preach ad nauseam about this subject as it’s my lively hood, but I won’t bore you.  I am more than happy to answer any questions.  Go Green!!

Lady Gaga’s windows for Barneys New York

Posted in Retail News by Arcadia on September 15, 2011

As I was speaking to some students regarding the upcoming holiday season and how plans should already be made regarding Christmas windows, I just remembered that Lady Gaga and team will create Gaga’s Workshop on the fifth floor of Barneys and its windows.  This will be really interesting!  I’m trying to keep an open mind but I already have some preconceived ideas of what her holiday windows will look like….and it ain’t pretty!

Terms of the Trade

Posted in Fashion 49, Window Lessons by Arcadia on September 1, 2011

I consider myself pretty well versed in fashion and design, with lots of room for improvement and more learning.  My new book – Contemporary Visual Merchandising and Environmental Design, by Jay Diamond and Ellen Diamond, have presented me with such an opportunity!

This post is not a book review as I am still getting through it, but it has introduced me to some new terms:

  • Shape Contrast
  • Textural Contrast
  • Progression
  • Radiation
  • Unique Placement

When I looked up the meaning of all these words I knew exactly how it applied to display as we use many of these techniques in our work, I just never really had a word for it….it kind of made me laugh, but in case you are wondering here’s my summary:

Shape Contrast – incorporating a variety of shapes (duh!)

Textural Contrast – incorporating unusual or unexpected textures (ditto!)

Progression – accomplishing rhythm by incorporating the same color in various shades, or same shape in various sizes

Radiation – rhythmic movement that radiates from a central point (this leads me to believe radiation is mostly accomplished in a circular fashion)

Unique Placement – an unexpected or unique placement of an object!

Other terms I use a lot and expect my students to know are:  focal point, harmony, repetition, scale, balance (symmetrical and asymmetrical), lines, and proportion.  

I guess you could call this Unique Placement!


(image via: Winnie’s Wardrobe)



Kelly Wearstler’s new in-store boutique

Posted in Retail News by Arcadia on September 1, 2011

I’ve mentioned in the past what a HUGE fan I am of Kelly’s work, suffice it to say I am beyond ecstatic that she has launched a RTW collection!  While there are so many pieces of her collection I am already in love with, I was pleasantly surprised to see the stores carrying her designs had created a pop-up boutique for her line, instead of just hanging everything on fixtures.  Here are some photos from Kelly’s own blog:

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