I Do Windows

Changes Are Coming!

Posted in Uncategorized by Arcadia on June 18, 2013

I’m currently in the process of redesigning this blog and changing the name!!!

I Do Windows will become The Fashion Teacher.  This will allow me to combine my fashion classes into one cohesive website, instead of directing the styling students to the visual merchandising blog.  It was always confusing for them!

Once it’s up you can still click on here for a while, but it will redirect you to the new site under its own domain name – The Fashion Teacher.com – I’m excited because I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time now, but time is my issue (I don’t have enough of it)!  I finally found a web company that is friendly and easy to work with, to help manage it for me.

I’m also excited for some new ideas I have for the site.  I want to continue to post instructional articles, but also showcase more work from students, and other readers.

If there is anything you would like to see on the site let me know.  I would love to hear your suggestions and feedback.

Thanks for reading!

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Window Dresser v. Fashion Stylist

Posted in Fashion 49, Fashion 54A, Fashion Styling, Learn from the Pros by Arcadia on January 31, 2013

Lately students have been asking which of my two classes should they take?  They can’t decide if they should focus on visuals or styling?  I scratch my head with a bemused look and say why not do both!?!

Some give me an incredulous look and say, “really?”   I reply, “think about it, what’s the difference, between the two jobs?”

A visual person is a stylist ,and stylists do visuals.  I guess most people never really thought about it, but it’s true.  It’s how I can teach both subjects – the skill set is interchangeable.  If you can dress a mannequin, you can dress a model.  If you can prop a window, you can prop a set.  Both employ the principles of design, take loads of creativity, and are hard work.  Sure there are some differences to working in a store, as opposed to a photo shoot, but we are all cut from the same cloth.

I’ve had a few arguments with myself trying to decide which is harder, visuals or styling?  Sometimes visuals win the argument, and sometimes styling.  When doing a store, it’s very physically demanding, but there’s fewer people I have to deal with, as I change out mannequins, set-up interior displays, or do floor sets.  I oftentimes, just follow my store directives and do my thing!  When styling there’s a lot of people on set, but the atmosphere is very fun, jobs are almost always catered, it’s not too physically demanding (unless you are a prop stylist, and working with big items), and you get to play with clothes all day.

Which is more fun?  Only you can answer that.  I don’t really like styling as much as I like building and making things, so visuals win out for me every time!  Yet visuals can get boring if you work for a chain retailer, because you don’t get to be as creative as the old days.  Now you just follow a store directive and almost everything is sent to you to assemble and install.  Freelance projects is when you get to use your own ideas.

Styling still requires your creative skills, as the client is looking to you to bring their idea to life – so this can be really fun!

You will find that lots of visual folk, freelance as stylists, or are repped by an agent for styling work, and some stylists also do the occasional window.  You should too!

bracelets_on_display

Is this a display of bracelets in a jewelry case at a store, or was this image ripped from a magazine?

makeup_plate

Is this a makeup display in a cube at a store ,or was this image ripped from a magazine?

For both images above does it matter?  They could have easily been created by either a visual display person or a fashion stylist!

(images via Pinterest)

 

The Legendary Martin M Pegler

Posted in Interviews, Learn from the Pros by Arcadia on October 15, 2011

If there is one name we as visual merchandisers should all know it’s Martin M. Pegler.  I’m an avid fan and user of his many textbooks and was pleasantly shocked when one day he wrote me with some comments on my student’s work, I had posted on this site!  “Mr. Pegler knew of my little site”, I thought to myself, WOW!  I of course wrote back and since then we had been emailing each other back and forth, as I asked him if I could profile him for this site.

He has written or edited over 80 books all related to display and design, and does not suffer from writer’s block.  I know this because I asked, as I sometimes suffer from this :), I’m excited to hear he’s working on a new book around the subject of  being green and display work.

Mr. Pegler is an inductee in the Visual Merchandising/Display Industries Hall of fame and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professionals for Advancement of Visual Education (PAVE), He has also been a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and is a popular lecturer in the US, Europe, and Asia.  He is a wealth of knowledge and is so generous in sharing it!

When I asked how can a display person apply their talents in other areas he said, “In my textbooks I write about the numerous areas where a good display person could blossom out, like event planning, staging fashion shows, point of purchase, or stylist for TV – it is endless what one can do with a creative talent, imagination, and the hands to do things with.  Just say I can do it – and go ahead and do it!”

Some students are completely fixated on getting a degree in display and some on getting display experience, where should their focus be – the education or experience?
“EDUCATION is most important!  Whether you go to school, take courses, or just devour history, culture, art, architecture and all the rest of the seven lively arts.  To be a really good display person you really should know all about the history of art, architecture and costume.  They are all related to the changing, but un-changing fashions; there is always something a little retro in them. By all means GET EDUCATED and KEEP LEARNING; absorb the arts and culture around you and behind you. Though I was a college professor for over thirty years; I must acknowledge that some of the BEST display people I knew were self-educated.  They had this burning need to learn.  If we as educators, can instill that need and love to learn, we have done our job. If it is possible to continue in a formal education, take it!  It will help one focus on the areas they should learn about.

What have you learned over your lifetime that you would like to share with the younger generation?
“What I have learned over the many years I have been a part of this industry, is that you never can know enough!   As I said before – things change – but you can always find something from the past in the new.  Keep your mind open to what is new, absorb – let it become part of you.  Use your own brain as a computer, store everything in the “My Documents” of the mind.  It will never let you down.”

With the popularity of e-commerce how can the visual display person continue to entice shoppers to come into the stores?  “E-commerce is flat and up till now, two-dimensional.  Displays are three-dimensional and can have a far greater appeal.  It is up to today’s display people to harness all the available technology and create something exciting and vital.  We must stop them as they walk in the street with attention-getting, eye-pleasing, sensory and emotional displays.  You can’t as yet do all that on the computer screen!”

What are some of the common mistakes new store owners make when setting up their floor plan and how can they avoid them?  “I think many retailers are not taking advantage of what good window displays can do for them, in helping them to stand out from the crowd. Good displays are an all-important opening statement, and announcements that also tell the shopper who and what the retailer is and stands for.  It is BRANDING!! – and is much cheaper than other forms of advertising.”

I’m currently reading Mr. Pegler’s latest book  Visual Merchandising and Display – Sixth Edition, it’s published by Fairchild Books, and as Mr. Pegler says, I’m learning so much.  This book is over 400 pages, and encompasses everything you could ever want to know about visuals.  I think it’s an excellent book for the beginner but the seasoned pros will find a lot of new information as well.  I have quite the mini library of display books, but if you are a student who can only afford to purchase one book , then make it this one.  31 chapters is  a lot of studying to do ;), with review questions and discussions at the end of each chapter.  Store planners and interior designers who work in retail spaces should really add this book to their library as well.

I would like to thank Mr. Pegler for taking the time to answer my questions, for sharing his knowledge, and for being so patient with me, you are truly a legend.


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