Friday, January 22, 2010


I was reading about handmade special effects last week and admiring Jan Von Holleben photographs.

I found these surreal optical illusions very inspiring for our shop window project, I liked the way he uses every day life objects to create these absurd compositions, like cut-and-paste.

I was also flicking through the "Hair Wars" book

at RD Franks and I thought I would like to make something with synthetic hair, lots of it! well maybe that would be a little expensive...
However I kept thinking about

18th century wigs

Brixton arcade

I also remembered an exhibition (someone told me once or twice that I see too many!) I saw many years ago, "When Philip met Isabella"

where Philip Treacy's wonderful hats where placed on black hatstands, inside glass cabinets so you could see your face reflected on the glass and it looked like you where actually wearing the hat

I don't think that was intentional as it wasn't very obvious but it inspired this idea:

(The grey areas are mirrors where passers by can see their reflection and it looks like they are part of the composition of 18th century wigs printed on paper and stuck on the window, the background is wax print fabric pattern as I imagined this in Brixton, maybe it used to be a hairdresser's shop...)

What do you think? it's not necessarily what the window should look like but rather a way for people people to interact with the window, in a very low-fi way, this is just a layout and I still believe there should be a message behind it which could inform or be part of the composition

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Art attack on the urban blight!

I read an interesting article today on The Economist, I admit I only understand half of the social, economic and political dealings covered by this publication but I found the article very relevant to The Fickle Street Project, although it's not about empty shop windows and despite the fact that we are still trying to work out what we will actually show in the windows once we manage to find some to curate!

The art of abandonment
Some weird and wonderful things are rising from the ashes of the Motor City

Detroit, the once model city of Industrial automobile production is now the home of the Heidelberg Project, a design collective founded by artist Tyree Guyton, turns abandoned and run down neighbourhood in Detroit into an open air art gallery.

I feel very inspired by projects, like this one, it takes a lot of courage to create beauty and wonder from challenging, and hopeless environments, and economies. The most surprising thing is when creative people like the Detroit Collaborative Design Centre see something new and unexpected, like an open air amphitheatre in a house in disrepair!

PS: Tyree Guyton's "Faces In The Hood" (faces pained on the bonnet of Detroits long gone industrial pride) reminded me about the mirrors mentioned in ...down the pub

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Years

I found a good site for browsing:

Shopping is pastime in Toyko, the high streets shop windows are a retail wonderland and visual treat so a good place to look for inspiration.
Although the sites main purpose is for Japanese fashion / shopping the photographs taken by a girl(?) who is living locally are a good insight into shop retail displays - she collects pics of all the shop windows in mainly in the Harajuku district and anything else that stands out.

One thing that really struck me was the hype generated for the stores, even this is visible through the images. Shop windows are adverts for their promotions and emphasis is taken away from other staple products. The mania deliberately created around getting something individual that no-one else has. Limited editions are especially popular ensuring you stand out in the populated crowd.
Still a massive advertising favourite is the branded bag, and they're not always freebies, 500USD for a Paul Smith bag! Uhmmm, I remember we had a similar phase in the UK a while back.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Tidings, New Ideas...

The Shop Floor Project is OPENHappy New Year! The Shop Floor Project has put up a new 'shop window' to see in the beginning of twentyten, I thought; *Has anyone done a window on new year resolutions? I also came across a site from someone I used to go to uni with who only photos windows, mostly fashion houses but good for research purps. That's here. I just wanted to say a hello and let's get to work, I'm feeling particularly proactive, woo 2010!