Screaming sales signs and instantaneously forgettable displays of identical white mannequins given the ‘human touch’ with a dreadful wig tend to rule the shop windows along the high streets. But the imaginative window displays at Selfridges will make you stop in your tracks to gaze at these alluring creations varying from one window to another.
Bright Young Things – Selfridges’ current campaign celebrating young, UK-based talent brings a welcome burst of colourful energy to Oxford Street. Like thieves in the night, the designers slipped in to express their creative visions using the medium of the highly covetable storefront windows in Selfridges. During one long night of painting, sawing and endless arranging, the spaces came alive; each and every one a tiny and unique universe; one might be a surrealistic dreamscape, another an incredibly detailed room of curiosities and theatrical nick-nacks.
Bright Young Things gives major exposure to a new generation of creatives and an opportunity to sell their work at a pop-up shop at the Oxford Street flagship store. Reece Crisp, Menswear Buyer for Selfridges, explains the choice of menswear designers: ‘For me, this year’s line-up of menswear talent is incredibly strong – both wearable and unique. In particular the use of print and fabrication is outstanding across all four designers.’
One of the designers, Astrid Anderson’s collection is exactly what Crisp promises: playful, colourful and decorative – basically everything you wouldn’t expect from a traditional menswear collection. ‘Without the attitude, menswear means nothing to me’, Astrid describes her exceptional approach. Her collection can be called luxe-sportswear with inspiration drawn from American basketball and hip-hop cultures and conceived with the innovative methods of digital printing and technical fabrics.
The reference points for the menswear designers seem to be closely connected to the modern man and their ideas of masculinity. This theme is further explored by Alex Mattson, a Swedish-born designer, who is known for his exploration of the stereotypical style of Latino gang members. His S/S12 collection stands out with its peculiar source of inspiration: sound-colour synesthesia, a condition that causes the individual to experience colours in response to music. Alex’s window display gives a glimpse into this collision of inspiration sources, featuring a motorcyclist racing through a world of brilliant colours.
The Oxford Street and Duke Street windows are up until the end of February 2012.
Menswear designers: Shaun Samson, William Richard Green, Alex Mattson, Astrid Anderson
Womenswear: Sorcha O’Raghallaigh, Adam Andrascik, Maarten van der Horst, Alice Lee, MASC
Accessories: Oliver Ruuger , T. Lipop
Art and Design: Becky Sloan, Tinker and Tailor, Archie McLeish, Nuha Razik
Words by Eve Keskinen
TagsAdam Andrascik, Alex Mattson, Alice Lee, Archie McLeish, Astrid Anderson, Becky Sloan, Bright Young Things, Eve Keskinen, Future Map, Maarten van der Horst, MASC., Nuha Razik, Oliver Ruuger, Selfridges, Shaun Samson, Sorcha O’Raghallaigh, T.Lipop, Tinker and Tailor, William Richard Green,