At Concept, we always like to give our window displays a sublime edge. Big, brazen and unique – we like to think of them as an avant-garde in advertising. Lee’s work does the job wonderfully. He creates layered pieces that catch the eye, all with a quality of fine art. Take a look for yourself! You can see our latest display, which plays on a psychedelic noir profile, here now!
However, you mustn’t think we’re pioneers in this respect. The window display has long been a vibrant, inventive and shocking mode of artistic expression, one sadly neglected in art circles. We at Concept would like to invite you to join us as we delve into a few examples of stunning window displays at the forefront of contemporary design.
Selfridges’ “breathing window”, by Studio Souffle (London, 2013)
As part of their “No Noise” campaign that ran in the first two months of 2013, Selfridges commissioned Studio Souffle to create this astounding piece of work. Aside from the elegance and simplicity of this design, one that plays on the minimalist tradition, this was a display that worked in motion. A series of inflationary and deflationary fans operated in tandem to give the impression that the window was breathing, a design choice that very much distilled the essence of the “No Noise” campaign. The campaign was all about relaxation, taking time to pause, letting yourself breathe. The window was its physical embodiment.
Johnnie Walker, “Where Flavour is King”, by LOVE (London, 2012)
Although this display was, again, installed in Selfridges, it comes from the whiskey brand Johnnie Walker. Design company LOVE put this together to advertise the brand in the lead up to Christmas, 2012, and it is extravagant. Every aspect of the design communicates an aspect of the Johnnie Walker brand: its extravagance is a rubber stamp of approval to the luxury and glamour of the brand; the almost vaudeville components that come together here lend a certain mystery and darkness to the brand – a tint of the unknown; the colour pallet screams Christmas. It even comes with a video!
Fortnum and Mason, “Alice in Wonderland” (2006)
This was the Fortnum and Mason window display for Christmas in 2006. It stands as a stunning example of what a diversity of art is possible in constructing a window display. There is no clear pitch involved in this installation and, more importantly, there doesn’t need to be. The design work here is magical, really capturing the excitement of Lewis Carroll’s classic story. In a word, this is a work of unashamed joy, frivolity and beauty. It works because of how seriously it takes Oscar Wilde’s notion of “art for art’s sake”, emphatically refusing to adopt a utilitarian message and allowing itself to be carried into the communal joy of Christmas time.