Friday, 22 March 2013

Visual Merchandising in Rome: Shop Window Lust

After last week's Roman Holiday adventure (in which I did not resemble Audrey Hepburn or smash a guitar over a spy's head on the River Tiber, but I did have lots of gelato), it's time to reflect. Naturally I had my VM brain on when I visited the city, as it's so well known for shopping and I'm such a shop window whore, so I've come up with an overview of the best fashion snapshots that I took.

These were mainly in the Via Del Corso and Via Condotti and the surrounding streets. The area is a mecca for anyone with money to burn and it's also a great place just to gaze at quirky displays. Enjoy!

Window display of Valentino in Rome City - mannequin wearing monochrome dress
 Where else to start, but with Valentino?

The atelier that is surely most synonymous with Rome, Valentino remains as chic as ever, despite the man himself no longer running the show. We're still seeing feminine silhouettes and great craftsmanship, with designs that you know would be investment pieces.

Valentino rockstud perspex handbag and studded heels in a visual merchandising display
 It's all about the Rockstuds.

Just as Valentino has previously taken camouflage print and removed it from an army setting (he used it as the basis for a ballgown), his brand continues to push the envelope. Here we see the faddish low fashion trend of studs, which was corrupted from its punk origins and became the embellishment of your average housewife's t-shirt, being used as a high fashion material.

Female shop window mannequins in luxury fashion store, Via Condotti
 Mannequins in catwalk formation.

MaxMara store in Rome, Italy, in the rain
 A rainy view of MaxMara.

Striped Dolce & Gabbana sundress in visual merchandising display, Rome
 Dolce & Gabbana go for deckchair stripes in an oversized doll's box.

Louis Vuitton window display with typewriter and accessories.
 Louis Vuitton goes old skool with a typewriter, a parquet floor and a flurry of paper.

Stacks of paper in menswear visual merchandising display in Rome
 Really simple visuals, but these stacks of paper work well as pedestal columns for menswear.

Fluorescent shoes in shop window, Rome
 Just off the Campo De' Fiori, I found this lurid but fun shoe shop. Love the brogues.

Shabby chic furniture in Rome homeware store
 The hipster contents of Nora P in the Monti district.

Want real shabby chic and artisan cool in Rome? Then you have to head to Monti. My Vespa tour guide, Annie, described it as Italy's answer to Nolita in New York. It's quirky and fun, full of tiny restaurants serving authentic local food, alongside vintage stores and bars. Nora P was a homeware shop that we came across in the area, boasting weird and wonderful furniture and accessories.

Chanel window display with red bob wigs and black and white photos
 Chanel's black and white photo montage got me snap-happy.

Louis Vuitton flagship store in Rome - former cinema
 The other branch of Vuitton is the flagship store and it has a cool back-story.

This used to be Rome's first cinema, so the team at Louis Vuitton decided to use its original features as a starting point for the building's re-design. You'll find a board outside listing screenings of fashion films.

Louisn Vuitton store with vintage cinema screen
Spot the cinema screen at the back.

Okay, so you can't smell the heady mix of popcorn and hormones that your average cinema reeks of, but instead you get cool promotional videos and something a little bit different. Kudos to LVMH for keeping an authentic slice of Rome, rather than glossing over it. This proves it really is the Eternal City, with more reinventions than Madonna.

As for the actual shopping that I could afford, I was more high street than high chic, but I did manage to bring back some seriously good chocolate and a leather-bound notebook. Maybe next time I go, I'll be doing more than window shop in the stores along the Via Condotti... well, a girl can dream!


  1. Aching for all of those! Haha a girl can dream :)


    1. Glad I'm not the only one who was tempted, Hayfa! x


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