Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Visual Merchandising: Harvey Nichols, London #HNStayCalm

If, like me, the word 'sale' is like a drug to you, then you'll really appreciate the creative genius behind Harvey Nichols' new windows, which I saw being put together last week. Part of its current #HNStayCalm campaign, which promotes its huge summer sale, the idea is to give the concept of running around like a headless chicken a very fashionable twist. 

Male and female mannequin lie on foam in the window of Harvey Nichols
 These two look relatively calm. Check out the feather-inspired wigs.

Having once braved the highs and the horror of a Vivienne Westwood sample sale in Notting Hill (where I was surprised nobody drew blood, especially with the very inept staff on hand), it's safe to say that I know what Harvey Nichols is getting at with its message. They know that shoppers lap up the deals and are prepared to fight tooth and nail to get them, so they've brought us ads with headless but style-conscious poultry and then they've added feather-style headpieces, possibly with hair extensions, to the mannequins on display. 

Female mannequin in white designer dress and feathered wig
 I love the drama of this white dress against the brocade jacket.

Assembly process of Harvey Nichols window display in London
Ok, so it's not the finished article, but this is shaping up to be a fantastic display.

For me, the real killer touch were the layers of industrial foam in different shades, creating a backdrop that resembled the strata of cliffs (well, even chickens get desperate, guys - if they needed to jump off a cliff to reach a bit of Mary Katrantzou then they definitely would go for it). The bleakness of the foam made the clothes stand out even more, creating a bit of a wasteland for the mannequins to punctuate with outfits in earthy and neutral tones.

Sale window display with mannequin in feathered headpiece
A mannequin lounges on top of the foam layers.

If being a chicken makes you this well dressed, clearly it's worth working up a sweat for those sale bargains.

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