Understanding what is current in high end retail is imperative for staying on trend. Ultimately the designs seen in hight street stores and budget fashion sites are all inspired by high couture and RTW runway looks therefore to see where it all came from is perhaps the most effective way of remaining up to date.
Dover Street Market is ever at the forefront of high end contemporary fashion. The multi-storey building is live with unique architecture that is utilised for artistic affect. It is probably my favourite shop in London (alike many people in fashion) so I found it more than appropriate to take a trip into store for inspiration.
On entry, the mirrored shelving units that house miniature Moncler statues stand a guard of honour and assist in keeping the flow of movement further inward. Reflective surfaces brighten the room and the positioning in front of the great stretching window makes for and even airier feel. The maximisation of light flow heightens the modern ambience and further allows the customer to get a clear view of garments.
The presentation of merchandise is an art instillation in itself. Tinted glass screens act as separation between collections while the most courageous of accessories lie raised on pillows on the glass display table. Only filling rails to a partial amount helps the customer to decipher favourites in the abyss of contemporary creation and is furthermore effective for marketing.
Particularly inspiring for styling ‘futurism’ was the neon-nylon extravaganza from AW18 Prada. The dystopian sci-fi themed collection by Miucci Prada is absolutely astonishing with atypical design. Juxtaposing gentle silk organza with heavy duty padded nylon went beyond conventions however fits the exact epitome of futurism.
In addition, it was interesting to see the current usage of animal products. Resources such as fur and leather are still very much a key feature in some high fashion collections despite major brands including Burberry, Gucci, Versace and Stella McCartney boycotting fur production altogether. Celine seemed to be one of the more favourable brands for animal sheering with an array of sheepskin and mink outerwear available for purchase.
I was also able to get a first hand look at some of the garments from Balenciaga X WFP and photographed them for primary imagery. The VM set up for this collection was really interesting. An entire scene was set to immerse the customer and encourage interaction with products. The setting was of a derelict lift and kitted out with lighting and props to entirely transform the section of shop floor.
Everything I saw provided inspiration in some way so I was really pleased that I visited. I also managed to collect some imagery from the nearby Burberry store to put together a concept board for the shoot.