Blown Away

POD_daisy balloon_takashimya Tokyo based balloon artist, Rei Hosokai, makes rather amazing couture from balloons. I love this campaign and in-store installations she did for Takashimaya last year. You can see more of her blown up ball gowns at pics via Otomodachi on Flickr.

VM Fashion Osaka

Deco, Jazz & Dapper is all the Rage

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The lavish costumes and luxe lifestyle as seen in the super-hyped Great Gatsby film is all over retail land at the moment. Whilst Baz's big production is being bagged by the critics before it hits the screen, it has got to be worth a cinema ticket just to see the sets and designer threads when it opens here (Australia) 30 May. Mrs Baz (Catherine Martin) has quite a few collaborations with some serious clout going on as a spin off to the movie. The Prada store on Broadway (NYC) is currently celebrating Miuccia's contribution to Martin's costumes. The jewellery was inspired by archival pieces in Tiffany's vaults and they have released a GG collection. Designer Rugs has a stunning new Deco range designed by Martin (her second film inspired collaboration with them). And just so there is something for the boys to buy if they want to take on Leonardo's latest look, Brooks Bros. have released a retail line (including a pink suit with fine white pinstripe - very dandy indeed!). Dapper flapper is the look of the season from what I can see. Pics via Getty & Atmosphere.

Great Gatsby Fashion

Limited thinking

SONY DSC I spotted this through H&M's window in Hong Kong a couple of months back. It sums up one of the shifts in retail. Whilst we have seen 'exclusively on line' for some time now, I notice stores on the high streets are playing in this space too. I spied quite a few 'special collections/collaborations, available only  in store, for a limited time' during my OS retail snoop earlier this year.  As I sit and tap this out, I guess I am wondering just how many 'of these' items H&M made? What was the quality of the fabric and tailoring (if you can call mass production that)?, and, if it's gone tomorrow do we really care?  I think we are all pretty confident 'they' (meaning global, volume retailers) will be rolling in another rack of 'must have' designer threads real soon and whatever it was you grabbed before it was gone is likely to be forgotten whilst filed in the the bottom of the ironing basket or, if you're a bright young thing on a budget, traded on ebay before the seams split. Not that I'm 'having a crack' at H&M or the quality of their clothing mind you. I think they are seriously on top of the retail game. I'm just wondering out loud about the whole fast / volume fashion category and where it's trending? Contact me with clues, or like this on Facebook if you agree.

H&M Fashion Hong Kong

Pop up with Presence


Whilst looking for some realistic, large format, vinyl hoarding skin references I recalled seeing this Prada store in Paris. Whilst it was 5 years ago now, and only open for 5 months, it makes temporary look timeless and rather fabulous don't you think? The graphic design was a tribute to the Mirabeau Bridge, the first bridge in Paris to be created from metal. The space features illusory perspectives and a spacious double storey layout. A very slick case of  'smoke and mirrors', as we would expect from Prada. via Dazed Digital

VM Fashion Paris

Pomp my Handbag

Love the look of Anya Hindmarsh SS13 launch at Kings Rd store. via Anya H's FB page.

VM Fashion London

Lusting over a Louboutin and a Choo or Two

After spending a rather extravagant 6 weeks on a global snoop for inspiring retail experiences I must say at the end of it I returned home foot sore and sadly underwhelmed. It was tough to find something new out there. I have decided that future explorations will have to be to emerging markets. The use of technology was on my eye-spy agenda. Where it was used for Christmas decorations I gave it the big thumbs down (Barney's Electric Holiday ... a clever concept but not a good in store experience in my opinion ... it just didn't feel like Christmas). Happily the Lord and Taylor department store on 5th Ave used technology to provide a new shoe shopping experience for me. Australian department stores still have floor staff who have to go out the back to check if the shoe is in stock in the required size. It's a slow and lousy experience.  Lord and Taylor have floor staff with hand held devices, they take your name and  then scan any shoe you like.  They can tell you immediately if they have stock in your size. If they do, and you want to try it on, a customer support person pulls it from the back of house and within minutes it has arrived on the floor without the sales person leaving your sight.  Now if only they had more size 11.5's in stock ... sadly I left empty handed.

Lanvin’s got legs

Lanvin's Christmas windows are a little madcap this season with mannequin's arms and legs projecting from trees adorned with bags, shoes and trinkets along with traditional baubles.  Spotted on the Rue St Honore, Paris.

VM Fashion Paris

Folded Fashion Fabulousness

Melbourne shook off her winter coat on Saturday and served up a balmy spring day which was just  perfect for a stroll through the CBD and a spot of 'retail eye spy' ... and having just picked up a brand new zoom lens I went off in search of the good stuff. Colour is everywhere in retail land this season. Melbourne's GPO was running with a striking desert inspired installation to celebrate spring.  Made from folded paper, garden beds of cacti showcased the season's 'must haves' amid the blooms. Right next door to GPO the Myer windows had gone to Mecca (the cosmetic variety that is). Again, folded paper delivered another 'make you stop and look' moment (I also happened to chance a snap of that young lady with fabulous red hair in the distance  - the new lens works a treat!)

Sportsgirl was the last of my top 3 VM picks in the Bourke Street Mall. Ply wood palm trees in pastel and citrus tones promised a fashion paradise awaiting in store. This retailer always delivers an eye catching entry statement and is worth a look if you're in that part of town.  As for the other big brands in the vicinity ... well it was all a bit dull really (a bit like their share prices). Sigh.

VM Fashion Melbourne

Yayoi oi oi oi

My mate Murphy, my mum and my good self went along to the kooky, wonderful, quirky Yayoi Kusama exhibit at GOMA (Brisbane) last Christmas (above). Yayoi has since collaborated with LV on a range of clothing and accessories. The instore experience at Selfridges is indeed just that ... and then some. LV images via Dezeen.

Light show

The entry foyer to Zara's flagship in Milan is quite sombre and somehow feels a little 'intimidating' (twice as intimidating when you factor the big burly security guard with an 'eagle eye' for a blogger's camera into the equation!).  Some form of dramatic sculptural piece and seasonal fashion showcase is a feature of the minimalist marble entry. Duccio Grassi are the architects behind this rather sensational installation.  They are also the architects behind the superb flagship in Rome (below). via Duccio Grassi

Zara Fashion MIlan Rome