I met Nahji (a.k.a Miss Chu) a few years ago at her first tuckshop off William Street in Sydney. Since then she has evolved the concept considerably and now has outlets in both Sydney and Melbourne (and has sold Miss Chu licenses into New York, London, Paris and the rest of the country according to the fabulously flamboyant floor boy in the South Yarra store). It was good when I bit into the first rice paper roll and remains so. Retail evolution and store growth is not an easy road so I am more than delighted to report the brand and offer is better than ever (particularly love the graphic and store design direction too ... it's honest and on trend). Kano Hollamby is the designer for this South Yarra store (happy snaps above). Bring on Brisbane and the rest of the country I say!
Miss Chu x 2 (Melbourne)
Stick ‘em up!
POD peeps have been up ladders late at night again. This month we transformed blank construction walls into colourful compositions for DFO South Wharf. Adding some interest to the long lengths of vinyl were 3D pizzas, donuts and sushi in the food court. Upstairs the Homemaker level was given a mid-century make over and decorated with 3D home wares. Big thanks to all the install lads and our lovely client Jess Harney. POD is v. pleased with the total transformation (if we do say so ourselves!).
Take a Seat
No need for specs when looking for your seat in this venue! I like the simplicity and clear communication strategy for this lecture hall at the University of Technology in Munich. via Deubzer King Rimmel Architects
Colour Blocked Blooms
Printemp's signature spring blooms and the latest homeware 'must haves' as seen in the windows this May. via Printemp
Printemp's Paris windows never fail to impress. March 2013. via Printemp
Australia took Gold at this year's Chelsea Flower Show. I love the way London retailers jump on board, from a VM perspective, when this Botanical 'Best in Show' comes to town. pics via CFS.
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 daisyballoon.com. pics via Otomodachi on Flickr.
Deco, Jazz & Dapper is all the Rage
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.
Chanel did it in Covent Garden back in March for Mothering Sunday (UK), now Country Road is getting in on the floral act this Mother's Day down here in Oz. Eye-spied CR's pop-up flower stall at their South Yarra flagship store (Melbourne) on the lovely Lucy Feagin's Design Files blog just a few minutes ago and thought to myself ... "It's a small world. A great idea is launched in March, re-invented to suit another brand (designed, manufactured, installed), and voila just 8 weeks later and a half a world away, here it is!". The web is a wonderful thing but it also makes discovering 'something new' out there a real challenge. A few years ago you could be 'daring, different and first', now you have to be bloody fast as well before 'everyone's seen it' and fatigue sets in. Photo via The Design Files (thanks Lucy!). Note: POD is making grand assumptions that CR's flower stall was inspired by Chanel - this may, or may not, be true.
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.