Sunday, 22 May 2011

Regent Street Windows

Today I went for a stroll down Regent Street to have a look at the RIBA (ie Royal Institute of British Architects) window dressing project. This involved 10 architecture practices creating the window displays for 10 shops along the street.

To be honest, I was rather disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing the "Free State of Soho" at Banana Republic but then I was just bamboozled by it, and couldn't really read the message in their creation. Besides which, it didn't actually include any clothes in the display, which is going off on a tangent if you ask me!

And then, when I attempted to take photos of some of the vaguely more interesting ones, it proved more difficult than I anticipated. Reflections and what not...

Gant's display of convex mirrors and silver birch
by Marks Barfield Architects
Aquascutum's display by HUT
(but it was more the bright yellow trench coat and
the pattern on the dress that I was interested in)
Ferrari's display by Duggan Morris Architects
(where the reflection getting in the way actually had
a kind of interesting and surreal effect...)

BUT, all was not lost, for some other window displays outside the scope of the project caught my eye and seemed to be much more interesting than the architects' ones. We could say that's a sign that architects today are unimaginative and/or don't know how to translate their ideas. But it's probably kinder and actually more true to say that we should let the window dressers do their jobs and architects do theirs.

Anyway, here are some of the other displays I enjoyed:

Gentlemen mannequins do tea at Charles Tyrwhitt
More gentlemen mannequins
Charles Tyrwhitt says old class
Mango clocks and crates
More of Mango's display
Zara's rubber ducky/sailor theme
Brooks Brothers' tailoring bits and bobs
More suit-candy from Brooks Brothers

Loved some of the fabric patterns and colours at Hobbs - kind of reminded me of something you'd find on a Horrockses dress (though I'm sorry they're kind of hard to see with all the reflection in the photo).

Hobbs' Horrockses-inspired prints

No longer on Regent Street, there were still treats to be found...

The cake display at Bea's of Bloomsbury on Theobald's Road
A shoe shop somewhere in Covent Garden,
though unfortunately I forgot to note down the name!
Anonymous Covent Garden shoe shop again
Check out the pastel pink and aqua shoes inside the
shop - wow.

Of course, I gawped at the windows of all these shops and enjoyed their displays but then returned to my vintage ways. Being so close to the Soho branch of Beyond Retro, I just had to pop in, and couldn't resist walking out with a few finds.

Beyond Retro dress, skirt and shorts.
Brighter in real life, but the lighting in my flat is low!


  1. Hmmm... Think you might be right with your kinder comment - window dressers should do that artistic job, not architects. Sometimes they do it so well! I've had the same disappointment of reflections in the way of photographing a wonderful statue of Cuchuillan (spelling?)in the Post Office window in Dublin. I do like your purchases at the end. That dress is going to be excellent. Shorts! What fun! Your first pair? What shoes will you wear, do you think? Happy summer yellow for the skirt too :-)

  2. Not my first pair of shorts, no! I managed to find a lovely pair last summer after much searching, and I wear them quite a lot. They have the option of braces (with buttons!) or a belt, so I love them. Generally worn with brogues or kitten heels...

    I wore the skirt to work today. Got three approving comments from colleagues. So did well!