Friday, 10 January 2014

Shinjuku Shop Windows

On the whole, I am not a devotee of shop window displays. I used to occasionally stop to admire Liberty's but that was about it. But following Rachel's guest post about christmas windows I have been a bit more aware of them, and the ones in Shinjuku this week definitely caught my eye. I was on one of the main roads near the station and the juxtaposition of the Louis Vuitton opulence with the Oioi (I think) department store nearby was very effective*.
Louis Vuitton Window Shinjuku
The one thing that does always occur to me with these windows is logistics. For example, were the flowers shipped to the store as is and over how great a distance?
Louis Vuitton Window Shinjuku
How were they packed to ensure they didn't get crumpled and bent? Are those cherries vacuum formed plastic, and what about the balloons? Or sprayed polystyrene perhaps?
Louis Vuitton Window Shinjuku
Could they even be inflatable? And what happens to it after this display is done with? Does every LV shop have the same display or were these designed specifically for this space?

Moving on I admired the contrast of old culture (kimonos and kabuki make-up) with new culture (comics and manga - although comics are also a little bit old school having now been around for decades) and very new culture (the cutting edge fashion).
Shinjuku Shop Window
With this kind of thing it is the timeline that interests me. Clearly someone had to come up with the concept, get that approved, then choose the items to be displayed, the arrangement and which window they'd be in, have the artist make the drawings, finalise the designs, get them made and then set it up to coincide with having the dresses etc in stock.
Shinjuku Shop Window
And unless that was all done quite quickly, the clothes and things would have been in store for weeks before the windows were in place, which seems pointless.
Shinjuku Shop Window
But then I guess they get previews of the clothes months in advance so that probably explains it. Still - you need a skilled kind of mind to envisage this kind of thing before you've got the real stuff in front of you.

*To put this in context - this particular road is kind of a New Bond Street type bit of street in central Tokyo. Posh shops in abundance which then break off into not so posh and scraggy ones. If you know London think South Kensington tailing off into the Tottenham end of Oxford Street. I constantly get Shinjuku and Shibuya confused, although they are very different in feel. Shinjuku is more for wealthy business types while Shibuya is more teenage. There is a phenomenon known as 'Shibuya Girls' who are the ones who dress all cutesy with ringlets and frills. You see them in twos and threes, usually giggling.
Maid in Shibuya
There is also the Shibuya Scramble - the most mental pedestrian crossing you'll ever find. There are about 5 crossings together which you would have thought form a satanic pentagon from the number of people involved. When the green man lights up, *thousands* of people cross at once.
Blurred, Shibuya, Tokyo

2 comments:

Blue Moth said...

Your blog is so interesting. Great post, lovely photos.

Wendy said...

I think I'm quite well placed to answer this one. Whilst I don't work in Japan, I do work in that very industry. The displays will all be made on a very short time line, the shop likely employs a design company for the concept, this is then sent to a POS company who have to draw it up, create it and ship it out. The displays would likely be shipped as they are and special packaging created to take them. The store personel would put them in place, but the flowers would be sent as a complete flower, not assembled at the location. The lead times are very very short, to give a juxtoposition, the lead time for one of the permanent displays in a shop is about 4-6 weeks so you can imagine how quickly the displays are made.
the cherries could be vac formed, but only likely if they are used in all stores of these chains as they look pretty big and the tooling would be expensive. You will see a join if they're vac formed as they must be made in two pieces. At the end of the display, they'll be recycled or thrown away, depending on the material used. Does that help?

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