Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The magical world of Re:So - The Retail Solent Initiative launched by Solent Southampton University

Solent Southampton University started out a great initiative for students to embark on a journey of discovering the real world of retailing. From designing, selling and sourcing products, to visual merchandising, retail design and space planning, students have been , under strict supervision and guidance of tutors and project managers (Lisa Mann), learning about all the operations involved to run a successful shop.

Marlands Shopping Centre in Southampton has given Solent Southampton University a commercial space that has been turned into, what Re:So is today , a beautiful and exciting pop-up store filled with student and graduate goodies to buy.

Products such as scarfs (Emma's Prints), jewellery and accessories (sunglasses by Sophie Hannah Richardson ), vintage clothing ( Lemonade Vintage and Customized Clothing by Ellisha White ), books, publications (THIRD FLOOR Publication), decorations and furniture (DIG Haüshizzle) have all been designed or customized by the University's students and graduates.

The space is divided into two areas: the actual shop and the art gallery filled with beautiful furniture and art, that (advice to enthusiasts) is all up for sale! The gallery was also thought of as a space for special events, talks, exhibitions, workshops and conferences, giving the beautiful location an extra functionality.

Emma Armstrong of Emma's Prints and Katie Friedlander Boss (Store Design)
Katie, the Visual Merchandiser and the creative mind behind the design and display of the pop-up has kindly offered to tell us how she planned the space and managed to bring all this to life:

"The Re:So interior was designed in response to the buildings existing decor. It is grade two listed and had a very raw feeling to it due to the exposed brick work, plaster and unfinished wood work. 

I really wanted to use this and create a design that emphasised and enhanced the spaces ‘natural’ beauty. I also was very aware that as a pop-up it wouldn’t have any longevity so I designed the fixtures and display pieces from foraged and found items and bits of furniture that were transient in themselves so as not to waste resources. So for example the lights are made from wine bottles and the shelves are made from pallets and ladders and the fitting room from some old banisters and dust sheets, the whole project has kept everything in it’s basic form but been reinvented to create an inspirational space.

As the shop has been created to sell students work, I wanted to ensure that all types of products had a forum to be seen in, including art work. The second room (there are two, one is red brick and is retail orientated the other is plaster and panels and more gallery orientated) seemed perfect to act as a gallery. The large windows, long wall expanses and natural light seemed an ideal space to exhibit art works. 

In the last decade shopping has changed so much and I believe that shops now should offer more then just being a place to spend money and that customers should be offered an experience. Hopefully the experience Re:So offers is one of innovation, uniqueness and reflection." Katie Friedlander Boss (P.M and Visual Merchandiser of Re:So Pop-Up)

Solent Uni Sweatshirt Fridge
Lemonade Vintage and Customized Clothing Earrings Stand
Emma's Prints by Emma Armstrong
Emma's Prints by Emma Armstrong
Emma's Prints by Emma Armstrong
Sunglasses customized by  Sophie Hannah Richardson

Art Gallery with furniture by DIG Haüshizzle
Art by student Matt Jacobs

Candle Holder by DIG Haüshizzle
Furniture by  DIG Haüshizzle
Industrial Lampshades by DIG Haüshizzle

So make sure you come down to Southampton and visit the amazing POP-UP in the Marlands!
 You will find happy and talented students to advise and help you with any questions you might have and you will definitely have the chance to buy some unique and gorgeous things!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playing with light and colour - ISSEY MIYAKE SS13 - Paris Fashion Week

Issey Miyake's Spring - Summer 2013 collection has proven to be yet another successful conquest for  Creative Director, Yoshiyuki Miyamae. Another revelatory and innovative show with a beautiful setting and mesmerizing colours and light reflections. 

Introducing a revolutionary technique in printing, using double-sided printing, Miyamae succeeded in creating a great optical illusion through his fabrics as well as showcase an incredible graphic performance. Mixing different colours, patterns, folds  and pleats the garments simply looked like they were dancing on the catwalk in the song of the playful light reflection. 

The new collection presented was integrated into the three categories: colour reflection, rhythm and resonance. The first category  was formed of the colourful, graphic group of dresses 'interplaying with bold colour blocks, achieved by double sided transfer printing', as mentioned in the press release.

The second category belonging to 'Colour rhythm' were the group of dresses that were created using pleated fabrics, constructing an added dimension and more texture. These clothes were conceived using the same innovative technique that was exemplified in Issey's AW12/13 collection :  with stream-stretch material; heat-sensitive fabrics that can be molded and defined with heat presses.

The last category of looks were part of  'Colour Resonance', that concentrated more on prints and the mixture between colours. 'Seasonal prints on square cut garments are put through a procedure of embroidery, heat pressing and yarn melting on ultra fine fabric, giving movement and texture, worn with multicoloured geometric print bottoms'.