Friday, 7 January 2011

Friday Jan 7th: "Bright Young Things" at Selfridges: Simone Rocha

Wake up from the sobriety of post Christmas Sales red posters and get giddy for a New Year's dose of intoxicating inspiration. Today is a real milestone in the history of Selfridges "billboards to the world" windows with the January scheme entitled "Bright Young Things". It is a very clever concept and makes so much sense, its seems strange it hasn't been done before. They have invited 20 emerging designers to each take over one of the front windows in addition to complementing the exercise with ordering a limited edition of pieces to be stocked in store. This is giving both a creative fun brief for the talents to let loose in a major retail space and investing in their business by injecting money into their wares. Selfridges are unparallelled to other stores in spotting and supporting stellar stars in accession. The team diligently do their research at the shows each season and follow instinct to take risks on commissioning fledgling artists finding their feet.
The project is unveiled today with some of my favourite personalities involved such as Alex Noble, Charlie Le Mindu, Craig Lawrence and
Simone Rocha
. I visited Simone's studio earlier this week to see how she was planning her installation with a taped out area across the floor of her HQ. Later that night she dismantled the test and transported the pieces to the West End for an overnight install finishing at 4a.m! I contacted Selfridges Windows & Concepts Manager Sarah McCullough to find out more about how they chose each creative, and in particular Simone:

"I'm ever so excited about it, I can hardly believe
that its come to fruition, when I had my first inkling that it might be a
nice idea to explore I never imagined it would grow into such a big scheme...........
I'm also a bit terrified, I don't think we've ever given over so many
windows for folks to do whatever they want with! .................
In terms of why we chose Simone specifically, I think more than anyone else we just felt that lovely heartache you get when you see something you'd love to have and wear yourself. I think everyone involved in the selection process felt her collection was both beautiful yet utterly wearable. Her window, as I'm sure she has told you, is inspired by Frances Bacon's studio, she re-creates it using detritus from her own studio. .....................
Sketch books, papers, oddments. I love how she is revealing her creative process, it's the bit I always find most interesting about creative practice. When I was at art college I used adore peeping in peoples sketch books, they often contained the most wildly interesting threads of thought. The atelier or designers studio is a really magic, alchemic place so I can't wait to see Simone's interpretation in her window."

Here are my snaps from Simone's studio experiment to give an insight into how her finished display will appear. It seems very fitting to have focused on her inspiration of Bacon for the purpose of this project. The artist was well documented for having a totally out of control and messy workspace! Here Simone piles together all of her Polaroids and periodicals in a similar chaotic style with the same exquisite refined final product. Check out the online catalogue to take a look at her cut-out shirt, dress and pink perspex clutch bag that she has produced for the pop-up shop.
Simone will be presenting her second season with Fashion East at London Fashion Week in February.

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