Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Mary Portas at House of Fraser

Well I must say I was disappointed to visit the Mary Portas department at House of Fraser Oxford street only to find a distinct lack of stock. I am really not sure how she will achieve her sales targets with so few items - she will have to sell a lot of 'arm tights'!

I also notice there are now designer brands mixed in amongst the stock which is a little confusing - I would not immediately be looking for Whistles designs in that department.

Also the merchandising is weak with some items really needing attention, like the torn arm tights displayed on the stairwell.

Mary Portas has been an inspiration and I use her advice continually to inform my students but she needs to look at the future of her brand image and the damage this could potentially do.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Barkers Department Store fashion Shows

I am currently studying an MA History of Design and Material Culture at University of Brighton. My topic for my dissertation is a Barkers Department Store Fashion Album from the 1920s that includes photographs, press cuttings, advertising and fashion show programmes. The press book is a significant example of integrated marketing communications and documents the fashions and comments on the lifestyles from the period. The style of photography shows Barkers department store as showcasing court gowns which gives the store a similar profile to its competitors Harrods and Selfridges.
Using archive materials from department stores and London libraries, this project has been highly rewarding and finding out that Barkers sold copies of Paris couture gowns has been very exciting. Parisian theatrical stars were used as celebrities to show the fashions and attract publicity, much like today.