The Harvey Nichols Windows this freezing February are working hard to brighten up your day. Looking more like an art exhibition than a window display, they would not be out of place in the White Cube or Sadie Coles and could believably have been the fostered brainchild of an art collaboration between Michael Craig Martin, Boo Ritson and Dan Flavin.
I saw the artist setting it up, tweaking the lights that were glowing luminously around the cyborg characters in the windows and tinkering away until it looked just right. The mannequins are unique in their Blade Runnner-esque replicant perfection.
The Label information has been artfully incorporated into the display as window texts again aligning itself to a gallery space with product info in place of informative texts. Chandlers also digs the rock and roll music aesthetic created through a combination of bright lights, hairstyles and visual motifs. These are the best dressed mannequins in town.
Each model has been given enough space to shine individually and there are none of the usual trappings of plinths and shelving full of merchandise, making this an indulgently minimal use of space. Chandlers Vice thinks it’s real nice.
The florescent lights are not only a backdrop helping to draw in a crowd and create an electric glow surrounding the mannequins, but also break free into 3-d drawings of large scale domestic objects such as a table lamp, a toaster and an electric guitar. The Mannequins who are very realistic except for their vibrant block colours, in orange, magenta, blue and orange are poised in energetically adding to their sense of aliveness. I don’t think I have before now had hairstyle envy from seeing a shop mannequin, but damn are they rocking those 1950’s Popadour Rockabilly Mohawk Quiffs.
To experience the electric displays in person visit Harvey Nichols, 27 Philadelphia Street Quakers Friars Cabot Circus Bristol BS1 3BZ.