Bambi’s Boxes, Part VI

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New box found!

Location: Stradivarius, Le Mall Dbayeh

Concept: Air Mail framing of window with travel theme, suitcases held up by balloons with a vintage world map backdrop. It’s all very dreamy and whimsical – perfect for the upcoming summer season when everyone wants to pack their bags and get away.

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Le Mall Dbayeh is my new favorite mall because it has all the stores for good twenty-something shopping and some great restaurants too. The fact that the ceiling is all glass plates makes it well-lit on good days so you don’t miss out on the beautiful weather while still being indoors. Another plus: vertical gardens on the entrance to the parking lot:

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Bambi’s Boxes, Part V

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There’s always something to see in Hamra

I haven’t done one of these in a while because 1) there wasn’t anything that particularly caught my eye and 2) they don’t seem to be very popular with readers. Plus, it seems that there is always a tie between the two big display-design experts: Aizone’s Sagmeister/Walsh & the great Louis Vuitton windows and I wanted to feature something else for the next one. So here we go:

This Box was found today while wandering in Hamra. It features a little member of society: Librairie Antoine. Very similar to the Louis Vuitton flying papers of this season (I’m sorry but I can’t help but praise them – even in Singapore, I’d stop and admire each display even though they were all identical). Back to the point. Librairie Antoine has a small bicycle featuring a crazy cascade of book pages flying all over the span of the vitrine. You should stop by just to take a look and read some of the pages.

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Sorry, not the best shot with all that reflection (all the more reason to go see it!)

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Louis Vuitton, Singapore

 

Besides this, there’s a new selection of notebooks available: the OGAMI Collection. As said on the label:

“OGAMI uses Repap in all the products lines. Repap is made up of 80% calcium carbonate (CaC03) and a small percentage, 20%, from non-toxic resins (high-density polyethylene). The calcium carbonate present in Repap comes from the limestone recovered from caves and used in creating Repap, a resistant and durable, as well as a waterproof paper. A paper that is also soft, smooth, bright white.”

Their tagline is “Paper made from Stone.” Best part is they’re not that expensive. A small mini notebook for your purse costs 9,000 L.L. ($6) and an A5-sized one is 13,500 L.L. ($9). A5 is half the size of your regular printer paper. As a friend said, “writing on this paper is magical, everything looks better.” Yes, she is a designer too. Check out their website here.

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My mini OGAMI notebook & Keel’s Simple Diary

Bambi’s Boxes, Part IV


Although this display has been taken down – it was Spring 2012 – I would like to give it some praise before it has been forgotten. 


Venue: Sophie’s Choice
Location: Beirut Souks


The displays incorporated illustrations by Karim Al Dahdah, illustrator and founder of Karim Al Dahdah Illustration Studio, mixed in with simple quotes about love. The illustrations are inspired by the collections of Sophie’s Choice, a luxury boutique located behind Hermes in the Downtown Beirut Souks. The characters are very lively and playful – very different than the impression that Sophie’s Choice gives off as a retail store. It usually seems very exclusive and unattainable, like how you’d feel if you were to ask the Queen for a spare tissue. You’d feel ridiculous, say thanks, and run off to make faces at her national guard. 

The new vitrines gave SC a younger facade making it less intimidating. The clothing seemed as carefree as the jumping gangly girls in the cardboard cutouts. Well done.

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“Karim Al-Dahdah was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1982 and went to school at the Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour where he received the prestigious Prix d’Honneur de Philosophie.

He holds a BA in Advertising from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (2004) and a master’s degree in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, USA (2005).

He worked as an art director for a top children’s b

ooks publishing company in Chicago and a marketing company in Beirut, before opening his own illustration studio in June 2009. ” – Karim Al Dahdah Illustration Studio Facebook Page

Check out the rest of his Facebook page here or his website here.

Bambi’s Boxes, Part III

This Bambi Box that just barely made it into the month of September is a spotlight on the Aizone FW 2012 campaign done by Jessica Walsh under the art direction umbrella of Stefen Saigmester. Saigmester is a world-renowned designer who is most famous for using a Zoro technique on his own skin when designing an AIGA invitation card back in ’99. He works with many freelancers to come up with new ideas for clients and this time he teamed up with NY-based Jessica Walsh.

(Taken from her behance portfolio) 

The campaign was a series of images and experimental typography that were then adapted to the storefront windows. She used variations in paint, bubbles, and fabric to phrases. The forms of the typography match the style of the clothing that is displayed on the mannequins.

The displays in Aizone in ABC Ashrafieh, Beirut:

Close up (baubles on the t-shirt)

The team also did the previous FW 2011 Aizone campaign:

(Taken from her behance portfolio) 

The behind the scenes video of this campaign is great because you get to see that the visuals were actually created rather than digitally done on Photoshop. 

Walsh is a great designer – according to behance, “she has worked with studios such as Sagmeister Inc, Pentagram Design and Print Magazine, and freelances for a variety of clients such as the The New York Times, AIGA, Computer Arts & I.D. Magazine, and Technology Review.” Check out her full behance portfolio here or her personal website.

Bambi’s Boxes, Part II.

Dresses at sea

The second installment from Bambi’s Boxes features the Piaff vitrines designed by conceptual artist, Najla El Zein. First off, Piaff, a clothing store, is located near Gefinor on Clemenceau, after CMC on your righthand side – if you reach Downtown, you’ve gone too far.

From inside Piaff
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 This season’s displays are based on the structure of coral reefs. However, the constructed corals are made out of mini cocktail umbrellas. The multicolored umbrellas were shipped in to Lebanon but while constructing the display, they ran short. Instead of trashing the whole idea, voids were incorporated into the umbrella corals. It’s all very under-the-sea-where’s-my-margarita.

Umbrellas!

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Najla El Zein had given a small talk once this spring about her work and conceptual designs which is mainly installations or abstract sculpture work. An “installation” is an artwork that has to be set-up or installed in 3D space. Her works include fluffy clouds, a giant head of hair and a big ball of welded spoons. The spoons, rightly titled “6302 Spoons”, has 6302 spoons melted into a teardrop womb-shaped ball that doubles as a wall lamp. It looks a bit like a metal version of the dripping goo that is Princess Daisy’s father in Super Mario Bros, the movie. You can check out more of El Zein’s work on her website.

El Zein has done work for Piaff before. She was also the designer behind their last window displays which were pinwheels that spun thanks to fans inside the store. This display was more interesting to see at night when the store was closed – the pinwheels spun and the dresses billowed in a vacated showroom/area. It was spooky and mesmerizing.

Pinwheels
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Dresses
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Bambi’s Boxes, Part I.

LV display in London, UK back in April ’12

I have decided to dedicate a part of this blog to a somewhat overlooked art (in the country): display design. As defined by TheFreeDictionary, display design is

 
a field of the decorative arts that includes the temporary festive decoration of streets, public squares, and industrial sites; window dressing; and the design of decorations and displays for demonstrations, public holidays, athletic events, parades, and various types of exhibitions. Display design makes use of the expressive resources of architecture, sculpture, painting, graphics, theater, film-making, and lighting. It thereby provides the most large-scale examples of a synthesis of the arts. Display design interacts with the existing architecture but, in contrast to it, usually has agitational content.”
 
In other words, it’s the conceptual thought that goes into the vitrines that make selling products more visually stimulating. The posts revolving around this subject (titled Bambi’s Boxes since vitrines are essentially boxes) will depend on how often I discover an intriguing display in Lebanon and how long/if I can gather some background info about the creator(s) behind it. Given that displays do not change frequently, these posts will probably be about once or twice a month and if you’re not a fan of this sort of thing, there’s still the usual lists, film clips, letters and random ramblings that will continue to be posted regularly. 
 
So without further ado, I’m going to start this off with one of the giants in display design: Louis Vuitton. 
 
LV in Beirut, Lebanon in February ’12

This past year, they have had vitrines with giant cupcakes, white carousel horses (seen above), and multicolored arrows. Like every smart brand, they’re vitrines are identical in all their stores across the world – but not to the same degree or a complete copy/paste layout. Based on size of the shop and structure of the window, they can vary in arrangement. Sometimes, the design is applied on the interior of the store as well, being incorporated into the presentation of the products. The themes are usually concepts coming from commissioned artists. 



Worldwide this season, LV has a pop-up collaboration with Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist, and it’s all about tentacles – her work shows her obsession with the idea of accumulation. Using this, Louis Vuitton partnered with the artist to create a new polka dot collection. The “Polka Dot Artist” is also featured within some of the displays in dolled up mannequin form. She looks like a Japanese Anna Wintour. These pop-up stores are featured in Singapore, Hong Kong’s Pacific Place (until Sept. 8), Tokyo Shinjuku Isetan (until July 31), Tokyo Dover Street Market (until Aug. 26), New York Soho (until July 31), Paris Le Printemps Department Store (Aug. 23-Oct. 21) and London Selfridges Department Store (Aug. 24-Oct. 19). You can check out the collection here.


The vitrines feature tentacles and venus flytrap-like plants with eye ball centers that allude to Little Shop of Horrors creatures in my opinion. Here’s a trailer of the movie so you can see what I mean:



The vitrines in Beirut now: