Jan. 10, 2014 / Barbara
Chiyome/NOT Trunk Show
When the bags and apparel were installed in our custom displays, it was immediately clear that the items were carrying on a dialogue with each other and with the setting.
We put on a show! A trunk show, to be exact… and a preview of the Fall Collection of two young designers: Anna Lynette Moss of Chiyome and Jenny Lai of NOT. Typically, we get involved with seasoned fashion designers when they open stores… but what about establishing connection at the beginning of a designer’s career? And what a perfect opportunity to play around with methods of display, using our own studio as the laboratory!
Both Jenny and Anna are graduates of RISD, as are quite a few designers in our office. We met with them and proposed setting up a presentation of their Fall lines in our studio loft. Our office has a constantly expanding in-house library of materials and this proved to be an important resource for materials and inspiration as we began designing the display.
The plan was to create a linear presentation that would span the entire length of our office. We would transform the “barges” that house reference books and samples -located at both ends of the space- into display environments for Anna’s bags. In the long central axis of the studio -which usually features a conference table- we would install a hanging system for Jenny’s apparel.
For the handbag display, we found rolls of grey industrial felt, white duck canvas and white sheer fabric, as well as cubes and trays that had been made as mock-ups for several retail projects. At the “barges” we hung white duck canvas like a shade to screen off the view of studio desks beyond. Added to this was a beautiful micro pleated paper which was a byproduct of the pleating process for Jenny’s fabrics. Grey industrial felt was draped over the counter top. Risers and display surfaces were created with stone samples, weathered wood pieces and even fresh moss from the neighboring flower district shops, creating an interesting play between industrial and organic materials, similar to Chiyome’s bag designs.
For the apparel display, we used lengths of ½” copper pipe suspended by picture wire for Jenny’s 24 featured pieces from her Fall line. Black plumbing tape was wrapped around the pipe at intervals to provide a cushioned grip for each hanger and add detail to the floating copper rails. NOT’s minimalist yet texturally rich designs were offset beautifully by the pure simplicity and rich color of the suspended copper pipe.
When the bags and apparel were installed, it was immediately clear that the items – although by different designers - were carrying on a dialogue. The pieces had minimalist, graceful lines with an almost Japanese influence: part sculpture, part apparel. The muted, tactile materials of the pieces meshed beautifully with the subdued and natural materials of the studio and the displays.
With almost 100 people in attendance, the studio was transformed into what felt like a gallery opening. Product, display and space were a perfect fit.