Posted by Fashion Junior at Large
The windows of London’s most iconic department store always attract attention, but yesterday large crowds gathered throughout the day to goggle at Selfridges’ incredibly fishy makeover. Each of the 24 windows has had a spectacular makeover as Selfridges launch Project Ocean, a joint initiative between 20 environmental groups, the Zoological Society of London and various Michelin chefs, artists and fashion designers to raise awareness about the threats to the ocean. And they are doing that in the most stylish, fun, and innovative way.
Many fashionable ladies are partial to a nice bit of fish (everyone knows it’s lighter on the figure than a steak) but we don’t often think about the impact our supper has on the sea. Over fishing and bad practise means that unless things change soon, whole varieties of fish will soon be completely wiped out. Case in point: one of the brilliant window displays features a box of everyone’s favourite cod fish fingers, held in a classic bank vault. It’s a horrible thought – as a pescetarian (or vegequarian as my housemates used to call me) I only eat fish, and quite frankly, a life without fish fingers is just too unbearable to contemplate!
So, what are Selfridges going to do about it? For a start, the window displays have more than aesthetic value; one features an interactive underwater film, where passers- by can actually tap on the fish, name them, and donate money to the ZSL to help create Marine Reserves (oceanic safe havens where there will be no fishing). Inside the store, there are various fish related displays, including an army of mannequins wearing Katherine Hamnett’s iconic t-shirt designs, exclusive to this project.
Judith Clark, fashion curator, has put together an superb exhibition of ocean-inspired fashion.
So if you fancy seeing Philip Treacy’s Gaga Lobster hat, Alexander McQueen’s sea creature prints, or Iris van Herpen’s mind blowing Octopus dress up close, take a trip round the coral laden boardwalk in the Wonder Room.
Iris van Herpen 'Octupus' couture
Down in the Ultralounge, you can watch Beth Derbyshire’s thought-provoking video installation, or have a go on the Whale Rodeo (has to be seen to be believed). Michelin-starred chefs are doing cooking demonstrations in the foodhall and Mark Hix has brought the menu from his Lyme Regis restaurant to London (fancy salmon that is smoked on the roof of Selfridges? Who knew?!)
However, one of my personal favourites was Jason Hackenworth’s spooky sea creature balloon installations that hang in the central atrium.
It’s a great cause, and a fantastic event: find out more at selfridges.com/projectocean.