Over the past few years Halloween has become an increasingly big deal in the UK with more and more stores taking the time to display specially designed seasonal retail interiors along with interesting and innovative store window displays. But when it comes to pulling out all the stops to produce something both original and scary – our American cousins are still more likely to ‘go the whole hog.’ Just check out what’s going on in New York – where whole streets get together to create some truly horrifying designs!
Our favourite this year has to be on Bleecker Street, in New York’s West Village – home to many of the top fashion labels including Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs who this year are offering up some truly gruesome retail designs to entice shoppers.
At the Marc Jacobs Men’s store, shoppers are greeted by an electric chair where a ‘victim’ has apparently been reduced to just a pair of hands and a crumpled pile of Marc Jacobs clothes by the force of an electric shock. The chair is flanked by a well-dressed rat-man mannequin and an electronic skeleton. Assistant store manager, Dan Donigan says the window display has turned a lot of heads with many people wanting to know if the chair – which was bought from a local Halloween store – is real.
Down the street at the Cynthia Rowley store, the Halloween retail theme is based on the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’. The window display features mannequins dressed in Black or White designer dresses topped off with brightly painted Mexican skull masks and black veils and large gaudy plastic flowers.
The Marc Jacobs women store also has a gentler theme, featuring a scary hand-crafted metal dinosaur fighting it’s way through a cage of lush greenery with a colour-matched Marc Jacobs tote bag swinging from it’s jaws. It’s almost daring shoppers to come and get the bag – will they manage to break through the wire fence and subsequently get eaten? Maybe a Marc Jacobs bag is worth the risk?
At Alexis Bittar Jewellery further down the street, what appears at first glance to be a normal jewellers window display is given a macabre feel with the addition of a collection of ghoulish stuffed animals. A stuffed squirrel appears to grip a stunning diamond encrusted brooch between his paws whilst a rather stiff looking white rabbit sports a large golden bracelet around his ears like a crown.
Across the street at one of three Ralph Lauren Stores on Bleecker, a dressmaker’s dummy lies across several crates, wrapped in canvas and heavy chains and surrounded by furry mice. The display is inspired by the new Ralph Lauren Royal Navy line and is intended to create the atmosphere of an ‘old creepy ship’.
Headless mannequins dressed in Royal Navy clothes and wrapped in chains suggest that something very sinister has happened aboard ship. There is lots of detail in the display – gruesome severed body parts, blood tipped fish hooks and nautical paraphernalia. The display takes on an even creepier aspect at night when it is lit by an aquatic blue light, casting long shadows over the apparent wrapped ‘corpse’ and headless sailors.