So, as well as designing the clothes for our fantasy TWR range, we thought it would be good to show you what the fantasy store might look like too, after all we have had many moans about who’s doing it badly and things that really annoy us so what would we really want out of a perfect imaginary shop fit?
Well first of all, we’d need a welcoming and beautiful entrance, one that that was difficult to go passed without just popping in to see what might be going on, so there would be flowers and greenery and a bench to sit on outside, where on sunny days on a quiet afternoon you might catch Jane and I sat having a quick cup of tea….
Then there’d be inspiring windows, but not just of clothes because we really want you inside to look at those properly, so we might try and excite you with an art installation, or perhaps make you smile with a joke or wow you with some great bit of furniture we’ve found at a vintage fair (we might have to sell a bit of vintage, just so we have an excuse to go to the fairs).
We fancy a big, airy light filled space that would also be cosy and comfy, in fact we’d probably have a big chill out area (luckily we’ll have a nice industrial size area to work with) where you could come and sit, perhaps work on the big central table (free Wi-Fi obvs) or just chat to us about sartorial problems you might have (there’ll be a lot of chatting, we anticipate). We’re aiming for a community gathering space that sells great clothes really, it’s quite possible we might throw the odd party.
We’ll get our favourite food and cake people to come in regularly to do pop up cafes and we’d play great music all day long, interspersed with interesting Radio 4 programmes (we’d stop every day for Women’s Hour and possibly The Archers, just so long as it wasn’t going through an annoying stage).
The displays will be there to make you go ‘oh lovely!’ and highlight items you might not otherwise have found. There will be lots of discovering and moments of of joy as you find unexpected treasures. We might even have a few interesting pop up exhibitions so you learn stuff too, because shopping should be about having a lovely time, not about enduring crowds or being miserable. Retailers call this ‘dwell time’ and we want you to feel you don’t want to go home.
Instead of skinny mannequins we will have a styling area, where we will show you loads of ideas on how to wear what with what, this will change daily (luckily we have lots of helpers) and if you are still stuck for inspiration we will help you with our fantastically friendly, knowledgable and supportive staff (mostly over 35 years old and who understand a grown up body although we’ll have a few gorgeously inspiring young people too, to keep us modern). Our staff are stylish, but not scarily so, they are full of great ideas on what you might do to update your look (but wont cost the earth) and will never leave, so you know they will always remember you and what you like.
There will be no crowded rails, instead we will have edited out the perfect collection for you, all put together so you can see how to wear it and we might even merchandise it so you can buy clothes for your real shape, so ‘brilliant clothes for those over size16’, ‘expensive classics that are worth investing in’, or ‘perfect for those who don’t like their upper arms’ and ‘clothes that work if you are under 5ft 2″. Lighting will be flattering and we will ALWAYS have your size.
For launch we might take some advice from our favourite fashion merchandiser Simon Doonan and merchandise the range under how you might like to dress if you were confident enough, such as ‘Glamourous Eccentric’ or ‘Tilda Swinton Chic’, since we will be encouraging you to experiment with your look and shake yourself out of any rut you might be in. Mr Doonan insists clothes should be about having FUN and we will be upholding this, As you get older you might want to update your style so we will offer a service where you and your friends can come in for a session with one of our nice staff on how to do this.
On the subject of style icons, we would have LOTS of images of our favourite dressers, such as Iris Apfel, Kristen Scott Thomas, Patti Smith, around the room with ideas on how you might adopt a little of their style.
The changing rooms will be big, comfy, kindly lit and well staffed, so you can come out and ask advice, which will be supportively honest. We will provide tea and biscuits for energy, fans and cold water for the menopausal and phone chargers and instagram/twitter walls for taking snaps to send to your friends. Our in house seamstresses will be there to ensure everything fits right, because you know how important fit is to looking good!
We will keep a complete picture record of your entire wardrobe on file so we can be sure to make any purchase work well with what you have at home. We will also suggest what all you over-horders you should chuck out! To keep things interesting and to encourage you back for frequent visits, we’ll have a nice big exhibition space where new designers, craft people with fabulous things to sell can create a pop-up store.
There will also be a space for clothes swapping. We know that since you have been buying clothes for many, many years, you have a wardrobe FULL of stuff you don’t wear anymore. You are most welcome to bring items into the Swap-Shop to see if someone else wants it, we’ll invent some sort of credit system so no money will be involved, you’ll just pick something else you like from the Swap Shop.
For those of you who can’t visit, we’ll come to you in a mobile pop up store as often as we can, with an edited selection of clothes we know you’ll love.
Dogs will be very welcome.
Did we miss anything out?