Hard to believe it’s been a year since we did the last Chelsea in Bloom windows, with all that Jubilee fever. This year (most) of the retailers who’ve entered the competition have done less showy, more considered windows that I prefer, with simple but clever ideas.
My favourite window and winner of The Women’s Room gold medal for best window for 2013 goes to (small drumroll…) the Anya Hindmarch pop up flower books in the Bespoke store, which featured no fresh flowers at all (above). These small windows were elegant and enchanting, using beautiful illustrations of British flowers that surrounded Anya’s monogram-able product. There were lots of floral books in the window run, each one exquisitely presented, but only space here to show you one. Well done Anya Hindmarch, your medal is in the post…
Silver gilt medal goes to another window with beautiful illustration, the florist Wild At Heart in Pimlico, above, with its hand painted flower garden by SIB designs, which were perfectly framed within each pane of the window glass and looked completely magical. As a florist, it could have just put lots of impressive display bunches outside the store and left it at that, but layering on this backdrop of delicate and colourful illustrations to the glass, it went the extra mile in trying to impress. Gorgeous.
And Browns newish store at the Chelsea end of Sloane Street meant it also participated for the first time, and what a start! It’s glorious inside-and-outside display, executed by By Appointment Only was a masterpiece and it gets our silver medal award. The wisteria hanging over the doorway, the swans on the pavement, all absolutely fabulous.
Bronze medal is shared between the innovative Space NK windows, above, definitely the most creative use of carnations I’ve seen for ages, I’m not sure it’s so easy to see but the right hand display above is a lipstick…..And below is the staggeringly detailed Smythson floral bag, with its floral striped lining, which was ingenious in its use of plants and foliage to create texture and shape.
Loved the floral car at The White Company, with hints of Gatsby inspired graphics, it was beautifully presented, below.
Brora’s windows were a colour-overload of hippy-joy and the knitted flowers on the dress were a stroke of simple genius…sadly these were not for sale.
Another simple but cute idea from the Mary Quant store, which had a retro seaside-style floral postcard board you could go behind and stick your head through, for the perfect Instagram moment. The original Mary Quant boutique was of course originally opened just down the Kings Road from here.
Participating for the first time this year was Rag & Bone, below, who did the prettiest floral windows and this charmingly country-style rag and bone cart in-store display. The Flowers were designed by Rag & Bone’s co founder David Neville’s mum, with help from a flora supplier. Loving the family ties!
You can see the windows all this week while Chelsea Flower Show is on and there will be an award by the RHS and the Chelsea in Bloom team for their best window, so check the website for details.