TOPSHOP COLOUR WHEEL
Location: Oxford Circus, London
Status: Completed 2013
Fabricator: Studio Xag
Photography: Agnese Sanvito
The Regent Street Windows project, organised by the RIBA, seeks to unite cutting edge architecture practices with some of the world’s leading retail brands to create unusual collaborative work. For our installation in Topshop’s Oxford Street window, we wanted to reinterpret the ever-present window mannequin in a unique way to showcase the full range of Topshop’s spectacular spring collection and make fashion the focus.
The result is a spinning colour wheel that highlights different merchandise over the course of the week, whilst simultaneously allowing the full colour range of the season to be viewed in a surreal dance above customer’s heads.
The bold circular form is designed to be experienced at multiple scales. With its colourful appearance, the iconic circular shape draws the eye from across the street as commuters exit Oxford Circus tube station. Up close customers realise that the form is made from shop mannequins and are able to inspect the clothes in detail from unusual angles. From inside the store customers get a glimpse of the complex industrial structure that supports it all.
By using Topshop’s existing mannequins and clothes as a large part of the installation, Topshop were able to get maximum bang for their buck. There are 14 spokes to the wheel. which means the wheel can be rotated twice a day to highlight a different outfit chosen by the store. Once a week the merchandise is changed entirely so that a new colour spectrum is unveiled, allowing the character of the installation to constantly change for the duration of the Regents Street Window Project.
The wheel rotates with a simple handle at the back which is operated by staff. Rotation allows them to change the mannequin in focus at the front but also makes it easier to change the mannequins at the end of the week.