Friday, 14 October 2011
The window dressing of Hackett
One of the main reasons that I (and I assume most other men) read blogs is to get inspiration for things to wear. Or to buy in order to wear. I know I should write more posts on the former. Ideally, every shop window should provide such inspiration on combinations. But they don’t.
There are notable exceptions, including Ralph Lauren, Boggi and boutiques like Trunk or Drake’s. But in my opinion the most stylish window dressing of any brand in London belongs to Hackett.
Hackett windows rarely shout. Ralph Lauren is more likely to do that, with preppy primary colours and glamorous evening wear; but it also occasionally misses the mark. Hackett provides quiet, consistent inspiration. Men of the City take note.
For this post I have deliberately chosen a very simple display. These outfits, currently gracing the windows of the Jermyn Street branch of Hackett, contain no colour. But by taking this out of the equation, and trying to come up with six tonal combinations that highlight pattern and texture, they succeed all the more powerfully.
Throughout there is sufficient variation in the scale of patterns to avoid clashing. The fact the shirts are white also helps to separate them. Interest is achieved through texture – the ties vary from woven pin-dot silk to satin to cashmere. It’s not complex, but it is simple and elegant. And that’s where all men should start.
Even Hackett doesn’t get it right every time, and I have deliberately left out one combination that I felt didn’t work. It involved a chalk stripe waistcoat with trousers of the same colour but no pattern. Striped garments as separates are hard to work at the best of times. When the colour or tone of one piece is pretty much identical to that sitting next to it, the effect is of looking like you have worn the wrong trousers.
The others are unqualified successes. I advise any man wandering down Jermyn Street, Sloane Street, Regent Street, Bishopsgate or anywhere else that Hackett has branches to look up and, briefly, take note.
I believe the modern title is visual merchandiser. To whoever holds that title at Hackett, well done.
Photography: Andy Barnham