COS Calling

COS Calling

COS: Would you like to style the windows of our stores? 
Me: Errr…. is this a convincing prank coming from a totally legit-looking domain email?
COS: Nope, we'd like you to style windows at the Regent Street, Covent Garden and Westfield stores.
Me: YES, yes, YES!  *Emails boyfriend in excitement as we are both COS fanatics*

The gist of that imaginary convo there is pretty simple.  I have indeed expressed my love for COS on numerous occasions and somewhere in COS' lofty head office, someone picked up on this.  "Hey take a look at this chick wearing our clothes in a strange and misshapen way!" 

I'm hoping they're not regretting their decision and whilst I had pretty much a free rein on the windows, I wasn't going to let the idea of 'carte blanche' go to my head.  While budget and time didn't allow for say a Tim Walker-esque set, in a way, that was a good thing.  In the end, it seemed simpler for me to look at COS really means to me as a plain old consumer which is a simple and direct message that speaks to me without too much of a backstory.

Going through the stores and picking out my favourite pieces, I decided to reverse mood-board it up, in the way that bloggers put together beautiful (not I alas‚Ķ) collages, paying ode to their clothes and funnily, inverting the design norm where it's the moodboard that comes before the clothing.  It also tied in with a set of photographs that I have been gathering up from vintage fairs, ones that have no personal meaning to me but seem to hold stories that are worth pondering.  I especially love the ones with pencilled captions on the back.  A simple "Marvin and I down at the docks" makes the intrigue bug set in even more…

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It seems naive and probably a bit overly basic to break down the clothes by stores into knitwear, leather and shirting.  Yet, the great thing about COS is that beyond thematic trends, great items in their own physical categories jump out at you as a 'great jumper', 'the perfect white shirt', 'THE leather dress'.  Sure, I could spin some airy fairy theme.  Like, this dress made me want to go sit on a hill and read Byron (not to say a COS dress CAN'T do that‚Ķ) but that would be a treacherous path to embark on with clothes that are as direct as these.

Styling wise, in reality, I'd of course mix up different labels with the clothes but for the windows instead, I definitely wanted to play with layers, more so than normal COS displays usually do without going too far outside the box that makes COS attractive to messy me in the first place.  Cue the normal tricks I normally favour – jumpers as shawls, cardigans as skirts, shirt over shirt, any headwear I can get my hands on (worked in my vintage aviator leather hat in the Covent Garden window‚Ķ ).

Westfield Store – I actually had NEVER been to Westfield before embarking on this project.  Too far west for me but I'm shamefully finding myself a bit of a convert.  Not as far as I would go there every week but I'm definitely up for the occasional rainy day where I can go drown my sorrows in my beloved mix of Apple store, Foyles, a non-ransacked Topshop/COS, a huge Prada store and best of all… a handy Comptoir Libanais. 

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Covent Garden store – Weirdly (and this is probably fed from my devotion to the Regent Street store) this was the largest window to fill hence why there are four mannequins. 

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Regent Street store – Ah, the one where I'm most likely to pass by with my mum and go "Look mum, my name (well… nickname…) is there! I've achieved something with my life – you can cease all your incessant worrying and lead the rest of your life in satisfied peace."  Ha – not. 

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Anyhow, I'm chuffed that it's all out there for a week or so‚Ķ (or will it go the distance‚Ķ?)  Thanks to all the visual merchandising people at the stores for helping me with disjointed mannequins and hosiery problems.

Disclaimer: I'm anticipating that there be many a jaded/weary eye, the lo' "Oh this is clearly a paid for post‚Ķ" outcry that pervades at the oddest of times.  I'm therefore disclaiming here that, that is the case.  It wasn't.  I did it because of exactly what it says in the first half of the statement "Susie Bubble loves COS."  So um‚Ķthere!  Wow, that felt good – yay me with my childish playground antics‚Ķ

P.S. Apologies if this is all completely IRRELEVANT to people living in countries that haven't been COS-ified.  As most of you know, COS is part of the H&M empire.  Here's hoping that a) an online shop is on its way and b) international shipping will be offered.

39 comments

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  1. Kb

    2010-11-01 at 12:08 AM

    Wow love the way you styled it, keeping it very you but also in keeping with the brand. Hope they’re still there when I’m in London next week!

  2. Susie

    2010-11-01 at 12:27 AM

    I think you will like this:
    http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/70636
    PS nice work. I loved dressing windows when I worked retail.

  3. fashion-mommy

    2010-11-01 at 12:37 AM

    the windows look amazing Susie – will take a look on friday when I’m in town.

  4. carol

    2010-11-01 at 12:38 AM

    OMG Susie!!!! Congratulations! COS is indeed amazing – and I hate them higher now that they’ve chosen you. the windows reflect your style, the layering, the clothes over the photos, everything. i’m really happy for you and i hope this is just the tip of the iceberg. i love your work and hope to see it more and more.
    lots of love from a brazilian in spain,
    carol

  5. The Glossy

    2010-11-01 at 12:58 AM

    ah-maz-ing! and yes pls. find out when they’re going online with international shipping and be the first to let us know!

  6. S.Ella

    2010-11-01 at 1:33 AM

    Well done! I love the looks, and the visual merchandiser in me is also just a tad bit jealous as I love COS too.
    I’m going to have to pay the Covent Garden store a visit tomorrow to stock up on some knitwear.

  7. Erin

    2010-11-01 at 2:23 AM

    thats great that you got that opportunity! the window display looks wonderful!

  8. Corve DaCosta

    2010-11-01 at 2:39 AM

    this is just amazing

  9. Joy D.

    2010-11-01 at 4:24 AM

    Yep, that has to be the best styling you have done yet! Wish I could visit it in person.
    JD
    iplayfaves.blogspot.com

  10. Shopping

    2010-11-01 at 4:42 AM

    All ur stuffs looks so pretty and beautifull too …All ur collection are simply superb!!!!Hope they will continue their good work!!!!love those shoes a lot!!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGszA07PqVs the window display looks wonderful!!!!!!

  11. Ruth

    2010-11-01 at 7:50 AM

    Well done Susie! As a fellow COS fan what a fab job!!

  12. Sophia

    2010-11-01 at 8:05 AM

    I love Cos so much and had to live without it for the past 4 years! (Scotland). You did an amazing job. I love how you mixed different pieces. It makes it a nice change to the very clean window dispalys. I love the collages as well and the jumper pinned to one. Beautiful, good job!!!!! You should Susiefy our stores in Berlin, please? ;p <3
    http://skiepies.blogspot.com/

  13. rouli

    2010-11-01 at 8:49 AM

    woow!
    congrats!
    amazin pics and stylin:)
    kisssssssssss

  14. Kit

    2010-11-01 at 9:01 AM

    Well done Susie, the styling looks wonderful!

  15. ByGlam

    2010-11-01 at 9:40 AM

    Hey!! They called me for Paris! ^^
    Your windows look wonderful!!

  16. Jennifer

    2010-11-01 at 9:52 AM

    How cool! I’ve recently bought a lovely skirt if COS!!!
    ^_____________________^ <3 J.Yu
    http://www.pingbuns.blogspot.com

  17. Dobrochna

    2010-11-01 at 9:57 AM

    J have an identic sweater as at 13 photo.
    Greate job Susie.

  18. dominika

    2010-11-01 at 10:31 AM

    Hello, well done! I absolutely love COS and it is great that they offer your this job!

  19. a la mode

    2010-11-01 at 12:43 PM

    WOW! This is incredible, congrats xxx

  20. blog mode

    2010-11-01 at 1:54 PM

    I love this brand, their collections are always perfect 🙂

  21. Sabine

    2010-11-01 at 2:43 PM

    You are the lucky one, Susie! I wonder if I shouted out my love for COS a bit more vehemently I’d get a chance, too. I will so go and look at these windows to see them for real.

  22. Jinna Boo

    2010-11-01 at 3:41 PM

    Susie this is amazing! Congrats and best of luck in your future endeavours. <3 You are an inspiration 🙂
    <3 Jinna
    http://www.greaseandglamour.com

  23. Closet Deep

    2010-11-01 at 4:27 PM

    The styling in these displays are perfect! We think you captured those clippings and era amazingly. Can’t wait to see more.
    -Closet Deep
    http://closetdeep.wordpress.com

  24. Fashionistable

    2010-11-01 at 4:57 PM

    Fantastic, well done. I love it. Xxxx

  25. Ag

    2010-11-01 at 5:22 PM

    All I have to say is job well done! and continue to break records in being a fantastic blogger that has gained liaisons with fashion in ways nobody ever deemed possible! Hats off to you!

  26. tiffany mcgee

    2010-11-01 at 5:54 PM

    that is amazing susie!! well done, you so deserve it! what an achievement!
    Love Tiffany
    wwww.belindarobertson.com

  27. masha

    2010-11-01 at 6:37 PM

    great. Love so much old pictures. great inspiration
    http://leblogdemasha.blogspot.com/

  28. Dorothychengjewelry.blogspot.com

    2010-11-01 at 7:12 PM

    Never been to COS, but that Regent Street window looks yum. Chunky knits! I’m sitting here in rainy gray Seattle wishing I had some chunky knits like those…

  29. Jill

    2010-11-01 at 8:05 PM

    that’s amazing.very good chance

  30. Rollergirl

    2010-11-01 at 8:18 PM

    Ooh, gorgeous colour combos in the last one! Congrats. Would love to know what Mrs Bubble’s reaction was? I do love a moodboard but are there legal/copyright issues involved with public moodboards like in window displays as you don’t see them very often? Have always wondered. Mind you, I guess Cos’ legal team sort all that out…

  31. meili

    2010-11-01 at 9:37 PM

    aaa so cool !! the next i will going to regent street !! oh my god such a dream !!!

  32. Chuck

    2010-11-01 at 10:21 PM

    Wow, Susie! Look at you these days… All the best. X

  33. biba

    2010-11-01 at 11:52 PM

    i did not even noticed it was you that styled it! I just commenting how nice it looked the other day. I’m in love with the fluffy greyish jumper at the window that i did not find inside for whatever reason.

  34. Louise

    2010-11-02 at 9:03 AM

    This is amazing Susie! I love it. I saw it in Westfields and got so excited for you, haha! My friend (not into fashion at all – was just dragging her shopping!) totally didn’t understand why i was so excited!
    Congrats 🙂 x

  35. Caitlin

    2010-11-02 at 2:05 PM

    amazing! COS is a dangerous shop that i cannot visit regularly. last time i got dizzy, my brain was in sensory overload xx

  36. Rachael

    2010-11-02 at 9:43 PM

    Congrats!! Love how it turned out!! They made a great choice in calling you!
    http://www.rachaeldiab.blogspot.com

  37. louis

    2010-11-03 at 12:21 PM

    I want a sweater like this.I will so go and look at these windows to see them for real.

  38. susie_bubble

    2010-11-06 at 7:10 PM

    Thanks for everyone’s support on the windows… quite a scary thing to do for someone who isn’t a visual merchandising expert…!
    Rollergirl: I’m not sure about the legalities (!) – hopefully there won’t be a problem but I’ve not used any images are will very obviously flare up issues…

  39. Carol Kim

    2011-03-05 at 3:14 AM

    hi! The first time I visit to your blog.I’m Vietnamese. I read the news about you & I think it’s very interesting. Make friend together, ok? I love fashion too. Give me your email, pls! My email: carnation_st@yahoo.com

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