Project, Georgia Hardinge Concept Store
Spatial Designer, Studio Lucy Sanderson
Scent Design, John Foley
Sound Design, Sophia Loizou
Spatial Designer and feminist activist Lucy Sanderson has been commissioned by fashion designer Georgia Hardinge, to imagine an innovative space for her first London concept store, situated in the heart of Marylebone.
Taking the familiarity of a second grade listed building and transforming it into a vitrine for the 21st century, Studio Lucy Sanderson’s intervention creates a new setting that reflects, celebrates and counteracts the existing space. Perspex panels wrap and preserve the inverted space of the buildings history – which was previously two shops. This groundwork connects the new space with the existing one. The new transparent surface creates linear lines and gives the space a new navigation, whilst doubling up as vitrines for Georgia’s key collections.
Careful positioning of mirrors creates the illusion of a larger space and encourages customer interaction: the gender-neutral changing rooms become an Instagram destination, with a 360-mirrored wall room offering infinite selfie opportunities.
Feminine and sculptural, Georgia Hardinge’s collections use the technical disciplines of architecture and apply them to the body. Studio Lucy Sanderson’s concept for this new store on St Christopher’s Place echoes the same juxtaposition of design aesthetic. Mimicking the folds, structures and pleats of the clothing collections in a minimalistic and pared back way, reimagining the space to offer a simple canvas for Georgia’s work to shine.
The space will exposes raw materials that would normally be covered during installations and developments, using materials sourced in their untouched, singular state, sustainably through building sites, and repurposed in the store. Brushed aluminium recessed hanging units and horizontal satin aluminium rails run the full length of store, providing linear navigation, whilst peach foam and foil wrapped foam insulation reflects light, creates shadows and bounces views of the collections. Plastic sculptural seating offers a secondary use to long forgotten products, having been redesigned to fit the sculptural aesthetic of the brand, whilst layered piping insulation with a recycled glass lid will create a table for accessories.
The double fronted 18th century Victorian shopfront has the exterior facade of an historical site, allowing bypassers to catch a glimpse of dresses hanging on the rail so there is no need for mannequins in the windows. On stepping beyond the threshold from the quaint street, customers are immersed into the conceptual store environment.
Studio Lucy Sanderson designed the space with an immersive shopping experience in mind, encouraging interaction and enabling visitors to learn more about the processes behind Georgia’s collections. Perspex vitrines in store bring connotations of a gallery, displaying artistic pieces, archives and collaborations for visitors to enjoy. The store’s scent designed by John Foley responded to the poetics of the space with ‘Floral with a dark heart’, an organic ambient fragrance using ingredients: Champaca, charcoal and Benzone; sound designer, Sophia Loizou then produced a sound piece in response to the scent and navigation of the space, the sound piece constructs an environment from rescued and forgotten rave debris, lost satellite transmissions and radioactive waters. Environmental and musical elements resonate, unified through a singular energy that dissolves the material boundaries between human, nature and machine. The lighting throughout the store is dramatic and warm, carefully chosen to compliment the creations displayed and provide an atmosphere that flatters and inspires confidence.