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VM choice: White neon window focus for Dior

Another classic VM choice is gracing London streets at the moment, in Dior’s windows on Sloane Street. With white neon tubes all align towards the centre of the window, set in a simple white frame, the window is a lovely but very simple example of focus.

A simple ‘squoval’ - that is part-square, part-oval - white frame is redolent of the 1970s style we are seeing for Spring/Summer 2015. The closed-back accessories window has a white squoval centre section with three small glass shelves in the centre. Each shelf features just one carefully placed accessory: a handbag, a trainer and a second larger handbag. The white neon draws our attention to the centre of the squoval at the centre of the window, focusing our attention on the merchandise.

The colour of the light of the backdrop behind the neon lights has been chosen carefully. With warm spots at the top and cooler shadows, created by the neon tubes themselves, below the effect is like the effect of the sun seen through a chink in the clouds.

This optical effect is reminiscent of the work of Italian Baroque sculptor, Bernini (1598 - 1680) in the Cornaro Chapel, Rome. Bernini shows Saint Teresa at the moment of her ecstatic death being pierced by an angel’s arrow, while members of the Cornaro family look on. The entire chapel scene is lit by an ox-eye window designed to catch the sun and act as a natural spotlight on the gilded stucco rays. Here in Dior’s window the effect is of dawn, a new day or a new fresh season.

In a variation the second of the three windows across the facade of the store is oval, with a centrally placed oval towards which the white neon tubes focus. The tubes completely fill the space within the squoval, unlike in the previous window. This part open-backed window, with its pale-blue base, showcases two mannequins. As though underlining the purity of the window theme, the mannequins are dressed in white with a monochromatic black or white handbag. This window has a slightly monastic feel.

The third window is a variation of the first, with a squoval shape and white neon tubes with free outer edges. A handbag placed on the single shelf and a single mannequin on the right side of the part open-backed window completes the display. This time a faintly lilac wash colours the backdrop and lends a seasonal fashion touch to the white-dressed mannequin. Again, the feel of the window has the simple clean charm of early spring, as light returns to the northern hemisphere, and with it the promise of summer.