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VM choice: White Stuff's exhibition stand

To create a good exhibition stand is an art as much as a skill. Fast-fashion retailer White Stuff, exhibiting recently at Pure, the womenswear show aimed at independents, created a great stand which allows for flexible reuse.

On a corner site, the brand name was repeated on each wall of the stand making it clearly visible to people approaching from either direction. The back wall was covered with 1950s-look wallpaper against which decorative panels were laid. This one featured a collection of old tape measures and wooden reels, congruent to the production of a fashion brand.

With the brand name hung on a chain from the stand wall, carved telephone directories filled the high-up space.

Garment rails in front of the panels had been covered with wall-patterned wallpaper brilliantly lifting them, and the merchandise, from the banal to the so much more interesting.

Judging by the wear, these rails are frequently reused, but the patina here endorses the brand, suggesting that White Stuff is experienced and has been around for a while. As indeed it has: since 1985 in fact.

The freestanding panels are a nice idea in that they can be spread out, squeezed up, or occasionally omitted depending on the size of the stand. They fill the stand with colour and pattern: even this mostly white one, of doilies and tablecloths decorated with teacups, adds complexity of texture.

The same flexible solution has been used on the floor, employing the Victorian technique of layering carpets on carpets. Again, these can be spread out further to cover a larger space, or fewer can be used for smaller stands. Combined with the patterned walls, the patterned floor creates an interesting environment with lots for the eye to look at, and makes the garments appear more interesting when seen within what might be their consumer’s environment. Notice too, the church hall repurposed chairs: they stack and so are ideal for trade shows, the comfy cushion is a nice means of adding even more pattern.

Storage space on a stand is always a tricky topic. Even with the best security, samples will need to be locked away, and marketing and stationery supplies need to be housed somewhere too. This repurposed kitchen cupboard, which fronts three old wooden doors each with ‘patina’ appeal, forms a changing room for models, and also allows the collection to be stored securely.

On top of the cupboard stands a row of screen-printed milk bottles. Again, this nice little detail suggests White Stuff ‘s VM team really thought about this stand.

A suitcase always makes a good container for exhibition stands and retail stores. Here it nicely contains details of the White Stuff S/S 16 womenswear and accessories collection. Notice the inside of the suitcase, displayed open, has been covered with a rough collage made from an old Ordnance Survey map and a colourful shopping bag.

Lastly, three mannequins have been positioned on a series of plinths, each covered with mis-matched, tile-covered sides and a slightly worn but cute bearded-collie placed in front. Again, all very flexible, very adaptable, and very interesting, especially when seen amid a mass of plain, white stands. White Stuff has honed its stand, yet retained its appealing, just-thrown together look.