Shop windows are the way a store lures you in, showcases its wares and, in some cases, makes a statement. Like the London Selfridges store, which today has given all 24 windows over to Apple and its latest desirable, the Apple Watch.
Selfridges has a history of doing more than most stores do with its window displays. It has housed political campaigns to raise awareness of fish stocks and was one of the first to use storytelling in its window displays.
The very first, back on 15 March 1909, recreated scenes from paintings by Antoine Watteau and Jean-Honore Fragonard, since you ask, and has created exciting window displays ever since.
But the latest venture tells us a lot about Apple, too. Since its first Apple Stores opened, it has jealously guarded its image - think about it, can you remember a newspaper advert that featured Apple and another brand? Thought not. And it has restricted where some products, such as the new Watch, can be sold.
Earlier in the year, though, Apple launched stores inside other stores, including Dover Street Market and Selfridges in London. It's a mark of how much the Watch has changed the way Apple does things. It has forged links with upscale retailers to add to its availability while still maintaining an exotic appeal.
The Apple Watch is a strange product, simultaneously needing no explanation (it tells the time, right?) and lots - what does it do exactly? Of course there are plenty of answers to that question, such as the subtle fitness features that nudge you into being more active, even if it's just telling you to stand up because you've been sitting down for an hour. Or the brilliant walking directions it offers, so you don't need to hold your expensive iPhone out in front of you late at night in a strange city. Just check the navigation arrow onscreen or let it tap you as you approach a junction so you know, without looking, whether to turn left or right. The list goes on, though each wearer will have their own favourites, like the wrist-based boarding pass that's hard to mislay or the tap on the skin to let you know it's about to rain.
Best, perhaps, is Apple Pay and the super-easy way you can pay for groceries or get on the Tube with two taps of a button.
So it's no surprise the Selfridges windows had a range of stories to tell based on the watch. The 24-window set-up is inspired by some of the most beautiful watch faces. The Motion face has three choices: flowers, jellyfish and butterflies. When you choose it, the Watch shows the time digitally and, as you move your wrist to turn the display on, dramatically explodes from black to an animated Red Admiral, peony or, er, jellyfish. I don't know any different variations of jellyfish, sorry.
The windows at Selfridges show eight different types of flowers, all taken from the Watch's Motion faces and transformed into 3D prints.
There are, to save you counting, 24 large flowers (one per window, got it?) and over 5,000 small ones, with in-between sizes, too. They range in size from 20cm to 1.8 metres. They include chrysanthemums, gardenias and, my favourite, yellow poppies which are so gloriously sunny they can lift the greyest summer's day. Sadly, none of them tells the time. You'll need your watch for that.Reuse content