Full-scale shopfront installation unveiled at V&A Dundee

A re-creation of a 20th century shop window has been installed at V&A Dundee and opens today (Friday 7 February).

Faux Shop is an installation by art and design practice Atelier E.B which focuses on the beautiful, yet seemingly commonplace shop window displays of the 20th century.

The window display is filled with items from Atelier E.B’s fashion collection, Jasperwear, created in 2018. The display also features elements inspired by Dundee, such as ‘jute rain’, bespoke umbrellas and Mackintosh-inspired raincoats. By blending the historically referenced shopfront with a contemporary clothing collection Atelier E.B celebrates the very particular art of window dressing.

The Faux Shop was originally created as part of Atelier E.B’s Passer-by exhibition and has been shown in London, Paris and Moscow. This is the first time Faux Shop will be on display in Scotland.

Beca Lipscombe and Lucy McKenzie from Atelier E.B said: “The Faux Shop examines the moveable thresholds between high and mass culture, art and design, production and consumption. The viewer will be able to purchase some of the items they have seen expertly arranged in the Faux Shop display window. Isn’t it everyone’s dream to be able to take home something desirable you’ve just seen in a museum? And to be able as touch as well as look?”

Lauren Bassam, V&A Dundee Project Curator, said: “We are delighted to be showing Faux Shop here at V&A Dundee, the first time that Atelier E.B’s innovative approach to fashion has been displayed within a Scottish museum. It poses a wonderful opportunity to unpack the fascinating history of 20th century shop window display in Scotland, as seen through the eyes of this unique art and design practice.”

Atelier E.B is an art and design practice run by designer Beca Lipscombe and artist Lucy McKenzie, who have been showing and selling fashion in galleries since 2007. Based between Edinburgh and Brussels, their work reinvents conventional modes of display and distribution, embedding fashion into a variety of contexts, including publishing, events and even sponsoring a women’s football team.

In addition to the shopfront the installation features a series of archival reference points that inspire and inform Atelier E.B’s practice. These include photographs documenting the Scottish Goldbergs department store chain that grew from a single Glasgow store in 1908 to a chain of over 100 outlets. Other items include an iconic bust that sat in Rita Rusk’s Glasgow hair salon window as well as the work of Dundee-born artist Graham Little. A limited selection of Atelier E.B’s designs, such as sweatshirts, scarfs and jewellery, will be available for purchase in the museum shop.

A celebration of the style and aesthetics of the late-20th century, Faux Shop demonstrates Atelier E.B.’s approach which employs historical window display and design, mixing it together with their own style and influences. Faux Shop is an installation which asks the visitor to consider whether shop dressing is simply an everyday part of popular culture or a unique form of art and design practice.

Faux Shop by Atelier E.B is displayed in V&A Dundee’s Michelin Design Gallery, a free exhibition and project space in the upper hall of the museum, from 7 February to 24 May 2020. It has been curated by Lauren Bassam from V&A Dundee.

Faux Shop is part of V&A Dundee’s Fashion 2020 season, which includes the museum’s first major fashion exhibition Mary Quant opening on 4 April. More information is available at www.vam.ac.uk/dundee/whatson

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