Romantic reflections -Shakespeare in the window

Romantic-reflections-Yet-We-sleep-we-dreamOxford Street in London this summer has a visual treat. Selfridge’s, well-known for eye-catching and innovative window-dressing, has teamed up with some world-famous fashion designers to celebrate the 400 year anniversary of the death of Shakespeare. There are 12 displays – here are five I managed to photograph between the crowds on a very busy Oxford Street.

The Alexander McQueen interpretation is from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ using the quote “Are you sure that we are awake? It seems to me that yet we sleep, we dream”

‘Romeo and Juliet’, was chosen by Christopher Kane with the quote “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?” providing inspiration.


‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ also gives us another romantic, inspirational couplet for Erdem – “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged cupid blind”.


Bucking the trend and displaying an alternative, challenging interpretation J W Anderson uses perhaps one of the most famous Shakespeare quotes “To be, or not to be, that is the question” from ‘Hamlet’.


Although I love the unashamedly romantic frills and ornate prints of the Alexander McQueen window, there is something haunting and long-lasting about the Issey Miyake display. “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better” from ‘Twelfth Night’ is the chosen quotation. The textured, structural coat shaped from cloth adorned/woven with words from the significant text captures our contemporary engagement with Shakespeare in a most memorable fashion. Particularly striking, I thought, emerging from the reflections of a 21st-century cityscape.


Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

14 thoughts on “Romantic reflections -Shakespeare in the window”

    1. Your welcome. I thought they were definitely worth dodging the crowds for – window-dressing can be a clever and thoughtful contribution to our visual culture.

    1. As I guess you noticed photographing big windows is tricky, but can sometimes make for an interesting visual story. I think the Issey Miyake design will have more staying power than the rest.

      1. Yes as to photographing windows, but the results are often quite eye catching, as these are, and not just for the items in the window! And I agree with you about the Issey Miyake design. I think all ages of women can wear it, too.

  1. You are right about long lasting when referring to Issey Miyake Agnes, my wife and I have garments dating back to 1990 and they are still contemporary fashion and still very wearable. There is even an Issey Miyake shop at Narita airport now.

    1. Yes, I think he designs ‘classic’ alternative – if that’s not a strange concept!! But I expect if you own some of his work you’ll know what I’m getting at. 😊

  2. I was reminded recently with the Olympics that all four of our ceremonies were linked by The Tempest. The Rio ceremonies were very different.

    1. I have to come clean here, I didn’t manage to watch either opening ceremony, but only the highlights on catch-up. I’m sure these grand scale events are much better to experience in reality as the TV screen rather reduces the effect. Didn’t know there’d been a Shakespeare link with ours. The Tempest was my first exposure to Shakespeare at primary school – was not a hit with me, but at least I do remember bits of it.

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