Catherine Redfern // 23 April 2005
The window displays at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London are “legendary” and “groundbreaking”; they also seem to have somewhat of an obsession with stripping and sex work. A few years ago, in collaboration with Stringfellows, the windows contained live pole dancers; later, supermodel Elle Macpherson stripped off in the window. This time they’ve gone for the neon variety of pole dancer, as part of the Vegas Supernova themed shopping experience.
The window display, celebrating “Sin City”, has been produced by celebrity photographer David LaChapelle, and features the aforementioned neon moving pole dancers, a neon stripper, and even more perturbingly, a window full of around 8 disembodied giant, pink inflatable boobs which inflate and deflate at regular intervals. These sit next to windows containing neon dollar signs, inflatable hot dogs and burgers, and flashing XXX signs.
The Evening Standard explains that “the Vegas showgirl look is enjoying something of a fashion moment this season … at Versace, skintight cocktail dresses and high showgirl hair looked like a deluxe take on hooker chic.”
Hm… so, what to conclude from all this? Could the inflatable boob window display be a satirical comment on the fake, superficial, plastic surgery culture? Why not check out some of the images on LaChapelle’s website, and draw your own conclusions about his attitude towards women. (Fans of Moby may be advised to brace yourselves before doing this. Don’t say you weren’t warned.)