They just happen to be located in a downtown mall. And the main display window is on an aisle that is fairly packed non-stop from people going from the train to the bus and beyond. Or visa versa.
When I do the windows this puts me in a precarious situation.
I'm in a fishbowl. A double wide double paned window just dressing the windows. No big deal. Who really cares? I like what I do. It's a creative outlet for me and I'm good at it. Without sounding braggy, I'm great at it.
It's all in the details.
And I see details. All the time. No matter where I go.
Like yesterday. While at the mall, I was following behind a group of ladies. They were obviously headed for the Caribou Coffee for a little mid morning java. Dressed in the typical, pointed shoes, trouser slacks and french cuff fitted shirts they 'thought' they had it going on. They walked like they thought they had it going on. They talked like they had it going on. Little did they know that I was walking behind them.
Contestant #1. Her shirt didn't fit properly. A cheap knock-off of a classic, it buckled in the back and the buttons were popping. Plus her heels were worn down and had that clickclickclick that worn out shoes make when the nail head from the heels are wearing through. Lose about 40 pounds sweetheart and your shoes will last longer.
Contestant #2. Pants too tight that had that grab across her ass. Not a bad thing in certain situations, but at work, at an office, during the day without a film crew isn't one of them. Pant hems dragging about 2" too long as well. She tried hard with the platforms to make up the extra length...but just go see a tailor. He (or she) can help you with the fit of the pants across your ass cheeks AND the length.
Contestant #3. She had previously had a blazer on, but with the humidity she took it off and slung it over her arm for her coffee run. Also, it was rather obvious she was flirting up a storm with the java dude, so she thought the extra cleavage would work to her advantage. Yeah. Hello. He's damn good looking, but he's gay, sista. But even with that faux pas, your tag is still hanging out the back of your cami and your hair is a total mess.
Do these people have mirrors? Have they heard of tailors? I can see that they are religiously buying fashion magazines and trying like hell to scream sensual that only confidence can project. That AND good fabrics and good tailoring. Trends? Sure. Use some of them...but don't become a whore and sell your individual style out. But you girls? You are a couple of dollars and buttons short of making this work for you. Trust me. I'm a professional.
But pardon me...I digress.
When working in the window you would be surprised by the amount of people that feel it necessary to knock, wave and lean on the window to watch me work. Now, I don't dress the mannequins IN the window, they are already dressed when I bring them in. So there aren't going to be any naked body forms. Ooohhhh. I'm just the arranging of the props, the extras, the banners...and these people watch me doing it. Like it some sort of live art. It's weird.
Visual display IS art, in a form. What I do directly impacts the traffic in the store and increases sales. It also makes a 'Brand' statement for the store. People recognize the clothing by the brand, the look, and the lifestyle that it exudes.
So when I was working, I decided to tape old banners to the windows so no one could see in. I was painting. I wanted to change the background of the window itself. There was about an inch or two on each side of the window that the banner didn't cover. I thought I was pretty well hidden. I was wrong.
When I knelt down to paint the lower edging, as I dipped my paintbrush into the can I happened to look over at the window. There was a guy purportedly tying his shoe and staring right at me. He was peering right under the 2 inches that the banner didn't cover. Staring at me. Painting. In the window. Kneeling on the floor.
And then he smiled. At me. And waved.
This totally creeped me out.
Maybe he thought he was being friendly. I thought it odd. No bizarre. I went to all this trouble to conceal myself behind a barricade; to protect myself from the voyeurism when I work in a fishbowl and here this guy is blatantly staring at me while I paint?! How long has he been watching? Did he notice when I pulled my jeans out of my crack? When I corrected my shirt? Please God, did I do anything I didn't want anyone to see while he was watching?
I kept the questions running in my head, and then thought. F*ck. Can't I even work in private? I Put up BANNERS! Leave me alone!
Just then, one of the associates came to say someone was there to see me. I thought, "Oh please." Would be this weirdo who's been watching me? I was afraid to leave the display area. But when I came out, it was just an old friend stopping by to say "Hi". She said, "I saw the banners taped in the window and thought you were working today".
What a relief.
So we left for a coffee.
That's when I saw those three girls.
Please someone...reach out. Tuck their tags in and give them a business card of a tailor.
How much more of this can one visual gal take.