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VM inspiration: classic Heals posters

Heal’s archive of classic images promoting the Mansard Gallery, the temporary exhibition space in its Tottenham Court Road store, was given to the V&A when the retail business was sold to the Storehouse Group in 1983. But recently Heals has discovered another cache of posters and reprinted a small collection on handmade paper. These time capsules provide terrific VM inspiration.

A classic and fashionable black-and-white themed room complete with zebra rug, white chair with black cushion, and a side-table with red lamp base. This would work in in any home furniture window or in-store space, or in a fashion window with an outfit laid gracefully over the arm of the chair.

This kitchen, with its Scandi-style table and chairs, is a ready-made backdrop for any small brown goods window. Imagine an array of retro-inspired toasters, kettles, mixers, and bread-makers, perched on slender cubes or plinths….

The very graphic image of a stylized figure lounging in bed, glimpsed between a pair of partly-opened curtains, could be employed  as a backdrop for any home merchandise revealed behind curtains. Its charm lies in the fact it doesn’t show any merchandise, but suggests comfort as a result of a purchase: ‘the benefits’ as American retailers might say.

This is less successful for home VM, but perfectly excellent for fashion. The retro sun-lounger and side-table, with jug and glasses, combine to create a 1950s mood perfect for summer dresses.

This poster was originally for formal interiors. Inspired by the monochromatic, patterned-backdrop and the graphic, stylised glass and jug, any item could be replaced with a similar graphic, and work just as successfully.

Imagine a marble-patterned background, with a champagne saucer glass, and an ice bucket for champagne: all perfect for occasion fashion, or men’s formal dress.