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VM choice: John Lobb windows as light as a feather

Jermyn Street shoe retailer John Lobb has a classic fascia with a small, open-backed carriage window either side of the central door. The most recent in its series of very considered VM concepts meets the same high standard as its merchandise.

Epitomising the lightweight quality of the brand’s summer collection a single feather on a Perspex cube, or as a graphic image behind the display, exemplifies the message. The promised comfort of Drift, the suede style shown here, is as soft and light as a feather, literally mirrored in the navy blue feather on the back of the Perspex cube.

Part of a larger display, in this window each shoe is paired with its own colour-matched feather. Using only four feather images, the monochromatic feathers are angled so as to seem to gently drift across the window. With the highest feather on the top left, the accessories on the lower right create a strong diagonal down, past the shoes floating above the mirrored floor.

The right hand window, a mirror of the left hand one, showcases more styles but the use of a grey feather rather than a yellow one, slightly disturbs the pleasingly simple symmetry.

We tend to read from right to left and therefore read the feathers in this window as floating diagonally upwards, rather than downwards as in the previous window, making it seem slightly less compelling. The suede collection is featured again, and the wider range of colours and more casual moccasin and loafer styles do suggest John Lobb’s offer is a little more casual than the left-hand window might initially suggest. A classic display of small leather-goods anchors, but does not accentuate, the diagonal line. Displaying these with the smallest wallet to the left rather than to the right would have further accentuated the diagonal.

Part of the Hermes group, John Lobb retains its London St James bespoke workshop, and remains family owned. The company’s motto - The Bare Maximum for a Man - underscores its ambition in making formal shoes, which are comfortable in warm weather.

A close up of the red shoe and the red feather showcases the pleasing angle of the feather, echoed in the angle of the shoe.  A very nice solution to a constrained window space, in itself not dissimilar to that of Paul Smith flagship, but conveying a very different feeling and accentuating the quality of the brand  – as all good VM should do.