A.F. Vandevorst's hospital fashion show from 1999 is serving as inspiration for the British department store's latest project in physical retail

Selfridges is recreating history through a collaboration with Belgian fashion house A.F. Vandevorst. This partnership is a part of the UK department store’s “Anatomy of Luxury” project, a one-week residency that takes place in the Corner Shop, a gallery space located across from Selfridges’ London flagship location.

The design of the space is a recreation of An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx’s iconic spring 1999 fashion show, which involved models lying on hospital beds. Selfridges’ space features thirteen hospital beds filled with archive designs from the 1999 show and includes screens that display past collections of An Vandevorst’s designs.

The point of the partnership is to underline the enduring importance of physical retail because of the community it provides. “Today more and more people shop online, which is great because there is more choice and variety. But the brick-and-mortar stores can always offer something that online cannot,” Vandevorst said to Women’s Wear Daily. “The relationship and chemistry between the store and the physical customer is a lot more personal and emotionally driven.”

This type of infusion of community and retail is called ‘Third Space Connections’. These spaces provide “experiences that bring people together around the halo of a brand and offer new occasions to visit outside of the shopping trip,” providing guests with more than just an opportunity to consume, but also an occasion to connect, interact and forge stronger rapport with the brand.

Selfridges

Selfridges is recreating history through a collaboration with Belgian fashion house A.F. Vandevorst. This partnership is a part of the UK department store’s “Anatomy of Luxury” project, a one-week residency that takes place in the Corner Shop, a gallery space located across from Selfridges’ London flagship location.

The design of the space is a recreation of An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx’s iconic spring 1999 fashion show, which involved models lying on hospital beds. Selfridges’ space features thirteen hospital beds filled with archive designs from the 1999 show and includes screens that display past collections of An Vandevorst’s designs.