By  on December 21, 2011

Early next year, Selfridges will unveil the first phase of its new women’s designer galleries, a 17,000-square foot space that fuses the store’s Neoclassical architecture with elements of technology.

The room will host eight in-store boutiques for Chanel, Prada, Lanvin, Celine, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Dries Van Noten. Interspersed among those boutiques will be collections by edgy labels including Gareth Pugh, Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens, Comme Des Garçons and Anne Demeulemeester. Sebastian Manes, director of women’s wear at Selfridges, said: “The concept of the room evolved in tandem with the selection of these designers, in order to offer customers the collections they will love and a place to discover the exciting looks of each season.”

A focus of the room, which has been designed by Jamie Fobert Architects, will be a digital installation by the British artist Daniel Brown, who has designed a triptych of screens that will show a continually evolving image. Meanwhile, the changing rooms will feature three digital screens with built-in cameras, allowing customers to snap digital pictures or videos of themselves, so they can see a look from different angles. They will then have the option of e-mailing the images to themselves or friends. In a nod to Selfridges’ original 1910 decor, the room’s floor is crafted from 41 types of marble, while marble panels will also be placed along the room’s windows, allowing light to flood into the space.

The space, which will open in time for London Fashion Week in February, will also offer customers the services of an in-house tailor to provide alterations to their purchases. To mark the gallery’s launch, illustrator Tanya Ling has created a series of ethereal watercolor illustrations to represent what Selfridges calls “the modern luxury woman.” The illustrations will be featured as part of Selfridges’ advertising and on Selfridges’ Web site.

Alannah Weston, creative director of Selfridges, added: “The Women’s Designer Galleries at Selfridges will showcase some of fashion’s most exciting designers in a creative setting that embraces the expectations of today’s modern woman. We know that our customers are sophisticated, global trend-makers and we look forward to presenting beautiful designer pieces in a serene and elegant environment.”

The first gallery will be followed by two further areas of the women’s designer galleries that are due to open in phases, one later in 2012 and the other in 2013.

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