Wednesday, January 25, 2012

RETAIL THERAPY


I have to admit that, from an early age, I have had more than a slight interest in the retail world and shopping in general.  I used to have a fantasy of being accidentally locked in a department store overnight, free to roam with the place all to myself. I am not sure, but perhaps that dream was fueled by the children's book,"Corduroy" (ever read it?)  
I grew up mostly in Detroit, famous for some pretty phenomenally large and varied department stores at one time, before the town hit the skids and turned into not such a pretty place. Those stores moved into the burbs and so did I and some very happy times were spent on trips to department stores for things like school clothes and general entertainment. The good old department store, replete with multiple restaurants and extensive home furnishing departments is an endangered, if not extinct, specie. Nowadays, "proper" department stores are a dying breed and so the long-lived and celebrated ones remain cultural icons.
This new release by Vendome covers this amazing world and catalogs its history with fascinating historical photos and text, accompanied by up-to-date looks at both the interiors and exteriors of these amazing places. Author Jan Whitaker has done a masterful job of drawing you in while she presents an educational and enthralling look into this wonder of the urban culture.  


the men's shop at Bergdorf Goodman in New York


Harrod's butcher shop in 1920's London (not exactly understocked!)


My all-time favorite store, Printemps, Paris in earlier days


The famous facades of Harrods, London and Galeries LaFayette, Paris


The book department at Bon Marche, Paris


Obika Bar in Selfridges, London

You can find more on World of Department Stores here.

11 comments:

Sarah B said...

What a fab book, but I bet it would just make me want to go shopping. When I first say the image of Harrod's butcher shop I thought it was underwear! Yuck :)

allumer * decor said...

Looks like a great book. Your right, the old grand department stores are dying out. Lets not forget what happened to the beautiful Marshall Fields on State Street! ...very sad.

ParisBreakfasts said...

What a gorgeous looking book!
I lived in Wanamaker's Department store as a kid, not that my parents had a clue.
All that browsing...
All that dreaming...
Maybe that's why I still love them so much...

CDS said...

What an AMAZING book! WOW! I wish I could have been on that research team! xoox

Katelyn said...

Fabulous! A perfect coffee table book, and not one you would see on everyone and their mother's coffee table...unique and interesting!

Tracy F. said...

Just added this to my list. As a life-long lover of shopping, I think this book is a must!

Karena said...

I miss so many of them, the big box stores are trying to take over the world!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Carrie'sCreations said...

What a terrific book!!!! There is something very magical about a department store!

Ideezine said...

Anne,

There's a book for everything these days and how lucky that makes us all who love books! We knew these stores were magical as little girls and an afternoon spent in these books erases time and our emotions connect once again. How grand!

Bette

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

I had the same fantasy, Anne! We didn't have alot when I was a kid so my fantasy came complete with a UHaul outside the store where I could haul away everything I wanted during the night! Love the old Harrod's shot. Bon weekend!
Kirsten

The Devine Life said...

Looks like a must have.

 
http://clickserve.cc-dt.com/link/click?lid=41000000028477615