Yesterday I had a guest speaker in my college styling class - Robert Roubideaux. He is the Visual Manager for San Diego's Saks Fifth Avenue Store. I wanted to present related careers and also I was curious about the similarities and differences between photo styling and visual merchandising. Robert's presentation was fascinating. And we learned about several new tools!
The differences, I determined, are in TIME and PERSPECTIVE.
When styling for a photograph the items only have to stay in place long enough to capture the images; in store display they may need to stay put for a month or so! And while photo styling is determined by the exact position of the camera, with all other views being irrelevant, an in-store display must be considered up to 360 degrees. So all elements change in relation to each other.
I prefer the exacting viewpoint of the camera, control of lighting, and all the details hidden behind the item. But it's a good exercise to zoom out from that position and look around.
Images above are from store windows in Tokyo (Vuitton, Benetton, and Hermes).
For more visit http://global.japandesign.ne.jp/HTM/REPORT/SW/