We catch up with Helen Bullock, who dressed Liberty London’s windows for a special Fashion Week edition. The illustrator and fashion designer, who has most recently contributed to magazines such as AnOther, shares with us her approach, preparations and shows that persistence is key in getting what you want- an important career lesson for all of us.
With these windows, you wanted to evoke the creativity and diversity for which London is known. How did you go about getting what you want?
The main aim in my work, is to get to the true spirit and energy of my vision. The challenge behind that is that I never really know what that actually is, until it happens before me. And even then, I know it more through a feeling. Getting to that usually involves doing a whole body of work that I know isn’t quite right. However, it needs to be done in order to take me to the next stage!
Why did you choose the approach you took?
I had printed out small versions of the window with the backdrop fabric, and, after some time realized I was resisting my natural urge to scribble, hide or block out the original image. So, I went ahead and did what felt right, which was attacking the page. At times with a calm composition- others with frantic energy.
How did you prepare for the windows? Any elaborate thought processes, or did you go with the Jackson Pollock flow?
Oh! Never elaborate thought processes! For me that kills it! It’s more of trawling through images; picking at things blindly and trusting that you’ll eventually find your way. Even when hanging the windows things changed. It’s important to be flexible with your vision.
Did you have any restrictions at all?
Absolutely none! That’s what was so amazing. I was met with more, rather than being held back. It was really unexpected and very liberating.
How did they get in touch with you?
They didn’t! I got in touch with THEM! And 8 months later, after updating them quite consistently with new work, they let me do their windows!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever come across in Liberty’s?
Window dressing is a permitted form of vandalism, you say. Which other store windows would you like to vandalize?