Sonia Delaunay

This week saw the arrival of the biggest art show of the summer, The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay at Tate Modern. The first UK retrospective to showcase the avant-garde artist’s work, it features groundbreaking paintings, textiles and clothes designed by Delaunay and shines a spotlight on her pioneering use of colour and abstract shape. Inspired by the exhibition, Head of Windows and Visual Merchandising, Matt and Windows and Concepts Manager, Laura have created bold new windows in five of our key London stores:

Laura: “We tried to use a different inspiration for each store. We took a lot of inspiration from the colour and patchwork effect in Delaunay’s work and all of a sudden, we started thinking about patchworking a huge, vast amount of fabric and all the sculptural shapes we could turn it into – that’s how we ended up with a parachute. We actually found a lot of these colours in her work were in the Pima Cotton and Double Front Scoop T-Shirts which worked really well.”

Matt: “It was that sense of drama. How can we take something like this and create drama? We wanted the installation to have an editorial feel in execution. It’s almost like the parachute has just landed there. From initially seeing the exhibition in Paris, it took three months to create the concept – and three days to make and install the sculpture!”

duke streetParachute2

Laura: “At the exhibition in Paris, they had a mock up of Sonia’s original shop front with roller banners moving in the window with her own prints. We liked the sense of movement and the idea of showing prints in an interesting way. We had a roller banner made and used key Jigsaw prints from Spring Summer 2015 in a chequerboard-like patchwork. The prints will be constantly moving round in the window.”

Matt: “It’s very simple and elegant. Showcasing our prints was important as Jigsaw as a brand is a print specialist.”


Laura: “In the exhibition, there was lots of use of text in really interesting ways. There was a really beautiful sketchbook with brightly coloured lettering and a painterly finish. All the letters were different sizes and it had a real hand finished feel. Referencing the colour in her work again, we painted words by hand on the window in opposite colours. Matt had this lovely image of a peephole with a distorted mirror, so we had a mirrored tunnel made to refract our kaleidoscope video (featuring Jigsaw Pima Cotton T-Shirts) and make it go on for infinity. It’s a nice point of difference from the Kensington window. The hand painted and the digital versus a big sculpture – it’s a good contrast.”

Kings Road

Matt: “Luckily enough, we had eight store windows here where we could spell out ‘Delaunay’. We wanted to bring the beautiful text in her work to life so we had giant letters made – the idea is that they’re squeezed and squashed into the windows. We chose to paint them really bright colours to reference the jersey used in the parachute windows. Delaunay also did costume designs that were very sculptural and the three dimensional letters tie the window back to that element. Each letter also links to a key part of our current collection: D for Denim, U for Utility e.t.c. It’s probably the most fun window of them all!”

strand windows
Celebrate Sonia Delaunay at Tate with the chance to win exhibition tickets, a night’s stay in a London hotel, lunch at Tate Modern and £500 to spend in-store. Enter our competition now.

The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay runs at Tate Modern until 9th August 2015.

Author: Jigsaw

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