12 June 2009

It Was All Yellow

Selfridges turned 100 this year and as such, there have been a range of events and celebrations taking place, from yellow-and-black clad dancers and gymnasts doing what looked like some variation of Cirque du Soleil to the appearance of Posh and Becks (or the non -quisite variety) yesterday lunchtime (sadly my cameraphone was absent so I couldn't add them to my celebstalking photo album).

One of the ongoing celebrations involves the repackaging of a range of well-known products in Selfridges' trademark yellow and black (I think I'll give the yellow and black nail varnishes a miss). Interestingly, they have chosen products for which the colour is an important part (if not the most important part) of the brand: Coke (the red bottle top being the only remnant of its usual red-and-white design--the same design once rumoured to have given Father Christmas his colours), Absolut (with its usual clean, colourless bottle with the blue font) and Diptique (with their simple, elegant candles in the little clear jars with monochrome labels).

Then there are the products that are famous for their use of colour if not for the specific colours themselves: Pantone (which probably already had a specific colour for "Selfridges yellow" AKA Pantone 109), Converse and Moleskine (known for its black covers (until the coloured versions, that is) but which come with a brightly coloured label wrapped around the notebook to indicate which variety it is), for example.

When Papa saw the yellow glass bottle of Coke in my fridge, he immediately said, "ugh"--he obviously wasn't quite ready for the rebranding of Coke! I quite like it, though. When I bought it, I was thinking about using it as a vase once I'd drunk the beverage--inserting a single red rose or gerbera maybe but maybe that's just too kitschy a variation of the very Gallic looking candles in wine bottles you sometimes see in restaurants in France.

More importantly, though, I managed to resist buying the Moleskine Yellow Label (I was very tempted because I have a thing for squared paper at the moment and want a new squared notebook for the office but you can get pads of squared paper for £1.99 in Ryman...) and one of the yellow Diptyque Mimosa candles (even though my current Feuilles de Lavande variety is almost used up). Who says I have no self-restraint?

The original Mr Selfridge would probably be impressed although still disappointed that he was never allowed to build a tunnel connecting the store with the Bond Street Tube station (and renaming it Selfridges), just like Bloomingdales in Manhattan. Not bad for a store that started life as a bargain basement-style shop, albeit one in which the owner hoped his customers would spend all day.

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