Among the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s Chadstone shopping centre, premium fashion label Viktoria & Woods’ flagship store is a soothing, tactile oasis.
July 28th, 2021
As more and more retail moments are happening online, especially in the wake of Covid-19, physical stores need to provide sensory experiences to entice customers. The new Viktoria & Woods store in Melbourne’s Chadstone shopping centre, designed by GOLDEN, achieves exactly that.
With a focus on bringing Viktoria & Woods’ love of art and design to the fore, the Chadstone store is the third designed for the luxurious women’s fashion label by the Melbourne-based design studio, following its fit-outs of the brand’s Mosman and Doncaster boutiques. “Aligning with Viktoria & Woods’ brand ethos is an effortless, simple approach to design; pared-back principles with a modern feel,” says GOLDEN.
Co-founders and directors of GOLDEN, Kylie Buhagiar and Alicia McKimm, have earned a reputation for their reductionist approach to design, focusing on how physical environments impact users’ wellbeing. They were recognised in the 2020 Interior Design Excellence Awards for their work on Buff Nail Studios.
Designed to stand out not through audacious colour or dramatic fixtures, but rather by displaying a restrained, peaceful palette, Viktoria & Woods Chadstone welcomes and calms shoppers when contrasted with the surrounding shopping centre’s intensity. The storefront’s maximum height windows and curved white entrance walls lead passer-bys’ eyes into the shop, allowing for glimpses of the subtly varied stone palette beyond.
On entering, natural tones and textural variation are evident. The muted warmth of the rendered walls and ash of the cement floor provide a subtle backdrop for the clothing, shoes and accessories. A quartzite rock counter streaked with luminous green is centred but sits sideways, not front on, to provide a welcoming rather than intimidating focal point.
Everything in the store is purposeful and when combined with symmetry and natural materials, tones and textures, this leads to a sense of grounded wellbeing.
The minimalist layout and joinery, sleek metallic railings and onyx-like Nestos Marble shelving allows the Viktoria & Woods products to be pedestalled. A gallery-like environment is fostered through the concealed, recessed lights which illuminate the shoes and clothes plinths, spotlighting them as if pieces of art.
As clientele move to the styling suite in the back of the store, they’re welcomed with a warmer, more luxurious palette and range of tactile surfaces. The carpet is made of sustainably sourced Mongolian goat hair, and the lightweight imitation-suede change room curtains are sustainably manufactured.
GOLDEN and Victoria & Woods’ hawk-eyed focus on details and tactility allow this store to become lavish but not impersonal and compelling, yet tranquil.
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