There’s been no escaping the American influence in London over the past couple of days. At Clerkenwell Design Week, next to a sign saying ‘beware of pedestrians’, who should I bump into but Buzz Lightyear (courtesy of MJ Creative Imaging).
Disney’s films have been popular with designers this year. At Milan Design Week, Tron Legacy was the inspiration behind the TRON designs CORIAN retro-futuristic living room exhibit.
By curious coincidence, I was also invited to a launch event at Disney’s new showcase store in Oxford Street, which has been two years in the making, and opens on Saturday.
The store is more of an interactive experience than a shop, and even incorporates a theatre with free events. Every day, there will be an opening and closing ceremony, where a child is chosen to open or close the rope barrier with a giant key.
On entering the store, there’s a 28 foot high castle, with animations and music controlled by an iPod Touch. I was treated to a private display of thunder and lightning, fairy dust and fireworks by Disney’s marketing man, Jonathan Storey.
To coincide with the launch, there’s a new fragrance, called Imagination – the scent of possibility, the smell of the enchanted forest, a whiff of Neverland… With wild mint, watermelon, forest flowers, vetiver, sequoia and moss amongst its ingredients, it’s actually got rather a pleasant, leafy and refreshing aroma, with hints of wild berries. The candle, room spray, hand and body lotion and hand wash are colourfully packaged and reasonably priced too.
The tall, charming and beautifully bouffant blogger, Prince Cassius, was amongst those assembled to sample the scent.
I followed Tinkerbell’s Pixie Dust Trail to the Disney Princess Magic Mirror. Here children can wave a wand to watch one of five short stories, apprearing magically before them.
The back of the store is bursting with London themed Disney memorabilia.
And, lurking amidst the animated trees was another Buzz Lightyear – as each of the members of staff is named after their favourite Disney character...
I'm still a great fan of Minnie Mouse – if you are too, do check out the curiously collectable vintage Fiorucci Minnie Mouse sweat shirt at ShopCurious.