UK luxury shopping brand hops on the Shakespeare bandwagon

Alexander McQueen dress (£1,875)
Alexander McQueen dress (£1,875)

High-end department store Selfridges & Co is making its own take on Shakespeare400 next week – through fashion, beauty and food. The Greater Manchester store, located inside the Trafford Centre (a large-scale mall just outside the UK city) has partnered with performing arts venue The Lowry to create All The World’s A Stage (28-31 July)a ‘retail-theatre’ experience blending fashion with the history of the bard.

In what is billed as ‘a dynamic takeover, laced with comedy, tragedy and romance’ a collective of 20 international designer-collaborators, including Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten and Simone Rocha, will create scenes for the store’s windows – all based around the playwright’s central themes and characters. Fashion film, The Bard of the Street by Mary McCartney, is available to view online.

Rodarte 'Juliet dress' (£1,855)
Rodarte ‘Juliet dress’ (£1,855)

So what’s on offer, other than frills and Shakespeare-themed Summer Beauty bags? Shakespeare fashion events will run from 1pm to 6pm each day, with a mini fashion show at 5.30pm; a series of 15-minute text and movement sessions take place at 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

Family activities include a procession; spoken word performances from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth and The Tempest, and drop-in or bookable activities for young people, children and families led by artists from The Lowry.

Meanwhile, for shoppers with big pockets,Shakespeare reFASHIONed is an exclusive collection of over 120 products across the store priced from £3 to £885,000 – all inspired by the dramatist’s most famous works.

'Anglomania' Vivienne Westwood Shakespeare black T-shirt (£175)
‘Anglomania’ Vivienne Westwood Shakespeare black T-shirt (£175)

Shakespeare reFASHIONed is ‘split into two acts’: Act I: Light and Act II: Dark.

Designs in Act I include Christopher Kane’s Romeo & Juliet AW15 ‘kissing couple’ tees and sweatshirts; Rodarte’s Romeo & Juliette exclusive dress capsule collection; J.W.Anderson’s Hamlet sweat, jumper, scarf, and shorts capsule; and Marques Almeida’s exclusive skirt and top inspired by The Winter’s Tale.

Christopher Kane 'Romeo and Juliet' T-shirt (£185.00)
Christopher Kane ‘Romeo and Juliet’ T-shirt (£185.00)

Designs in Act II: Dark include a collection inspired by Hamlet; Simone Rocha’s Romeo & Juliet dress; Christopher Kane’s Macbeth skirt, T-shirt, sweatshirt and bag; Rick Owens’ Macbeth nine piece men’s and women’s capsule collections; Yohji Yamamoto Julius Caesar two sweater and three coats capsule collection; Edie Parker’s To Be or Not To Be clutch bag; and Vivienne Westwood’s  Anglomania quotes collection.


Big bling comes in the form of Shaune Leane’s “My promise is to live to love, to share and appreciate the present” earrings, inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVIII, retailing for a whopping £885,000; as well as archive pieces from van Cleef & Arpels inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream and an Alexander McQueen Elizabethan jewellery collection.