Famed London Store Becomes Top Destination for all Things Delightfully British
LONDON, May 31, 2012 /CNW/ - The world's eyes are on Britain this summer, and the heart of the nation is beating under the roof at Selfridges. From late May through early September, the famed 'Best Department Store in the World' celebrates the most exciting cultural and sporting summer in Great Britain's history. Selfridges calls its tribute the Big British Bang, a fanciful homage to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and this summer's sporting events. Selfridges is a fantastic place to visit this summer, for shopping and for a mash up of 'Britishness' with an amusing and irreverent Selfridges twist. The Big British Bang collides exclusive products, events and special initiatives together to celebrate all that Great Britain does like no other nation on earth including etiquette, humour, customs, fashion, art, sports, food - even marmite!
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A British icon [http://style.selfridges.com/self-expression/big-british-bang-history-selfridges] in its own right, Selfridges has been transformed into a creative playground for all that is GREAT in Britain. The store's legendary rooftop has been re-opened for the summer, and everyone is welcome. In the 1930s, the store turned its grass-covered roof into a proper pleasure spot that was especially popular with London's ladies. The roof featured gardens, cafes, fashion shows and even an all-girl gun club. This summer, Selfridges roof features a nine-hole crazy golf course. Clad in fondant and piped icing with cake stand bunkers and sugary waterfalls, the course is designed to look like a giant display of cakes and jellies modelled after famous London landmarks such as Big Ben, St Paul's Cathedral, and Tower Bridge. The rooftop at Selfridges will offer summer visitors a playful take on London's finest sights, with plenty of great shopping below.
The store's famous windows present zany reinventions of typically British scenes - from Pearly Kings and Queens to an unforgettable twist on the changing of the guard. All summer long, Selfridges will unveil curated exhibitions, amusing performances, and a jolly good collection of British brands and products through all departments, and in a specially edited shop devoted to iconic British must-haves.
For over a century [http://www.selfridges.com/en/StaticPage/Our+Heritage], Selfridges led the way in redefining the shopping experience and is credited with coining the famous phrase, 'The customer is always right' in 1909. Selfridges was the first retailer to put the fun into shopping by cleverly arranging products so that customers could touch them. Early on, Selfridges was also known for creating extraordinary experiences in the store. The current roof installation is a nod to the past, when well-dressed shoppers could nip up for a spot of tea and mini-golf against the London skyline.
Great Britain is known around the world as much for royals as for rebels - it's a nation of extremes. Here are a few examples of the British persona, and how Selfridges goes all out to celebrate the wonderfully wacky English culture through The Big British Bang:
Fashion: From dapper dandies to mods and punks, Britain has always been at the forefront of fashion. Brits dress to please themselves and have little time for concern about what others think.
Selfridges relives the essence of style from the time of the Queen's coronation with 'Britannica 1951-1953 [http://style.selfridges.com/self-expression/rule-britannica]', a specially created exhibition by esteemed fashion curator Judith Clark. The recreated fashion pieces include a collection of 50s fashion-forward looks including cinched waists, Capri pants, corset-free structured tops, sophisticated skirts and dazzling dresses. The historical and surreal looks are complemented by a hat collection created by famed British milliner Stephen Jones, referencing the en vogue colour of the 1952 coronation season - Champagne Pink. The exhibition takes place in Selfridges Ultralounge, continuing through 24 June.
Royalty: She rules! In her Diamond Jubilee year the Queen has 80% of Britons wanting the country to remain a monarchy.
The Big British Bang feeds the obsession for all things royal, hot on the heels of last year's Royal Wedding. A special collection [http://style.selfridges.com/whats-in/historic-dents-glove-exhibition-showcases-queen-elizabeth-i-coronation-glove-selfridges-lon] of historic royal coronation gloves created by Dents, the recognised glove makers of the monarchy, is on public display for the first time ever. Presented in the Wonder Room, Selfridges concept store, the exhibition's highlights include the left-hand gauntlet glove of Queen Elizabeth I worn at her coronation ceremony on 15 January 1559 at Westminster Abbey. Also featured is a pair of 386 year-old occasional gloves worn by the controversial Charles I. The collection includes additional relics such as Queen Victoria's mourning gloves and several Jubilee celebration gloves. Visitors will not want to miss the intricate detailed gloves adorned with hand embroidered fine silk and gold medal threads and pearls.
Jewels: The Crown Jewels have been guarded in the Tower of London since the early 14th century and have never been successfully stolen. Britain has an incredible history and holds its beloved past close.
At Selfridges this summer, The Big British Shop [http://www.selfridges.com/en/Features-Gifts/Features/Big-British-Bang/Big-British-Shop] boasts an amazing range of witty, edgy, and world-class British products. Exclusive and exquisite tiaras are on offer from famed jewellers including Chopard, Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Bvlgari and Chrome Hearts in a dedicated tiara shop where those looking to emulate the Queen herself can browse jewelled headpieces to meet every price point.
Civilised shopping: Brits first invented the idea of the fixed price to avoid the embarrassment of haggling. Forming orderly queues, saying 'please', 'thank you' and 'sorry' are de rigueur for most transactions.
At Selfridges, The Big Yellow Shop [http://www.selfridges.com/en/Features-Gifts/Features/Big-British-Bang/Big-Yellow-Shop] will reappear for the first time since the store's centenary celebrations in 2009. This is a great moment to snap up limited-edition exclusive products from an extended range created in Selfridges signature hue Pantone 109, from Ray-Ban to Illamasqua, for collectable souvenirs with serious cool factor.
Cuppa Tea: Brits love their small pleasures, such as the restorative pleasures of tea and scones. This leaves room for big eccentricities, which are equally cherished in UK culture.
For The Big British Bang, Selfridges reopens the outdoor space atop the store to introduce The Big RoofTop Tea & Golf Party [http://style.selfridges.com/whats-in/coming-soon-big-rooftop-tea-golf-party]. This 100% organic tea shop from Daylesford invites diners to enjoy 'the highest tea' on Oxford Street and relax in a fun and fashionable new haven six floors above the hustle and bustle of Europe's busiest shopping street. Neighbouring the teashop is a 9-hole, 2,530 square foot crazy golf course inspired by treasured English desserts and sweets designed by celebrated British jellymongers Sam Bompas and Harry Parr of Bompas & Parr.
British Beauties: From Twiggy, to Princess Diana, to Kate Moss, many of the world's most photographed women have been British.
Through May and early June, the Big Beauty Bang [http://style.selfridges.com/whats-on/big-beauty-bang-selfridges-london/?cm_re=spotlightRow-_-CTALink-_-bigBeautyBang] will be popping up at all four Selfridges locations in the UK. Customers will be treated like royalty in the Beauty Halls as British culture comes to life around them through the appearances of Pearly Kings and Queens, royal thrones and a one-man band. The make-up counters will feature exclusive products and specialty treatments and shoppers will have the opportunity to show off their skills at a traditional English seaside 'Grabber' game where with a bit of luck too, beauty prizes can be won.
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To learn more about experiencing Selfridges in the summer of 2012, please visit
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Gabrielle Shaw Communications
Jeannette Whiting, +44-(0)2077318811
Gabrielle Shaw Communications
Allison Lawrence, +44-(0)2077318811
Video: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/53830-selfridges-queens-jubilee-big-british-bang Source: Selfridges & Co