We love a good window display here at IOLLA, none more so than our own creative visionary Sara Douglas-Smith, who can usually be found by following the smell of a hot glue gun and paint.  Known to have spent many an evening making trees out of carpet and balancing parrots on hanging foliage, Sara has long mastered the art of window displays, much to our benefit!

The eagle-eyed amongst you will know that we change our displays along with the seasons, sometimes adding in an extra one over summer to keep things fresh.  With so many of you complimenting our displays on a regular basis, I caught up with Sara to find out a bit more about her creative process.


Behind the scenes/ window pane:

“I mostly pull my ideas and inspiration from Pinterest but I also try to look at what’s popular during each season. For instance the current window display in Glasgow is based on a rainforest theme with a flamingo as this is a very trendy theme at the moment!


“Brand-wise, I find Anthropologie to be the most inspirational as their window displays are always very unique and whimsical! They’re also very eco friendly with a lot of their designs being made from recycled objects. Additionally, I look at a lot of designer brands who tend to have their windows designed by professional artists. Inspiration for the latest Glasgow window display came from Hermes's 2013 Summer window ‘The Eternal Jungle,’ which was designed by French artists Zim & Zou.”


Glasgow vs Edinburgh:

“The Stockbridge window has been a bit trickier as we have a lot less space to play with due to it being so tall and narrow.  Drawing the designs on the window itself has proven really successful though, as it still allows loads of light into the showroom itself and invites passers by to come in and have a browse.

“I think it would be cool to keep them both running on a similar theme and keep them rotating at the same times.”


Fairest of them all?

My favourite window displays have always been the ones that have worked out better than I had expected.  The main one that stands out in my head is our Christmas window from 2 years ago, this was a giant wreath that had different heads wired in wearing glasses... it sounds, and could have looked, odd but it worked really well!”



“Sometimes it's hard to get the glasses to be the main feature of the window display since they are physically quite small.  So the challenge always lies in designing a display that will catch people’s attention enough so if they stop to admire it their eyes will be drawn to the glasses that are woven throughout the scene.  The objective, of course, is to try and be known to have unusual and creative windows, for both Stockbridge and Finnieston, which is a fun challenge to have!”


Looking forward…

“In the future I really want to try and create a display that will allow the people passing to interact with it! For example, one that has mirrors hanging down with glasses in front of them, allowing passers by to bend or stretch to different heights to ‘try on’ the glasses and see themselves in the mirror.  Or, something similar!”

Make sure to have a browse through our other past window displays in the gallery below and keep your eyes peeled for some new displays coming soon at the end of summer!