Out on the floor
The Lewis's Fifth Floor project is an amazing time capsule of mid-century department stores. The fifth floor of Lewis's in Liverpool was ultra-glam in its heyday. It closed in 1980 and has been untouched ever since, like the Miss Haversham of retail. Photographer Stephen King has documented what's left. Portraits of staff who worked there, back on the floor, add an extra dimension and testimonies from the people who shopped there chime in like the tinkling of teacups to create a very vivid picture of life on the floor. I can smell the hair lacquer from here.
The photos are in an exhibition at The National Conservation Centre in Liverpool until 30 August 2010 and in the book Lewis's Fifth Floor: A Department Story. Thanks to Johnny and Kate for the tip-off.