Last week I met up with a fellow blogger and industry colleague Ronald Knoth of The Bespoken: For Men. A veteran in the visual industry, Knoth is both an educator and a designer who just exudes passion for this business. We asked our mutual friend and colleague Peter-Tolin Baker of P-TB Design to come along for the tour as well. If you're ever looking for a consultant with extreme talent, a strong point of view and a portfolio to boot, please contact Peter!
Our plan was to photograph and discuss the current window installations around New York. Unfortunately, it was the coldest day of the week, snowing, raining, etc., which kept us moving quickly and only left us with enough strength to travel from 58th street down to 46th street. We photographed Bergdorf's, Tiffany's, Anthropologie, Cole Haan, J. Crew and Saks and together we have posted our favorite photographs and have also decided to compare and contrast both our own and eachother's photographs. I must say the amount of quality windows was lacking this past week, I don't know if it's because of the season but one would think, since Fashion Week had just passed the windows would still be interesting and glamorous of some sort!
At Bergdorf Goodman the 58th street windows were based upon the color scheme of CMYK. Each window held a different color ribbon draped over plain black and white sketch pads. From far away the books created a graphic grid that was both simple and interesting. The straight lines of the books are a juxtaposition against the softly draped and curving lines of the ribbons. The clothing was a play on the color scheme coordinating with but not entirely matching.
Knoth chose to photograph the mannequin in the window with the red dress. The outfit was punchy with a mod vibe. His snapshot immediately draws my imagination to believe that this mannequin is actually a headless model who has stopped for the pose at the end of the catwalk.
I love the details of how the books were mounted on the walls and how they used the ribbons as book marks or place holders. The shoes that I photographed in this window also played well into composition as they reflect the movement that the ribbons evoke.
On the 5th Avenue side the windows had a street/pop art kind of style painted with airbrush stencils. Knoth's photograph presents a dark mood with the reflection of the building and American flag at the top left corner of the picture. It's eery how the building seems to fade away revealing the diamonds and the mannequin well centered within the motif.
I love the Stella McCartney fruit dress and had to photograph it, the stylists of Bergdorfs have a great a eye for picking dresses that rythmically play off of the background. I also chose this viewpoint because I love how the mannequin's directional poses move the eye around the entire photograph, they all seem to be saying "Don't look at me!"
The next window at Bergdorf Goodman was within the same series as the above photos, this time the backdrop had a strong horizontal Greek Key motif. Knoth's photograph highlights the juxtaposition between the silky, soft flowing, romantic gown against the sporadically painted backdrop.
I have chosen a different outfit as the center of focus within my photograph because I think the graphic tee very much relates to the overall concept. The vibrant colors of the skirt and the clutch add an element of whimsy to the outfit. I have cropped the floral, romantic gown out and it's almost hard to believe that this is the same window, as each mannequin's style is so vastly different.
The next store of interest was the Anthropologie at Rock-Center. These windows are always impeccably done and extremely innovative. This series, of course was up to par with a concept that speaks to the upcoming Earth Day holiday. Anthro has chosen to highlight cork as a sustainable resource that is often not recycled and disregarded. They have used the miniatures in mass concept (as I like to call it) to make these tiny pieces have a strong effect. Ronald's photograph of the cork tree really shows the massive amounts of corks they have used, along with the immense structure that they have created. Peter and I both said how we wished they had placed a mannequin inside ofthe structure.
As you can see from my photograph below, they have used cork to create completely different structures. The objects below look like giant stocks or even giant cigarettes.
I wanted to show the below photograph as the movement of the dress's fabric really reflects the movement of the cork. They're both beautiful long, and ripply.
I find it very interesting how Knoth and I both shot the same side table that is unrealistically perched on a stack of furniture. Knoth's reflection again creates an eery mood. I love how the lit sign adds a strong diagonal line that continues along the dotted chalk line drawn on the table.
My photograph is less centered around the perched table and more on the massive stack. I had to add the other angles that I shot because it was just so interesting in structure. I especially love the colors of this window, saturated reds and blues against the lack of color in the plaster wall are so beautiful together.
Last, but not least at Saks Fifth Avenue, we both were in love with the Louis Vuitton windows. Having previously seen these pieces installed at a branch location in CT, I was so excited to see them again. The structures are so odd yet so beautiful. The bees must be a play on both the French Sun King and the Napoleonic bees, a symbol of luxury and, the dripping gold! How does that not represent luxury?! This piece also very much reminds me of a Kelly Werstler Light Fixture!
Knoth's shot is of the entire piece, which really gives the viewer a full perspective of this installation. His close up of the handbag shows how the bees create such drama.
I had to show the detail of the gold drip along with the pool on the floor. Unlike the branch location in CT the Saks's windows also had enough realestate to show them in multiples. Just fantastic!
I had a wonderful time with Peter and Ronald. I suggest you comment on your thoughts as I'm sure there are more ideas that should be expressed. Lastly, please visit www.thebespokenfor.net to see Knoth's post and perspective of this experience! Thank you for reading!