Ever on-the-hunt for the elusive Pink Thing, I was magnetically drawn into the newly-opened Swarovski store on Broadway by their vast display wall of exciting pinkness!
The concept of displaying the brand’s jewelry and small crystal trinkets nestled against a wall lined with various-sized shaped compartments — punctuated by the occasional expressive mannequin — is just genius. Creating a ‘Life-Size Jewel Box’ concept, the store’s transportive design not only provides an immersive shopping experience, it’s obviously also highly Instagram-able.
Located at 542 Broadway in SoHo, the store (which opened in May 2021) is part of Swarovski’sInstant Wonder identity rebranding. And while it’s not shown in this post (for reasons which will be immediately clear) the other half of the store is entirely green. You’ll want to at least pop in when you are in the area.
Chicago is a fabulous city and home to one of the most beautifully curated art museums (The Art Institute) in the world. That said, it definitely does not enjoy a socially vibrant art scene that is equivalent to that of NYC — with its vast number of galleries in Chelsea, the LES, Midtown and Uptown. While the NYC art scene hosts a weekly (Thursday) night of opening receptions in galleries across the city, Chicago has one such evening per month, which is called Second Friday. Taking place in the Chicago Arts District (also known as Pilsen) Second Fridays Gallery Night is a monthly evening of opening receptions at the galleries and artists’ studios along South Halsted Street. If you’re a tourist and have the chance to attend Second Fridays only once, the one studio you must absolutely must not miss is House of The Apocalypse.
More of a studio showcase than a traditional gallery, House of The Apocalypse is where you’ll find an impressive and visually engaging collection of wildly embellished Sci-Fi-themed, mannequin-based sculptures known as the Warriors of the Apocalypse, which are designed and compiled from found objects by artist and gallery owner Brian Sperry.
The Warriors have a backstory, courtesy of Sperry, as follows:
The year is 3095, a post-apocalyptic world. Man and machine unite to form a hybrid super soldier to fight against tyranny and oppression perpetrated by governments, corporations, and banks that have destroyed the planet. The Warriors spread truth and light in a futuristic world where humanity is fighting to survive. In the darkness, we are light. We will stand and fight. We are the Warriors of the Apocalypse!
Sperry also offers his Artist’s Statement:
The visual elements of my figurative sculptures takes abstract human forms and gives them an acid bath in the surreal. The compositions attempts to displace the viewer and prompt them to question their own cognitive dissonance that is a pervasive part of what is destroying our society. The reconceptualization of mechanical found objects and the human form exudes hybridism and trans-humanism, the next wave of human evolution
This juxtaposition of objects and the body attempts to give the viewer an interactive experience and encouragement to take a stand against imperialist scum who are determined to act as slave masters over the entire planet. Each figure is a Warrior embodying specific aspects of the spirit of revolt against the system. My work can me summed up in one slogan: Death to Tyranny!
House of The Apocalypse is located at 1908 South Halsted Street, Chicago. It is open to the public every Second Friday of the month from 6-10 PM and by appointment. A suggested donation of a few dollars is requested to photograph the sculptures. Worth it.
In 1970, Life magazine invited Rudi Gernreich (1922 – 1985) to envision what people would wear a decade in the future. He extended his prediction to the year 2000, illustrating men and women in matching ensembles with heads either shaved or wigged. Unlike other contemporaneous unisex styles, Gernreich’s designs did not use menswear as a baseline for women’s garments. “Women will wear pants and men will wear skits interchangeably,” he predicted. “The aesthetics of fashion are going to involve the body itself. We will train the body to grown beautifully rather than cover it to produce beauty.”
Gernreich brought his concept to life for the U.S. Pavillion’s Art and Technology Program at Expo ’70, a memorable World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan. He eliminated stylistic markers of gender on his models. “Our notion of masculine and feminine are being challenged as never before.” he asserted. “The basic masculine – feminine appeal is in people, not in clothes.” These sentiments are echoed today, as fashion continues to shift its understanding of gender as fluid.
Unisex Jumpsuits with White Boots, Installation View
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
This fabulous monochromatic crimson display of couture fashions set against a backdrop of luxurious red leather luggage is just one in series of over-the-top window display tableaus created by W Magazine for Bergdorf Goodman department store by W Magazine in honor of Italian fashion editor and stylist Giovanna Battaglia‘s new book Gio_Graphy: Fun in the Wild World of Fashion. The book is due for release on October 24th, 2017.
“My Favorite Color is Rainbow” (All Photos By Gail)
It must have been some kind of cosmic coincidence that, while walking to the train after attending a late night Birthday party for Randy Jones, best known as The Cowboy from ’70s Disco legends The Village People, I passed right by the iconic NYC department store, Bergdorf Goodman, and got a face full of this mind-blowing, disco ball extravaganza window display.
My Favorite Color is Rainbow is just one in series of over-the-top window display tableaus created by W Magazine in honor of Italian fashion editor and stylist Giovanna Battaglia‘s new book Gio_Graphy: Fun in the Wild World of Fashion. The hardcover book is described as, “A witty guide to living the glam the life from an international style star, featuring hilarious anecdotes, fashion advice, and much more. Dubbed a “cyber icon” and “fashion heroine” by the New York Times, Battaglia is known for her colorful street style and fun-loving personality. Her monthly column in W chronicles fashion, art, and adventure. In this, her first book, she has written an irreverent how-to guide for dressing for every occasion, finding fashion inspiration, living stylishly, and having fun while doing it. Heck Yeah!
Covering style and beauty for daytime, nighttime, travel, and work, this book is brimming with chic and inspirational wisdom, from how to pull off bold fashion moves like barely-there tops, enormous hats, and powerful reds; advice for how to survive fashion emergencies (like what happens when you show up to an event in the same dress as someone else); and her secrets for donning multiple outfits in a day (bodysuits are key). Also featured are tips and tricks she has learned from fashion-world friends. Filled with humor and style, this is a must-have book for anyone interested in fashion and having a good time.
If you can’t make it to Bergdorf Goodman (located at 754 5th Avenue (at 58th Street), New York, NY 10019 you can buy the book (which has a publication date of October 24, 2017) at This Link!
A group of nine naked male mannequins has appeared in an empty Gramercy Park storefront. I noticed them for the first time a couple of weeks ago, when I was on my way to a dentist appointment in the area and happened to exit the 6 Train on East 22nd Street — directly adjacent to the storefront.
I didn’t have my camera with me at that time, but I had it when I was in the neighborhood today!
The statues, by New York City-based artist Richard Dupont, are somewhat larger than life-size and portray the male form in anatomically accurate proportions. Originally on display in Midtown’s Lever House, their current home is within a block of a preschool and a secondary school. I am almost surprised that they were still there, to be honest; considering how prudish people can be when they are exposed to a peen.
The art installation, visible through the newly installed plate-glass windows on the ground-floor of the former Church Missions House, will be on display throughout the summer. Built in 1892, the seven-story Gothic structure was bought by Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty last year for $50 million with plans to convert to a single-tenant office building with ground-floor retail space.
Now that we’re in the midst of crazy Winter Storm Action here in NYC, looking at this snow-themed window display of camper-mannequins toasting marshmallows over a fake camp fire actually makes me feel warm. I forgot to pay attention to the name of whatever store this fun display is part of, but it’s on Broadway above Canal Street, perhaps between Grand and Prince. Happy Hunting.