Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations windows at Bergdorf Goodman

The Met gala has come and gone, which means only one thing: there is a major fashion exhibition underway in New York City! After Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty (post here), the venerable institution gives us Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, on show starting today until August 19th 2012. Every year, Bergdorf Goodman designs its 5th Avenue windows as a tribute to the annual Met fashion exhibition. Since you loved my 2011 post on the Alexander McQueen windows, here are the images for 2012 with Prada galore.

The exhibition compares the designs of two iconic Italian women from different eras. Elsa Schiaparelli worked in Paris from the 1920s until 1954. As for Miuccia Prada, she took over her family business in 1978 and is celebrated as one of the most influential designers of our times. Inspired by Vanity Fair’s “Impossible Interviews” from the 1930s, the Met conceived the exhibition as a series of imaginary conversations between both women. The windows are full of quotes sharing striking similarities in their vision of fashion.

Schiaparelli “In order to build more solidly one is sometimes obligated to destroy. One should learn to understand the language of the people, and at the same time help to build a new elegance of manners and clothes, a new aristocracy, fit to co-ordinate with the crude rhythm of modern life.”

Prada “Most of my work is concerned with destroying – or at least deconstructing – conventional ideas of beauty. An important aspect of my work is exploring what beauty means today.”

Prada “I never dress in front of a mirror. I don’t even have a good mirror at home. I prefer to dress to the idea of myself. Reality doesn’t interest me as much.”

Schiaparelli “When you take off your clothes, your personality also undresses and you become quite a different person – more true to yourself and to your real character, more conscious, sometimes more cruel.”

Schiaparelli “A dress cannot hang like a painting on the wall. A dress has no life of its own unless it is worn, and as soon as this happens another personality takes over from you and animates it.”

Schiaparelli “I enjoy creating for the woman who, no matter what her years, wears my clothes with the poise of youth.”

Prada “Women always try to tame themselves as they get older, but the ones who look best are often a bit wilder.”

The last 2 windows are an ode to surrealism with designs from this summer’s Prada collection.

Also featured are the book dedicated to the exhibition and Prada goodies in the smaller windows.

Ah, the shoes. Don’t get me started on the shoes.

Do the Bergdorf windows make you want to hop over a few blocks to the Met? They sure did for me!

Christmas in New York: Bergdorf Goodman windows

My dear readers, I wish you all a very happy 2012, filled with fun, success and wonderful discoveries! To celebrate, here is a little gem from New York City. Remember the Bergdorf Goodman windows I posted here (Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty) and here (Christmas 2010)? Once again, David Hoey and his team have worked their magic with refined fairy tale images overflowing with details. No wonder passers-by old and young stop in their tracks to marvel at them (making the photographer that I am quite impatient!) The theme for this year? The Carnival of the Animals, a reference to the musical suite by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.

The fun begins in a shiny cabaret with monkeys, parrots, tortoises and lions making up the Brass Menagerie. The Bergdorf Goodman team used sculptures from the 1970s and a dress designed exclusively by Michelle Obama-favorite Naeem Kahn to create this window.

Let’s leave the dazzling heat of the club for the North Pole garden party, one of my favorite windows.

This window is typically overflowing with details so that the eye always finds something new to feast itself upon. For example, it is only when I bent down that I discovered this servant monkey in the back.

Bubbly, tea, cakes and polar bears (my childhood obsession): what’s not to love?

After cracking the ice, let’s dive into the deep end and admire the mosaics of this Aquarium window. It reminds me of the musical piece of the same name from The Carnival of Animals.

My other favorite window, entirely in shades of black and white apart from the bold red lips and nails of the glamorous teacher.  300 different sheets of paper were necessary for the creation of this class.

And lastly, a mad joiner’s workshop.

Not as spectacular but nonetheless beautiful, the windows on 57th and 58th Streets invited us to a fancy gala and to a mysterious photography session.

You can view better quality pictures on the Bergdorf Goodman blog.

So this was in my opinion the most memorable holiday decoration in New York this year. What did you enjoy in your own city in terms of Christmas decorations?

Mes chers lecteurs, je vous souhaite une excellente année 2012 en espérant qu’elle a bien démarré ! Pour célébrer, voici une petite merveille de New York. Bergdorf Goodman, ça vous dit quelque chose ? Vous avez déjà admiré les vitrines de ce grand magasin de la Fifth Avenue sur mon blog ici (Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty) et ici (Noël 2010). Une fois de plus, le magicien David Hoey et son équipe ont créé des mises en scènes féeriques foisonnantes de détails qui émerveillent petits et grands. Le thème de cette année ? Le carnaval des animaux, clin d’œil à la suite musicale de Camille Saint-Saëns.

L’aventure commence avec  la ménagerie de cuivre dans son cabaret jazz tout d’or et de plumes vêtu. L’équipe de Bergdorf Goofman a utilisé pour cette mise en scène des oiseaux des tropiques en métal créés dans les années 1970.

Passons de la chaleur langoureuse au froid polaire avec la « North Pole Garden Party », l’une de mes mises en scène préférées. Comme ses voisines, cette vitrine est remplie à bloc de détails à tel point qu’on n’a jamais fini d’être surpris. Par exemple, c’est seulement en étant accroupie que j’ai découvert ce singe pâtissier en arrière-plan. Du champagne, du thé et des gâteaux: que demander de mieux?

De l’eau solidifié, passons aux fonds aquatiques avec une mise en scène toute en mosaïques qui me rappelle l’Aquarium du Carnaval des Animaux.

Mon autre vitrine préférée, entièrement en noir, blanc et gris mis à part les lèvres et ongles rouges de l’institutrice. 300 morceaux de papier différents ont été nécessaires à la création de cette classe d’animaux.

Enfin, dernière vitrine sur la 5ème Avenue, un atelier de menuiserie fou.

Moins spectaculaires mais tout aussi soignées, les vitrines des 57ème et 58ème Rues dévoilaient un gala d’équitation et des belles se faisant tirer le portrait.

Vous pouvez voir des photos de meilleure qualité sur le blog de Bergdorf Goodman. Voici mon coup de cœur parmi les décorations de Noël de ma ville. Et dans la votre, qu’est-ce qui vous a touché ?