Sunday, December 1, 2013

*Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2013*

The fall production season rolled in full force this year, with a slew of rotating window installations, and holiday window production out at the Bergdorf warehouse. This is the time of year I live for! Where all I do is make art for a living, all day everyday on a dynamic team of highly trained artisans. This year’s theme is ‘Holidays on Ice,’ a wintery interpretation of iconic annual holidays. I worked on components for the Arbor Day, Valentines Day, and Halloween windows. I was also assigned my own take home project, of jewel encrusting a sleek black cat. 

                         Production artists Sarah Sparkles and Mia Radysh glittering the bloom

                              Production manager Demetrious Argyropoulos plays mad scientist 
                      with the resin's chemistry to create the authentic effect of ice-covered foliage.

Window design by David Hoey. Fashion by Giambattista Valli Couture and Oscar de la Renta
Holiday windows on display at Bergdorf Goodman 58th Street and 5th ave. through January 5th

Black crystal p*ssy- custom jewel embellishment by Sarah Sparkles
                                  Sarah Sparkles, Jessie Flynn, and Douglas Little bejeweling
                                  the Bergdorf black widow spider at the Sparkledome studio.

Crystal spider and web designed by Douglas Little


'Glittering, high Gothic masquerade' Window design by David Hoey. Fashion by Naeem Khan.
Holiday windows on display at Bergdorf Goodman 58th Street and 5th ave. through January 5th

In October, I took an unprecedented leap during holiday window season to work on the forthcoming show Queen of the Night assisting set designer Douglas Little. Queen of the Night is brought to you by a powerhouse team of internationally renowned producers and creative directors from the immersive theater, subversive nightlife, and fashion world. The show boldly weaves theater, circus, and fine dining, while guests are immersed in opulent decor and sensual experiences. Initially my days were spent in a sprawling Park Avenue office extensively sourcing materials, hitting the pavement, and making samples. Once onsite at the Diamond Horseshoe, I spent many days covered in butterfly wings and hot wax. For now that is all I can say about that. Queen of the Night opens New Years Eve 2013.

This production season was seriously hardcore!!! While working 7 weeks on set full time, in my free time* (haha) I was crystal embellishing props for Bergdorf, launching my book Parades, Parties, and Protests, stage design for Mermaid Lagoon, d├ęcor for Bette Midler’s Halloween party, and performing at VOGUE- worthy exclusive events with my old friend Chris Flambeaux.You might ask how this is humanly possible? Well. Anyone who knows me well, knows that on any given day, my bed is COVERED in Swarovski crystals. And truth be told I spent the last 2 months sleeping with a crystal encrusted black cat. Yes! There were many days I would wake up and work from 4am-7am to bejewel the cat, then do emails, and then put in a full day on set. It was that crazy… And I loved it!!!! To live at full capacity, high on art, and adrenaline, doing what I love every waking moment possible is what I live for.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fashion Week Windows, Bronx Botanical Garden Installations, and More!

 In my world, when Fall Fashion Week roles around, the Bergdorf windows go back into full swing and it is like going back to school. This happens during the last week of August, while many of my friends are traveling Europe or having their minds blown at Burning Man. This year's Fall 2013 Fashion Week windows celebrated the prolific 1980s fashion illustrator: Tony Viramontes. The windows featured installations that incorporated a large collection of his original prints, archival photos, and copies of the newly launched book 'Bold, Beautiful, and Damned' on the late artists life work.

After installing the Fashion week windows with my BG teammates, the next art adventure was missioning up to the Bronx Botanical Garden to oversee the de-install of the Wild Medicine: Healing Plants from Around the World exhibition that I helped install back in May with designer Douglas Little.  The Bronx Botanical Garden is one of my favorite venues to work in. It was a fantastic experience to install the Cacao hut in a simulated rain forest (minus the mosquitos!!!) and the Tea Pavilion overlooking a stunning tropical pond and lily pad installation. I apologize for not mentioning this installation sooner. I often have multiple projects in motion, but I fully intend to post more events and installations while they are still underway in hopes that more people will enjoy them.

                                                                       Tea Pavilion

                                                                        Cacao Hut

 Creating installations that are interwoven with nature is such a deep pleasure. In the final days of summer, I took a trip up to Growing Heart Farm with friends. We harvested wild flower and trimmed the over-ripe trees to acquire the decor for our community celebration.

                            decor by Mikiko Murakami, Ashley Cambell, Eduardo Darancou,
                                                         Kayla Jo, and Sarah Sparkles

Now the Fall season is officially in full swing. YAY!!!! The past few weeks, I have been out at the BG warehouse in full holiday windows production mode... I'm not allowed to post any sneak peaks from our secluded art lair, but I will say there has been a lot of glitter involved. I was also given a take home project-covering a featured prop entirely in Swarovski crystals. Needless to say, I am a happy girl :)

This photo was taken over the summer in the Bergdorf studio, where I was silver leafing for days... Xmas in August. Yes. Welcome to my world.

And if full blown Bergdorf holiday window production, and ongoing installations wasn't enough- I have just begun working for a massive theater set production that opens in December, am preparing to perform and do installations for multiple high end Halloween events AND planning the full-on launch party for my book Parades, Parties, and Protests at a unique, fabulous venue in Williamsburg on October 10th. If you haven't already- please like the Parades Parties and Protests FB page for more updates about the book. Last but not least, my first batch of hardcover books has arrived, and is officially available on Barnes and Nobles website. WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!  This is shaping up to be a seriously exciting season!! Stay tuned :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer Shenangans: Chashama Gala, Mermaid Parade, Casa de Curiosa, and More...

 Summer time... and the livin' is.... HOT!!! Holy heat wave NYC. Now that I finally installed an AC in my bedroom, I am recovering from a (much-needed) mental vacation. Lots of swimming, sleeping, day dreaming, and walks in the woods. After so many months of working around the clock on finalizing my book, while working numerous art job... I needed a break. And whether I wanted one or not, 90+ degree weather for days can make that happen... In the meantime I have begun to start catching up on spending quality time with friends. As I sit down to write about the art adventures of late, I realize that many of my friends are interwoven in this story and are a huge source of inspiration. So grateful!!!

In June I was invited to be one of the featured artists for the annual Chashama Gala curated by AHzconcepts. Chashama is a fantastic arts organization that offers the invaluable service of providing New York City artists with free or low cost studios and gallery spaces.  For the Gala, I performed with my old friend Flambeaux as a live "human candelabra." He cast a mold of my body on the beach at Coney Island and at the event hosted an interactive installation, where the audience was invited to build a hot wax sculpture on my body. I was also asked to create an installation to compliment the performance so I designed the "Crystal Mandala" backdrops to invoke the essence of an altar. The show was a huge success, I far surpassed even my own expectations. :)

Shortly after the Gala- around the time of the Summer Solstice, is one of my absolute favorite days of the entire year: Mermaid Parade!!!!! It has been ordained as one of my high holy days. A national holiday! Better then Christmas. FOR REAL. Every year I get together with a group of my friends- some seriously talented costumers- and parade through the streets of our beloved home to the freaks- Coney Island. It is a special day when the faery mermaid pirate folk get to show New York City just how real magic gets ;)

Mermaid Day would not be the same without a romp on the beach with my dear fellow siren Kai Altair. The Brooklyn-based songstress/dancer produces the annual Mermaid Lagoon event to raise funds and awareness for the protection of our "Mama Ocean"

 Every Mermaid Day, my friends turn it out SO HARD. Some of them are in the ranks of the most talented costume designers in New York City. This year did not disappoint. Here are a few of my favorite costume moments from Mermaid Day 2013.

                                                        Kat Wise- Mermaid Parade 2013

                                                Machine Dazzle- Mermaid Parade 2013

                                                      Darrell Thorne- Mermaid Parade 2013
  Every year I design new costumes and accessories in preparation for Mermaid Parade. One of my greatest passions in life is designing and bejeweling costumes, jewelry, and accessories for glorious occasions of ethereal transformation.

                               Mermaid necklace, bra, and bag by Sarah Sparkles 2013            

2011                                                              2012                                                            2013

After the mermaid parade, I jumped ship and headed up to Casa de Curiosa-(also known as Curio and the Spire) my dear friends magick house in the mountains of upstate New York. Curiosa/Curio is the home of my dear friends Veronica Varlow and Burke Heffner. Burke designed this majestic creation after losing their old house in a devastating fire. Burke, Veronica, and lead carpenter Tyrone Featherly spent many months building this house, at times accompanied by different factions of our gang. One year ago, I was on the 4 person team that painted this epic 47ft tall castle. This summer we focused on the less glamorous, but very important work of doing returns (house moneyyyyy!) and cleaning up the grounds to transform it from a work site into a beautiful home.

                                       Casa de Curiosa/Curio- Designed by Burke Heffner

Back on the home front, all I want to do is go to the beach and swim laps in the pool. But a girls gotta pay them bills. In the past few weeks, I have worked with the Bergdorf visual team doing installations for all five streets of windows at the Men's and Women's store. I also started to prep props for the holiday windows out at the warehouse, and will be in the BG studio a few days this coming week working on holiday production. Yup, Xmas in July. Welcome to my world :)

Last but not least, the final stages of producing the hardcover edition of my book Parades, Parties, and Protests is fully underway. There have been some snags, but the end is near. The softcover is already available on Amazon. When I have the final hardcover book in my hand, that is when I will savor that I have just finished writing a book. In the meantime now that my brain is cooling off, I'm currently working on content for the website, FB page, and planting the seeds for fall launch parties. More info to come! Happy Summer <3

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Punk: Met Gala Bergdorf Windows, Moda Operandi Midnight Supper at St. Regis, the Black Party, and More!

This spring, the art and fashion world conspired to unleash a Punk-inspired extravaganza upon the fair denizens of New York City. In theme, Bergdorf Goodman's visual team created window installations in conjunction with the The Metroplolitan Museum of Art's spring 2013 Costume Institute exhibition  Punk: Chaos to Couture. Both the windows and museum show are a gorgeous homage to punk’s influence on high fashion. The BG windows featured fashion by Gareth Pugh, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Gaultier, combined with archival designs from the punk era.  My contribution to the punk windows, required spending days painting and installing spikes in a window inspired by Joan Jett. I do love rock and roll... :)

Window design by David Hoey. Production and Installation by Sarah Sparkles and BG Crew.
“I want our windows to be perceived as hallucinations” states window director David Hoey in  the forthcoming documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s. For more photos from the punk installations check out the Bergdorf windows blog.

During the punk installation, I was working on a mountain of spikes in the BG studio when I got a call from one of my favorite designers, Douglas Little to go on a walk-through for an upcoming punk-themed dinner party at the St. Regis. "Is it ok if I go covered in paint?" I asked. He agreed, and so I went. Moda Operandi, one of the primary sponsors for the Punk exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was hosting a midnight supper at the illustrious St. Regis to celebrate the opening of the exhibition and the launch of a new punk-inspired fashion line. The decor for the dinner was a collaboration between creative director Douglas Little and premiere event planner Bronson Van Wyke. For this job I served as liason for Douglas, corresponding with the St Regis, Van Wyke, and over seeing/executing the production and installation of the decor for this event.
Punk rock mannequins and pill art flanked the entrance to the party.
The main dining area was styled with a chic combo of punk meets high society aesthetic with neon lights, pill art, paper sculpture, broken glass panels, and generous floral displays.

                              For more images from Moda Operandi's Midnight Supper Click here.

In a season marked by deviant subculture-inspired art jobs, one of my favorite recent projects was installing decor designed by Arch Productions for the Black Party at Roseland Ballroom. The theme was corrupt carnival. We installed shanty town chill areas on the entry level and dark carnival booths on the v.i.p. floor. The highlight for me was getting to deface the carnival midway with a can of spray paint. While giving the clown a pentagram and a gold tooth I had a deep moment of satisfaction, honoring that this is my life and I get paid to do wild things. Much Gratitude.

This past month was intensely busy on the creative work front. Besides the punk extravaganza's I also did BG windows for Saint Laurent, the ICFF furniture fair, assisted Douglas on production and installation for the upcoming Nancy Gonzales print campaign, and multiple installations at the Bronx Botanical gardens. I designed new jewelry collections that are now available at Namaste Books and Enchantments, performed with my dance studio at Roulette theater, and vended my jewelry and hair accessories at the tattoo convention at Roseland Ballroom. More info and pix for all that fun stuff coming soon.

                                  One of a Kind Creations Jewelry Collections Spring 2013

Last but not least my book Parades, Parties, and Protests is available on Amazon in softcover!!!!! This past month took the notion of working around the clock to unprecedented new levels. Between Bergdorf windows, jobs with Douglas, meetings with my editor, graphic, and layout designers until the wee hours of the morning, I was sleeping for just a few hours and waking up to do it again... and this went on for weeks (longer). Now the final push is to create the hardcover version of my book. A dear friend recently messaged me: hardcore needs hardcover.." and when i got the soft cover proof I immediately knew he was right. Almost there... After I manifest the hardcover book, the new adventure begins... Stay Tuned! :)

                         Parades, Parties, and Protests cover design at D.J. Steve Pagan's studio

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bergdorf Fashion Week Windows, Christian Dior, Vintage Glamour Accessories @ Liloveve Gallery, and More!

Oh my goodness... So much has happened since my last post. The big news is, that my book layout is 90% finalized in InDesign. I am doing some last fine-tuning of the text while I still can, and have some big decisions to make about the cover design. These days, the majority of books sell over the internet. You have 5 seconds and a 1 inch thumbnail to attract people, so it is of dire importance that it be sharp, exuberant, and iconic... My brain is bending. I am deeply looking forward to taking a (partial) vacation from the computer after my book is done, and to focus more on my beloved tactile pursuits of crystal embellishing, set work, accessories and jewelry design. I recently went to a large bead show and bought a bevy of gorgeous stones and crystals for my upcoming jewelry collections. Spoiler: Agate Druzy. These are reallllly sparkly stones that look like the glistening craters inside of a geode... yeah :)

In the last 2 months it has been really busy in my other realms of creative work. At Bergdorf Goodman we did Fashion Week windows- "Great Moments in Literature" I love the synchronicity in my life. Doing crazy book windows, while completely immersed in my own book obsession.


                                                          Fashion Week Windows designed by David Hoey. 
                                                   Installation by Sarah Sparkles and BG team. February 2013

After the fashion week windows came down, the next big round of action at Bergdorf was a Christian Dior extravaganza for the relaunch of the brand. I spent most of my time in the mannequin studio giving the Dior girls the Swarovski crystal cat eye treatment :)

                                Sparkles + Bergdorf+ Dior+ Swarovski = <3 <3 <3 March 201

This past month I also worked on windows for the Bergdorf children's boutique Little BG, Chinese New Year, and the Men's Store.

Amidst the bevy of Bergdorf windows and the final processes of producing a photography book, my Vintage Glamour Accessory collection was accepted in the Engage show at Liloveve Gallery in Williamsburg from 2/7- 3/5. My new collection was in a gallery show before I could even get it up on my website. Right now I can barely keep up, but am so grateful for this deep well of inspiration :) A smaller collection of Vintage Glamour accessories is currently on sale at Solstice dance studio. 

                                          The designs below represent my dreams for the future.
                                  *  Sparkles, beads, crystals, artistry, transformation and flight*

                                Necklace and crystal butterfly hair clip by Sarah Sparkles 2013