Wednesday, December 10, 2014

*Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2014, Bette Midler's Hulaween Party, and More!*

Summer vacation came to an abrupt halt in mid-August when I got word that I would be assisting ‘Biak’ Kerdkan- a master paper sculpture being imported from Sweden, on the fabrication of an ornate lion and griffin for the Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows. Yes, Christmas in August. That is my world. My days in the Bergdorf studio with Biak and assistant Tate were spent meticulously cutting paper into thousands of layers of fur and feather. All of the paper was gorgeous custom shades of blue to emulate blue prints for the architecture-themed holiday window. We worked along side artists Jay and Gloria who had already been in the BG studio for many months crafting a city of paper skyscrapers. The level of detail and layers was truly unbelievable. The atmosphere in the studio vacillated the extremes of ultimate zen to steaming pressure cooker. Biak became my 'Russian coach' who enforced utmost speed and precision. After five weeks I thought my hand was going to fall off. #carpeltunnel. The end result is beyond worth it, and am very grateful to have worked on this stunning holiday window. 

                    'Architecture' Bergdorf Goodman Holiday 2014. Window director - David Hoey
                                 On display at 58th street and 5th Avenue thru January 4th.
      Click here to see behind the scenes action in a NY Times video about the creation of this window.

After an extended stint in the Bergdorf studio, my season took on a more diverse, independent tone. I did a few days of painting props for another BG 5th ave holiday window, a few days of window installs, and then started doing more work out of my own studio.  One of my favorite projects was a commission of 5 crystal encrusted masks via Abby Hertz of AHZ Concepts for a notorious fashion world 'A- list' Halloween party. This collection of masks required hand application of more than 15,000 crystals!!!

Most days I was doing a combination of teaching, making crystal encrusted masks, fabricating a stone sculpture for the Bergdorf men's store, and coordinating props, labor, and crafting decor for Bette Midler's Hulaween party. This was my fourth year working with art director Douglas Little on the decor for Bette Midler's annual Halloween party at the Waldorf Astoria. This years theme 'Fellini Hulaweeni' was an ode to the surrealist Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. Many of the decorative components were crafted from Italian newspapers, and based off of bizarre characters from Fellini films. 

                                               Fellini Hulaween 2014. Art Director- Douglas Little

'Hulaween' is the annual benefit for Bette's Midler's non-profit organization 'New York Restoration Project.' NYRP plants trees, revitalizes parks and gardens, and facilitates free arts culture in NYC's green public spaces. Bette is a true inspiration for me in the way she uses her influence to cultivate stewardship, while being oh so fabulous. Thank you Divine Miss M <3 

My hallowed holiday production season culminated with a project very dear to my heart. In 2014 my manager/mentor of nearly 10 years in windows, Shane Ruth got a mega promotion and became the Visual Director of the entire Bergdorf Goodman's men's store. Bravo!!! Early in the season Shane commissioned me to make a stone encrusted sculpture for the Archeology themed holiday window. Earthy, masculine, organic, and glamorous. He quickly earned the name: 'G of D' AKA 'God of Display.' We worked in collaboration. Shane built the base, I picked and applied the stones. Titanium treated Quartz, Agate, Pyrite, Druzy, tile, rock candy, and glass. The 'God of Display' is a demanding and expensive god, but oh sooooo beautiful. During the homestretch, I was working around the clock at the Sparkledome studio. Fingers perma-stained blue, a landscape of stone, glass, and glue forming on my gold studio floor. It was such a proud and happy day when I got to carry him into the store. It felt good to join my teammates, do finishing touches in the men's visual studio, and then watch Shane place him in the display case inside the window. Moments later our whole team gathered across the street for the official window unveiling. There was songs, speeches, and massive fireworks were shot off of the iconic building, illuminating the night sky. For most bystanders it was the week before Thanksgiving, for me it was New Years Day :)

                           Tada!!!! 'God of Display' designed by Sarah Sparkles and Shane Ruth
       'Archeology' Bergdorf Goodman Men's holiday window 2014. Window Director- Shane Ruth
                    Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows at 58th St. and 5th Ave thru January 4th.

                                                        Happy Holidays everyone!!!!!!!
   Utmost gratitude for a deeply inspiring, creative year.  Cheers to the next, and many more <3
Also a special thank you to the amazing art directors and visual teams I worked with this year. All of these projects are huge collaborative efforts. It is a privilege to work with all of you.