Tuesday, December 20, 2016

*Bergdorf Goodman Men's and Van Cleef and Arpel's Holiday Windows 2016*

The fall production season rolled in full force this year at the Bergdorf Goodman Men's store, with a slew of rotating window and interior installations, and glittering holiday window production. This is the time of year I live for! When all I do is make art for a living, all day everyday on a dynamic team of highly trained artisans. This year Bergdorf's holiday theme is 'Destination Extraordinary,' with windows that pay homage to exploration in nature and adventure. Under the watchful eye and hand of visual director Shane Ruth; our team crafted lush environments out of grass panels, chromed wooden sculptures, bejeweled floors, and faux stone walls carved out of foam. 


Bergdorf Men's 'Destination Extraordinary' Holiday Windows 2016
Art Direction by Shane Ruth
Fabrication by Sparkles and BG Men's Crew

In October, I took an unprecedented leap during holiday window season to work on the Van Cleef and Arpel's holiday windows with Art Director Douglas Little. The remaining warm fall days were spent painting and sculpting in a charming backyard on the Upper West, before transitioning to a surreal, subterranean studio in a rock quarry at the Compleat Sculpture in Tribeca. This year, Van Cleef and Arpel's esteemed holiday vitrines have been transformed into highly customized, lush winter gardens that feature an newly launched Emerald jewelry collection. These enchanting verdant displays feature a hand-crafted landscape of moss and succulents, painted flowers, leaves molded out of resin, sculpted vines, and shards of selenite stones styled to emulate pine. 


Van Cleef and Arpels Holiday Windows 2016
Art Direction by Douglas Little
Fabrication and Installation by Sarah Sparkles and DL Crew

The holiday window season came to a dramatic conclusion in November, with the tumultuous presidential election at the fore. The 5th Avenue window dressers working across the street from Trump Tower had to maintain intense focus and attention to detail during install, while the protests waged on outside the glass. As they say in the biz; 'the show must go on..' 
The Bergdorf Goodman and Van Cleef and Arpels holiday windows are on 57th-58th street and 5th avenue, up through January 2nd, 2017. If you are in NYC, I hope you will take a lil trip to Midtown and enjoy the artistry of this season. Wishing a healthy and happy holiday season to all.
 Love, Sparkles 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

**Swarovski Crystal Motorcycle**

My absolute DREAM JOB of the year came in October, when I was commissioned by AHZ Concepts to make a Swarovski crystal encrusted purple motorcycle for an art collector's exclusive 'Prince vs Richard Prince' themed Halloween party. Swarovski, the beloved mothership of all that glitters; was kind enough to sponsor the bike's crystal for maximal, world-class bling. With a 3 1/2 week deadline, and a full time holiday window production job for Van Cleef and Arpel's underway; werking around the clock hit unprecedented levels. In a matter of days, the red and black Suzuki was transformed into the 'Purple Rain' motorcycle; adorned with shades of Amethyst crystals, studs, sparkles, spikes, and upholstered seats with electric purple leather as the cherry on top!

                                                                     *Before Picture*




On Halloween weekend, I was graciously invited to attend the exclusive celeb studded soiree at the client's art-filled West Village town house. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a bevy of sexy nurses, cowboys, and lightning bolt clad dancers. I descended upon the lounge, and with great pleasure witnessed the 'Purple Rain' motorcycle was a hit! People were carousing on the glittering spectacle, and striking a pose for the camera all night. The Fashion Director of Bergdorf Goodman, Linda Fargo complimented my handiwork and gave me the purple rhinestone ring off her finger as a token of her approval. My decade long, godfather-of-fashion icon gave me her ring!!! I nearly died and met Prince, Cohen, and Bowie, in glamor heaven. The motorcycle even got a nice bit of press in Paper City Magazine. So very grateful for this sparkle dream come true!!

'While guests went mostly over the top, the decorative hit of the night was the motorcycle covered in purple and lavender Swarovski crystals, the handiwork of jewelry and set designer Sarah Sparkles.'
- Paper City Magazine.

photos by BFA

Swarovski Motorcycle by Sarah Sparkles for AHZ Concepts, 
Prince x Richard Prince Halloween 2016

Special thank you to to Swarovski for the generous crystal donation, to Paige Stevenson for kindly providing an annex studio space at House of Collection that facilitated the bike's ambitious transformation, and Abby Hertz of AHZ Concepts for making this dream commission come true. <3

Saturday, December 17, 2016

*Park Avenue Armory Gala, Bette Midler's Hulaween Party*

As the crisp Autumn air rolled in, it quickly became evident that I'd be on at least 2 large jobs simultaneously for the duration of the season. In September, while working on a window project for Tiffany & Co at the Burke and Pryde studio; I was commissioned by AHZ Concepts to design the decor for 'Boudoir Boheme,' a sensual soiree at Malmaison in Washington, D.C. Before putting in a full day at the studio; I spent my early mornings sourcing online, and after work hit the pavement shopping. The day before the event, I piled into a van with a gaggle of showgirls and a mountain of sumptuous decor. We arrived at the swank French restaurant in D.C, and transformed the space with decadent pillows, ropes, lanterns, and fabrics. The party was an exuberant fete; with a warm and inviting crowd, and a bevy of contortionists, burlesque vixens, and belly dancers shimmying about. The Bedouin tent was a hit! It quickly became the hot spot for lounging and turned into the event's makeshift photo-booth. Thanks for a fab night D.C!

     Decor Design by Sarah Sparkles 
            for AHZ Concepts and Balaibalon at Boudoir Boheme
 at Malmaison, Washington D.C.

Next up in the land of art adventures; one of my absolute favorite jobs of the season was assisting Costume designer Darrell Thorne with preparations for the Park Avenue Armory Gala. His assignment was to design costumes for 18 dancers inspired by the ornate chandeliers, architecture, and armor inside of the magnificent historical landmark. To top it off, they provided him with a studio inside the Armory, for a powerful daily dose of inspiration. Most EPIC studio EVER!!! After spending my days in holiday window production at the Bergdorf Men's store, I would come and Swarovski encrust the mask Darrell would be wearing for the Gala. On the night of the big event, it turned into to an outright glamor endurance sport. I dressed and draped the dancers with fabric and chains at record speed, and help them put on Darrell's towering, sculptural headdresses. It was such a pleasure to watch Darrell's unique vision and essence of the Armory coalesce and come to life for one out-of-this -world night. 

photo by @dapigluo

                            Costume design, fabrication, and Performance by Darrell Thorne
                                    Jewel embellishing and wardrobe assistance by Sparkles
                                                        for Park Avenue Armory Gala.

My absolute DREAM JOB of the season came in October, when I was commissioned by AHZ Concepts to make a Swarovski Encrusted Motorcycle for a private art collector's Prince vs Richard Prince themed Halloween party. This project was so glorious, its getting its own post. :)

                                  Swarovski Motorcycle by Sarah Sparkles for AHZ Concepts
                                           Prince x Richard Prince Halloween Party 2016

After pulling the home stretch all nighter to get the crystal motorcycle out the door for the Prince x Richard Prince party; next up was the decor install for Bette Midler's Hulaween party at the Waldorf Astoria with set designer Douglas Little. Hulaween is the annual fundraiser for Bette's non-profit New York Restoration Project. NYRP plants trees, revitalizes parks and gardens, and funds free arts culture in NYC's green public spaces. This year's theme was 'Witches Ball.' I coordinated the fabulous crew, and we all rocked the 60+ table install. Most of us would be back in the trenches together just two days later for the home stretch of production for the Van Cleef and Arpels holiday windows.

                                              'Hulaween' Decor Install at the Waldorf Astoria,
                     Art Direction by Douglas Little, Install by Sarah Sparkles and DL Crew

The night after Hulaween, when I thought I couldn't possibly do any more art or parties; I hopped in an SUV with Abby Hertz and headed to do an installation for the U Are So Lucky party at the stunning Alder Mansion in Yonkers. Abby was commissioned by the event collective Caravan Gitane to do her 'Blood, Fire, Sex, Magic Ritual' in a mysterious, subterranean room in the bowels of the estate. Abby invited me to create an alter space for her to perform in, with roses, furs, chains, and candles. Her powerful, soul baring ritual was the divine culmination of a truly bewitching Halloween weekend.

                                                             photo by Erica Camille
                                          Ritual by Abby Hertz, Alter by Sarah Sparkles
                                      for Caravan Gitane at U Are So Lucky, Aldor Manor
                                                                  October, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016

*Gucci Fashion Week Windows, Swarovski Props, Bergdorf Installations and Darrell Thorne!*

2016 began with a flurry of exciting, creative projects in the Bergdorf Goodman visual department. No sooner then I could wipe off my New Years glitter, we began taking down the illustrious holiday windows, and putting up two new sets of Men's store fashion windows and the 7th floor Decorative Home interiors displays at women's under the watchful eye of Visual director Shane Ruth. I lovvvved working on this interiors installation. The premise being downtown chic takes over her stylish, vintage Granny's apartment. We did an extensive wall treatment of ribbons, lace, stencils, and spray paint, accompanied by Bergdorf's fashion and decor merch, and specialty  furniture and art objects from 'Mantiques Modern.' Using the realistic, antique mannequins was the icing on the cake!

Oh the joy of taking a can of spray paint to the walls of this illustrious house of high fashion!!!
Installation by Sarah Sparkles and BG Crew, Art Direction by Shane Ruth, Fashion by Gucci, Marni, Dries van Noten, Kentshire Estate Jewelry, and Prada.

The next exciting turn of events was getting a call from designer Johanna Burke of Burke and Pryde asking me to do large, custom sparkle props for BG's Gucci Fashion week windows out of the Sparkledome studio. The answer is YES!!!! One of my major life callings is to make intensely sparkling objects out of my studio and anywhere for that matter... YES. The assignment was to embellish larger-then-life snakes that were designed to emulate the blinged-out appliqu├ęs on Gucci's most recent fashion collection. The 8ft and 5ft sparkle snakes overtook my studio. With a two week deadline, I worked around the clock cutting and glueing paillettes, weaving strands of sequins, beads and gems. Upon pick up, I went straight into the Gucci window install at the Men's store to culminate my 100hr work week. :) 

Embellished snakes by Sarah Sparkles/Sparkledome Studio, Window direction by David Hoey and Shane Ruth, Fashion by Gucci. Special thanks to Johanna Burke for fabulous art direction on the props, and my trusted assistants Abby Hertz and Charlotte Lily Gaspard.

Up next was the '5th Avenue Safari' installation in Bergdorf's 7th floor Decorative Home loft. This was a really fun environment to create, with my highlight being making faux mud brick walls from scratch. There is even an indigenous fashionista that presides high above the room on a bridge, and a custom made treehouse! 

 Very grateful to work with this awesome team of artists! Sean Slaney, Erin O'Brien, Elliot De Cessare, Ryan Shaeffer, with Art Direction by Shane Ruth. 5th Avenue Safari on Bergdorf's 7th floor is up until June.

Dream come true alert!! This March I did my first job directly for ***SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL.*** The mothership of all things sparkling and good. :) It is one of my major longterm life goals to be in Swarovski's bling arsenal. So it was to my great joy, when they reached out and asked to hire me to do a 360 degree treatment on the props I had embellished for the sight line of the 2015 Bergdorf holiday windows. Now Mr. Alligator and Blue Ribbon are in Swarovski's archive of bedazzled objects that are going to be used in shoots and installations around the world <3

Dream come true to work for Swarovski!!!
Custom crystal embellishment by Sarah Sparkles/Sparkledome Studio.
The day after submitting my bedazzled props to Swarovski I thought I might sleep in, however the sparkle Gods had other plans. I woke up to a phone call from Darrell Thorne, one of my absolute favorite costume designers in NYC. He asked if I could come to his studio and jewel encrust a mask for a photoshoot that was in two days. So I threw on my glitter, and off I went. :)

                Costume design by Darrell Thorne, Mask and partial wing embellishment by Sarah Sparkles.

Thus concludes a supremely epic art season. Am so deeply grateful to work with such talented, inspiring artisans and creative directors. Reaching the milestones of working directly for Swarovski, and more sparkle projects out of my own studio has shown me that with clear focus, and being willing to give it your all, you can make dreams come true. So Very Grateful <3