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

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