Barneys on Madison Avenue has just unveiled a painstakingly detailed window-display replication of the Hood By Air men’s Spring 2016 fashion show held in Paris last June.
Recently we reported that fashion was taking to new technology in an attempt to reach wider and more diverse audiences. The last few major seasons have seen experimentation from designers, with virtual reality in particular being a popular option to broaden the audience for fashion shows. Barneys and Hood by Air have collaborated to take on a slightly different approach to ‘virtual reality,’ for the purpose of showcasing the label in a ready-to-wear light.
The New York retailer’s new Madison Avenue windows aim to recreate the Hood by Air fashion show to its every last detail. The time that the show went live is represented by a florescent light display, music by Wench plays on a constant loop, and the mannequins are dressed in the exact styling of the season. What is particularly interesting here though, are the mannequins themselves.
Modelling the Paris runway styles are six silicone duplicates of the show’s models made by Yuji Yoshimoto’s Studio UG. Astoundingly realistic, the models had their bodies and faces cast before a team of artists painstakingly added detail to the silicone, the whole process took six months to complete. The Mannequins feature exact replications of the tattoos, facial hair and styled clothing, including details such as jewellery and grills, that were present in the Paris show.
Speaking of the length and complexity of the process, Barneys’ creative director Dennis Freedman told Vogue.com, “Making this happen was one of the most complex things we’ve ever done… It was months and months of work.”
“When I saw the show outside the Philharmonie de Paris, I remember sitting there and thinking, ‘This is extraordinary in so many ways.’”
“We thought, if we could only freeze this moment and then present it in our windows exactly how we’re seeing it in Paris, that it would be an extraordinary way of showing this particular brand, how they work, and what they make. Yes, there’s the Internet, but there’s nothing like being in that moment at that show live.”
Shayne Oliver, Hood by Air founder and creative director, elaborated on the decision to immortalise these models in silicone, “These guys are people who actually live the look or attitude of the clothes… I’m making these things specifically for people who I think are out there, and these guys help me know that they exist.”
For those of us who can’t get to New York to experience the immersive windows themselves, Barneys’ blog, The Window has extensive behind the scenes photos, as well as an in-depth interview with Shayne Oliver.