Tuesday, July 13, 2010

At Bergdorfs

Imagine you're standing in front of Bergdorf Goodman's windows on 5th Avenue.The display team has been collecting vintage mannequins for 6 years. Here is their collection in all it's past glory... The old heads are so much more intriguing than the new... They have such stories to tell, so evocative... In San Francisco, my friend, Rebecca Martinez was bidding on these same heads on eBay. They kept getting away from her...finally she contacted the winning bidder (Bergdorfs) and they arranged to send her heads to photograph. Enfin her "Challanged Beauty" exhibit in BG's windows on now. There is something poetic about these is there not..?Reminiscent of Wallis Simpson in Galignani's window in Paris... This BG mannequin reminds me of... Tilda Swinden in I AM LOVE - Did you see it yet? You must. Tilda is in Bergdorf's
again and again...
Galerie Lafayette still uses real faces...
An old/new mannequin in Paris...
you got designer shades,
just to hide your face and
you wear them around like
you're cooler than me.
and you never say hey,
or remember my name.
its probably cuz,
you think you're cooler than me.

Bergdorf Goodman has their own blog on their windows..


  1. Bergdorf's windows really are the best in town, aren't they? The current show is very thought provoking ... Ms Martinez's photos are marvelous. It's wonderful that she and BG collaborated.

    Yes, Ms Swinton is also marvelous in that beautiful film.

    And sometimes the clothes in the BG windows actually live up to their surroundings!

    It's great fun to visit here, Carol. Cheers!

  2. Love their windows. I liked the new/old head in Paris sort of Betty Boop look alike!
    Sort of adds another meaning to "Off with their heads!" ha
    Marie Arden Pink Living

  3. Justine9:49 AM

    I'm imagining myself in front of Bergdorfs right this minute!
    love all the old mannequins too

  4. What a marvelous collection at BG and what a treasure trove of a post, Carol!

    I imagine those vintage mannequins coming alive, just like in this commercial, made for the Austrian DARBO company, Coin-Operated Boy. ;-)

  5. I agree, the older heads of mannequins are so beautiful. Time and care were taken to make them life-like, each reflecting the age they were created from. Often, I wish I could time travel so I can take a peek at how life was really like in the past...I would love to check out Marion Davies, especially. The exhibit window makes me feel very melancholy for the past that I've only read about.

  6. how creative and what dedication to a vision of art! merci pour partager avec nous

  7. What a neat exhibit your friend has--I love the old mannequins--just like I always loved all the Dorothy Hood fashion illustrations for Lord & Taylor...

    Tilda Swinton has such an interesting look, doesn't she? So unique.

  8. Mike-O1:25 PM

    Thank you for welcoming me to your entertaining web-site
    Tilda Swinden is a wonderful actess, but I found "I am Love" a bit
    pretentious. Wonder if the title was a take-off on "I am Red" by
    Pamuk? Glad to see that Bergdorf's has retained its elegance.....

  9. That is a nice, original topic for a window display. I like the idea and the creativity of it.
    Your photos are superb - you can really pick an opening shot, Carol.
    (That video is creepy - or is it just me?)

  10. i found the video almost painful to watch, although i liked it.....and then i imagined all the love the dolls had during their "lives"...it brought me a smile

  11. So fab, I love your post.
    Thank you dear friend

  12. Beautiful, and I'm in love with those sunglasses in the last photo. I must have them!

  13. Talking heads! They speak volumes about us - as we were and as we are. We have sunk to an anonymous, featureless low...perhaps all the better to project whatever we like onto the faces.

  14. Anna Maria A.4:08 PM

    Glad you changed the video...
    It was a tad too depressing...
    There is something inherently sad about these old mannequins.
    And the new ones are so...so 1984ish-Aldous Huxely-Brave New Worlds
    I suppose they're trying to be all things to all people..no differentiation etc.
    Bah humbug to that!

  15. I've always been nutty for vintage mannequins. The heads in the fifth pic are just fabulous!

  16. Exquisitely lite aren't they...
    merci BG!

  17. I wish I could enjoy these windows in live! I really really miss Bergdorf. No way to see these displays in Paris.

  18. What beautiful faces on the model ! I am going to see the movie "I am Love" this week-end, so pleased to read your comment about it.
    Dianne xx

  19. Brilliant, merci Carol! Seeing the BG windows is almost as good as getting a box of ribbons in the mail to a NYC-starved girl like me. :)

  20. Anonymous6:18 PM

    I am only anon as I don't have a proper account, but this is Rebecca, thanks for the great coverage, friend!

  21. breathtaking!! After years in visual merchandising and now years of dealing in vintage, this display is a match made in heaven for me....I covet everything IN these windows, including (and most especially) your friend's works. I've always adored old, well loved mannis. Can't tell you how many I worked with over the years with missing digits, shattered elbows, replacement legs....one with a head that had broken off and been taped back on that had to wear scarves....another with glass orb eyeballs you had to reach inside the head to adjust (one eye would always wander off though). I loved them all. I was lucky enough to get a 1960s head from a friend who found one in a shop she bought, its now displayed proudly in mine. Your friend is so lucky to have worked with all of these, they are so difficult to find! She is quite the talent.....I am so happy to look at these images!!


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