Monday, December 9, 2013

New York City Window Fashion


 Hello Loves!  December magic is in the air in NYC!  A day out and about with good friends on Madison and Fifth Ave. I managed to  capture  charming holidays windows, walked with the crowds, wandered in out of shops and made a visit to the Frick! We tried to have lunch at Bergdorf's and were met with a long wait list, however while on the the 5th floor  we met up with Ormond Gigli   a brilliant photographer ,at his book signing !
His  famous photograph of "Girls in the Window" was on the cover of his beautiful book!  We  managed to have  a lovely chat with Ormond and acquired a  signed copy of his book with hundreds of pages of exquisite photography!  See Story Here (click)






















"Girl in the Window"


Ormond Gigli and Son  









In 1960, while a construction crew dismantled a row of brownstones right across from my own brownstone studio on East 58th street,  I was inspired to, somehow immortalize those buildings.  I had the vision of 43 women in formal dress adorning the windows of the sketetal facade. 

We had to work quickly to secure City permissions, arrange for models which included celebraties, the demolition supervisor's  wife (third floor, third from left_, my own wife (second floor, far right), and also secure the Rolls Royce to be parked on the sidewalk.  Careful planning was a necessity as the photography had to be accomplished during the workers' lunch time! 

The day before the buildings were razed, the 43 women appeared in their finest attire, went into the buildings, climbed the old stairs, and took their places in the windows.  I was set up on my fire escape across the street, directing the scene, with bullhorn in hand.  Of course I was concerned for the Models' safety, as some were daring enough to pose out on the crumbling sills.

The photography came off as planned.  What had seemed to some as too dangerous or difficult to accomplish, became my 
fantasy fulfilled, and my most memorable self-assigned photograph.  It has been an internation award winner ever since.

Most professional photographers dream of having one signature picture they are known for.  " GIRLS IN THE WINDOWS" is mine.

Ormond Gigli   see:  ormondgigli.com 

Read more about Ormond Gigli (click here)


In a career that spanned more than 40 years American photographer Ormond Gigli  shot thousands of images and was widely published in magazines such as Life, Paris Match, Collier’s, The Saturday Evening Post and Time. But the photograph for which he is remembered is “Girls in the Windows” an extraordinary image that has stood the test of time to become an iconic image of New York in the 1960s. 
Gigli began his career in 1941 working as a photographic assistant in New York. He was 17 years old. When America entered the Second World War Gigli joined the Navy as a photographer. By the time 1950 rolled around “I was living the life of a starving artist in Paris…and it was a beautiful place to be,” he said. But it wasn’t long before he was shooting for Life magazine and from then his career took off. 

Recounting his first meeting with Life in Paris Gigli said the editor asked him, “If I give you an assignment, will you give me what I ask for? I said yes, as long as I could inject my own thoughts into the picture”. “Girls in the Windows and Other Stories” is proof that Gigli never compromised on his unique visual signature.

 “Girls in the Windows and Other Stories” is as much a tribute to Gigli as it is a walk through history. Louis Armstrong, Marlene Dietrich, Jayne Mansfield, Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand grace the pages. As does a youthful Sophia Loren in the now famous photograph shot in 1955 where she is pictured in a fountain in Rome, holding oranges. The book also features photographs that, like the image of the title, were shot as personal projects by Gigli. 

Of his most enduring image Gigli said in an interview earlier this year, “I have a big print of it up on my wall. I still smile whenever I look at it, even after all these years”.