Do you worry and wonder if "visual merchandising is dead"? Apparently you didn't catch the "Moulin Rouge" windows at Bloomingdale's New York flagship. Unveiled in April at the movie's opening, Bloomie's 27 windows on Lexington and Third were transformed into stages, and clothing and accessories inspired by the film were sold in a temporary "Moulin Rouge" boutique on the fifth floor.
Though the retailer has based windows and fashions around movies in the past -- "Dick Tracy," "Evita," "Jurassic Park" and "Saturday Night Fever" -- the "Moulin Rouge" windows are the most extensive production to date, says Harry Medina, Bloomingdale's window director.
"The movie is very much about ornate, gaudy design," he notes. So Adel Rootstein mannequins in adventurous poses and styled with big hair took center stage in every window. In one display, a heart-shaped stage featured black-and-white checkered flooring and a red-satin backdrop that resembled a giant fishnet stocking. Hand-carved, gold-stucco tassels from Venice hung in some windows. And lanterns, posters and curlicue designs on glass continued the theme in other displays.
Medina says the windows created a tremendous sensation, and the pedestrian traffic generated made the displays well worth the effort. He says, "We're part of the tourist trade, the city's entertainment industry. I never forget that my windows are New York City."
Design Team: Bloomingdale's, New York -- Harry Medina, window director; Rachel Arnold, vp of visual presentation; Jack Hruska, senior vp of visual presentation and store design; David Arrieta, assistant; Kevin Burke, fashion stylist; Ariel Benhaim, fashion assistant stylist; Michael Hinojosa and Westwood Papile, visual coordinators
Suppliers: Circle Fabrics, New York (fabrics, curtains, fringe, satin rope); Dimensional Lettering, New York (graphics); LSI, Stony Point, N.Y. (lighting); Adel Rootstein, New York (mannequins); Suprina Kenny, Brooklyn, N.Y. (sculpture of blue moon face); Eclectic Encore, New York (props)
Photography: Gerald Pippos, Window and Interior Lens Inc., Spotswood, N.J.