If you think erecting a masterpiece in a storefront window is any small feat, well, guess again. Our recently unveiled vision, “House of Couture,” features a massive black, white and neon trompe l’oeil. Kate McCollough, Director of Visual Concept for Juicy Couture, gives us the lowdown on exactly what it takes to stop traffic on Fifth Avenue.
the numbers * 30 feet high * 75 feet wide * team of 12 * start to finish in 2 months *
What makes this particular window so special?
A lot of people asked me why I didn’t do vinyl—I thought it would be more theatrical to suspend a giant backdrop, where passerby could peek behind and see how it was rigged. Window installations are so rare these days and I think people get genuinely excited by tangible installations they can really study and appreciate.
What inspired the concept?
One of these great things about our Fifth Avenue store is the ornate architecture of the façade building behind the glass. Looking at painted French trompe l’oeil architecture, notably the interiors of Christian Berard and the sets of Jean Cocteau, we realized that we had the perfect space to hang a trompe l’oeil backdrop of our own that would replicate our permanent architecture.
Tell us a little bit about the production process?
The backdrop is actually three canvas panels seamed together. I worked closely with Sarah Oliphant, New York’s premier backdrop painter to the fashion industry (she paints for Annie Leibovitz, countless Vogue editorials, fashion shows, etc.) to create a look that felt a little French, girly and whimsical. We used neon paint to get a strong pop of color and reference Juicy’s signature hue.
What was the most challenging part of making this happen?
MATH! The painting of the drop was actually quite technical—we had to cut out the windows on-site, meaning that every line had to be painted accurately to the exact inch. We spent countless hours measuring and drafting the drop before any actual painting had begun.
Tell us what we can expect to see in Juicy’s Fifth Avenue windows?
We have some really exciting windows coming up! I don’t want to give away too much, but I can say we’ve been working on a computer-drawn lace pattern and we’ve also been experimenting with glow in the dark paint!