Hardly before I could even stand back and admire the cutesy curliness of my Fall foraging fiddlehead window, Holiday was upon us at Anthropologie. This winter we were looking toward the East, inspired by the geometry and ornamentation of the likes of the Alhambra of Granada, St. Basil's of Moscow, and Arabesque scrollwork. While inspired by some of the grandest and richest architectural forms on earth, our holiday displays were borne of the humblest of mediums: cardboard. 

Photo by Zhang Wenjie

Photo by Zhang Wenjie

Our windows in Montclair were inspired by repeating geometry. During my architectural history classes, I remember being most profoundly impacted in learning that in Arabesque architecture and artwork (such as the Alhambra) geometrical and symmetrical repeating forms is considered a sacred expression of the Heavens; something too divine to simply inscribe or dictate. In gazing into the ceiling as pictured above, it is easy to understand why. 

The windows began with a compositional sketch, many many many diagrams, material color testing, and finally cutting out and installing our massive latticework of shapes. 

As all Anthro displays, this window is certainly found in the minute details as you lean up against the glass and find figures hiding in the shapes. Each shape was treated with magazine images, paint, wax, gold leaf and then the entire display was snowed. I was sneezing and shedding fake snow over the next few weeks as the store and windows turned chilly and wintery.




Anthropologie posted a great video on the making of a particular installation down in Boca Raton prototyped by Ashley Nardone, a Florida-based visual artist and former Anthropologie employee.