Barneys New York, the specialty luxury retailer, holiday windows and facade of Madison Avenue were unveiled yesterday to display a BAZ DAZZLED wonderland, a collaboration with world-renowned writer/director/producer Baz Luhrmann and designer Catherine Martin.
Barneys New York, Luhrmann, and Martin have collaborated with breakout a cappella group Pentatonix—comprised of vocalists Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, and Mitch Grassi, vocal bass Avi Kaplan, and beatboxer Kevin "K.O." Olusola—who exclusively scored and recorded custom versions of classics for this collaboration. In addition to scoring the windows with original vocals and arrangements of classic holiday carols, Pentatonix provided actual vocals to several characters.
"BAZ DAZZLED has allowed us an opportunity to bring theater to Madison Avenue," said Barneys New York Creative Director Dennis Freedman. "By integrating live performance into the windows, we are breaking the traditional mold of holiday windows for an exciting and unprecedented experience."
Inspired by Luhrmann and Martin's extensive background in film, opera, theatre, and music, the expected becomes unexpected, the classic becomes modern, and the static comes alive in a series of live performances and interactive theater. Each window presents a snippet of these characters' stories, expressing the Luhrmann and Martin ethos of "Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love.
In this mythical BAZ DAZZLED world, classical woodland creatures come to life in an urban environment: a contortionist b-boy elf, a wise old 'True Owl' who speaks the truth, a graffiti-ing squirrel who makes use of his gold spray paint through Barneys and beyond, and Celestina the ice princess, eternally skating and longing to be set free—with the whole mythical world ruled over by the Luna and Solar Queens.
"Here we are now, so many years later in our adopted home, honored to join the pedigree of artists, performers, and creative organizations which have collaborated with Barneys, to take the familiar and turn it on its head."
A multi-platform initiative, BAZ DAZZLED merges the iconic visual language of Luhrmann's award-winning film work with the legendary wit and surprise of Barneys New York. Luhrmann and four-time Oscar winning production and costume designer Martin, have taken traditional holiday themes and turned them upside down into a world of fantastical characters, enchanted environments, and luxurious, metallic textures.