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Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin unveil collaboration with Barneys New York, Madison Avenue


November 15, 2014/0.35

Neil Rasmus and Billy Farrell, of

Barneys New York unveiled its collaboration with film director Baz Luhrmann and four-time Academy Award-winning production designer Catherine Martin, christened Baz Dazzled, at its Madison Avenue store.
   Luhrmann, Martin and Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman, have taken holiday themes and, according to Barneys, in true Luhrmann style, ‘turned them upside-down into a world of fantastical characters, enchanted environments, and luxurious, metallic textures.’
   ‘From the first time my wife Catherine Martin and I found ourselves in New York back in the ’80s, we always marvelled at the way Barneys took the familiar and managed to turn it on its head. This way of seeing the world is somewhat akin to our own creative philosophy,’ said Luhrmann. ‘Here we are now, so many years later in our adopted home, honoured 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.’
   Urbanized woodland creatures, including a b-boy elf, a “true owl” who always speaks the truth, a graffiti-ing squirrel, and Celestina the ice princess, inhabit a fantasy world ruled by the Luna and Solar queens. There is a series of live performances and interactive theatre in each of the Barneys windows.
   The themes for the four windows are love (Elphresh the elf pursues his impossible love, Elfemeral), beauty (the Spirits of the Snow, by artist Anthony Howe), truth (Truth, an eight-foot-tall steampunk true owl, by artist Chris Cole), and freedom (a trapped ice princess dreams of freedom).
   The Madison Avenue store’s façade ties in to the theme, with the Solar and Luna queens singing out of two Juliet balconies on the second floor.
   Music for the performances is provided by a cappella group Pentatonix, ­comprised of vocalists Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, and Mitch Grassi, vocal bass Avi Kaplan, and beatboxer Kevin ‘K. O. Olusola­who, who exclusively scored and recorded custom versions of classics. In addition, Pentatonix provided vocals to several characters.
   Costumes have been created by Zaldy, who worked with Martin. The performances were directed in collaboration with Luhrmann, Martin, Barneys New York, and Andrew Katz.
   A limited-edition Baz Dazzled XO Exclusively Ours collection of luxury holiday décor and gifts is available on the ninth floor of the Madison Avenue store, select Barneys stores nationwide, and Items include an engraved Berti champagne sabre, a knit rabbit throw by Adrienne Landau, Studio DKS pillows, children’s costumes, stuffed animals, and exclusive Prada-created fur-lined sleeping bag and luxury picnic set.
   Pentatonix sang at the unveiling, singing, with the Luna and Solar queens, Madonna’s ‘Holiday’.
   Celebrities and VIPs at both the unveiling and the Central Park Zoo dinner afterwards included Richard and Lisa Perry, Amy Sacco, Aurelie Bidermann, Dakota Fanning, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, Deborra-Lee Furness, Dennis Freedman, Estelle, Giovanna Battaglia, Stefano Tonchi, Jessica Joffe, Kate Foley, Lily Kwong, Meryl Poster, Michael Avedon, Pat Cleveland, Simon Doonan, Max Osterweis, Victoria Justice, Wendi Deng, Zani Gugelmann, Madison Guest, Victoria Justice, Hamish Bowles, Anna Wintour, Michael Avedon, Dorian Grinspan, Virginia Smith, Carter Elwood-Etherington, Breken Elwood-Etherington, Jennifer Zuccarini, Edward Menicheschi, Hailey Gates, Bronson van Wyck, Charles Rockefeller, Allese Thomson, Knight Landesman, and Brooke Garber Neidich.
   Twenty-five per cent of sales from Baz Dazzled holiday products will be donated to Room to Read, a literacy organization helping children in developing countries.

Neil Rasmus and Billy Farrell, of

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