Gaga Claus is Coming to Town...and to Barneys
Nov 09, 2011 - by Lester Brathwaite
With the holiday season comes the proliferation of all things merry. And to that I say, "Bah! Humbug!" But leave it to Barneys and their fantastical Gaga's Workshop to ring in all things mary, as the "Born This Way" chanteuse and her right hand gal, Nicola Formichetti have orchestrated a space on the department store's fifth floor that will turn even the biggest Grinch into a Christmas-loving Monster.
Gaga's Workshop will host some 170 items for sale, such as a $95 snow globe, a $68 handmade chocolate skull or a $65 claw Christmas stocking in which to stuff them. A new item will be revealed everyday from now until the Workshop's launch during the "12 Days of Gaga" on the Gaga's Workshop microsite; today's featured gift, for instance, is a Gaga face cookie circa her "Telephone" heyday.
Hidden around the city and barneys.com are stickers bearing special codes one can scan or type into the microsite to unlock more info about the Workshop, while Willy Wonka-esque Golden Tickets will be given away to 30 lucky Monsters -- allowing them a trip to New York and invitations to the opening of this modern day Chocolate Factory. To enter for your chance to attend the ribbon-cutting and launch party, visit here.
Working with Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman, Formichetti and installation artists Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide Pierson of Assume Vivid Astro Focus are turning Barneys into a winter wonderland with eight imaginative stations. We have a candy shop, which is a sculptural piece that holds the candy; the boudoir, this giant wig that will host all the makeup, fake nails and lipsticks; the spider with Gagas face with all the fake jewelry and stuff, and this giant pop-up book for all the books Gaga chose, Formichetti explained to WWD.
Other features include a three-dimensional train for stuffed animals and a giant topiary spelling out Gag's name, in lieu of a Christmas tree. And flanking the 60th Street entrance will be a giant Gaga monster, dramatic cat-eye and all, created by Sudbrack. Even the famous Barneys windows will undergo a truly Gaga transformation, with four different themes inspired by the Lady's songs, such as one display completely rendered in "Hair."
Formichetti also had an invaluable source in the grandmother of all Monsters, Mrs. Cynthia Germanotta. She knew Gagas favorite chocolates or her favorite books when she was little." Formichetti said. "We really wanted this experience to be like going through her memories, in a very surreal way. For that, I needed the help of Mrs. Germanotta.
Just last week, mom and Stef Germanotta launched the Born This Way Foundation -- to which 25% of all sales from the Workshop will go -- to further empower youth and promote equality through antibullying, self-confidence, mentoring and career development programs.
Gaga's Workshop opens November 21 at 11:59 p.m. and will stay open throughout the night and into the next day, finally closing on January 2. However, if you can't make it into New York, or if you'd rather avoid the life-sapping holiday shopping crowd, a significant chunk of items will also be available for purchase online so you can still buy yourself some subversive Christmas cheer. [WWD, sub req'd]