David Hoey is a collector. Well, perhaps that’s a rather large understatement but hoarder seems too clinical and severe… and David does far, far more than collect. The process unfolds a bit like this: an idea comes to mind and the search begins, across the City and Internet, for months – sometimes spanning over a year. For last November’s Holiday Windows, Hoey & co gathered hundreds of model ships for one of the Wish You Were Here travel-themed windows. Previously he’s hunted & gathered wooden staircases of all shapes, twists and sizes; vintage dolls and mannequins; scissors of all materials & size; sundry whiz-bang curiosities from across the globe; and, most recently, a vintage wardrobe to dress over 1,000 Barbies and dolls.
Commencing his search over a year ago, Hoey saw the dolly frocks as an expansion upon an idea exploring fashion extremes – soft sculpture finding its grip as a wall relief, maniacal ateliers, unexpected materials fashioned in larger-than-life ways; and, finally, consummate collecting a la Imelda Marcos and the like. For those familiar to the Fashion Week circuit, extreme dressing becomes almost commonplace during the daily parade of street style virtuosos.
Mix that with the wild hours known to be Fashion’s Night Out and you have a crystal clear tableau: Phantom Limb’s Jessica Grindstaff extending her arms (dressed in Alexander McQueen, of course) while a carnival of peculiar wooden puppets danced upon them; flannel-shirted lumberjacks juggling before a colossal wooden dress housing what only could be a Viking opera singer with a penchant for dramatic gesticulations; yarn-coiffed dames spinning frocks in vivid primary colors; dainty French maids feather-dusting a clothesline pinned with one-thousand minature dresses. But these live-window performances were just the canvas to what unfolded the following day when Hoey returned his mannequins to their rightful spots overlooking Fifth Avenue.
While Hoey explored extremes in concept, Ron (he dresses our ladies of the windows) styled them with bold color and lady-chic gl’amour: a patterned Givenchy pencil skirt, color-blocked Bottega Veneta coat reminiscent of advertising’s Madison Avenue days, Valentino’s coveted guinea feather-print trench, and a frothy CD Greene confection fashioned with crystals and ostrich plumes. These are the looks we want to collect this Fall – the ones we want to hunt down and store in our closets; clip to a clothing line one-thousand dresses long… and slowly unravel, day by day, for our own Fashion City parade.begin slideshow