Five rock-crystal chandeliers, designed by Marvin Alexander’s David Reitner, were installed on Bergdorf Goodman’s main floor earlier this month. The lighting showroom, which is known for its antique and production lighting and counts designers Alexa Hampton, Haynes-Roberts, Paul Wiseman and Charlotte Moss among its clientele, also restored the shop’s original chandelier.
What was the design inspiration behind the chandeliers? Reitner walks EAL through the process:
"After spending months going back and forth with numerous manufacturers in Paris, and not having their vision understood, Bergdorf Goodman then came to us (Marvin Alexander). Linda Fargo and Susan Homan [both of Bergdorf Goodman] met with me…and explained their lighting goals.
The following week, they returned to the showroom to see a presentation of what we thought would convey their needs. Fargo said, 'You got it on the first try; I don’t know why we didn’t come here first.' She was looking for something classical, which would be in keeping with the aesthetic of the first floor space, but she also wanted something that was current and had a hint of being edgy.
Taking a classical Louis XV–style cage, we patinated the bronze frame with a warm, satin, antiqued statuary finish—which was a nod to the original classical plaster ceiling decoration of the store—while trimming the chandelier in an untraditional style, using various shapes of rock crystal and using obelisk-shaped rock crystal to replace the traditional upright crystal finials commonly used for this type of chandelier. The obelisks very much gave the chandelier that 'edgy' look that she wanted to achieve.
... The integrity of the retailer’s Old World interior has been maintained, yet there is a fresh new style that is modern and quite compelling, which works so well for 21st-century design. [She] achieved something that I feel is quite unique, a synthesis of the old and the new, resulting in something that is classic in its own right."