| Apr 3, 2012 |
Designers create windows inspired by Showtime's Borgias
Boh staff
By Staff

In honor of the season premiere of the series The Borgias, Showtime and Vintage and Modern (V&M) challenged top designers in 10 cities to create visually stunning Borgias-themed displays in exclusive storefront windows.

Designers are invited to view the projects online and vote for their favorite to be entered to win a trip to Italy and $5,000 gift card at V&M.

"We're tapping into the talent of cutting-edge designers around the country to bring The Borgias to life in a way that's inspiring and unique for each city and transports them to Italy in 1492 with a decidedly modern twist," said Donald Buckley, Executive Vice President, Program Marketing & Digital Services, Showtime Networks Inc.

New York designer Todd Moore takes inspiration directly from Rodrigo Borgia himself for this provocative window. By whatever title he was known — Cardinal, Priest, Bishop or Pope — Rodrigo Borgia's middle name was DECADENCE. His greed for gold and wanton wenching inspires Moore's window design. This window offers a "behind closed doors" peek at the Papal bedroom where the Pope's paramours can bathe in gold stolen from church alters and lavish in the latest fashions.

Designer Lukas Machnik's visual inspiration occurred centuries after the Borgias existed — the most recent runway show of fashion designer, Rick Owens. Rick Owens' avant-garde aesthetic opened a new perspective to how the Borgia family would dress and live in today's high luxury society — a position where all would Envy the family. Because Envy is such a personal emotion, Machnick created a space that passers-by would Envy so all could feel this sin for themselves.

GREED... it leads us to sin and drives us to madness. Eberlein Design Consultants Ltd. use this platform to highlight the dichotomy between purity and corruption, between sacred and profane with an unmistakable tableau expressing the mortal danger of greed amidst the trappings of the Italian Renaissance.

Justin Seitz was inspired by the concept of FAITH for his window installation. The scene depicts the duality of faith portrayed by the whole Borgia clan, specifically Rodrigo Borgia. On one end, the abandonment of faith is shown as a dark, cold landscape where death and decay have overtaken all that surrounds Rodrigo Borgia. The other end then transitions to a light, warm, organized world rejuvenated with the rekindling of faith, leading to spiritual reconciliation and redemption.

The theme LOVE has been reimagined by Heather Hogan Roberts of HHR Interiors along with luxury linen and home furnishing retailer, Suite Spot. To project the theme of Love, HHR Interiors explores both the male and female dynamic of relationships, and creates two separate boudoirs — one, a darker, masculine-based bedroom, the other a feminine space, projecting a fresh, light palette reminiscent of the gorgeous outfits worn by Rodrigo Borgia's daughter, Lucrezia.

Neely Dkyshorn was inspired by a 1928 Moorish theater in downtown Richmond to create her OPULENCE installation. Inside a night sky rose above the audience to create the illusion that the movie was being screened outdoors with clouds floating above. Her window design is a diorama of the interior of a cathedral in forced perspective, with small scaled crystal chandeliers in the forefront that appear enormous, in essence: opulent.

Designer Christopher Coleman showcases a conceptual view of PASSION, as defined by The Borgias in Miami's red-hot design district. Passion — infatuation, a desire, a chase, a want, burning love — is a constant theme throughout the series and the window display symbolically demonstrates the pathos throughout the installation. The abstract vignette depicts the intensity of passion between the Borgias characters, family, friends, foes and lovers.

Drawing on the 16th and 17th century European practice of creating cautionary still-life paintings or "Vanitas", NICOLEHOLLIS creates a 3 dimensional still-life around the assigned theme of POWER. Re-imagining the storefront window as a traditional Renaissance still-life painting in 3 dimensions, with a black velvet background and a giant gilt frame, the stage is set for a baroque still-life.

Eric Roseff reveals the many faces of REVENGE in his rendition of this Borgias theme. The Borgia's decisions seem black and white, definitive, without shades of gray. For Roseff, the word Revenge initially brought to mind many ideas and visuals such as "an eye for an eye" and from there the concept came to life.

Production designer Kyle Kannenberg, along with designer Melisa Myers, opted not to take a conventional direction with his theme, SIN. He began with the family. The Borgia family, long known for corruption, used any means possible to gain control of the papal throne and retain it. Such corruptive behavior usually resulted in a member of the Borgia family committing some type of sin. Murder, pride, lechery, greed, and wrath are but a few examples.

Urban Archaeology celebrates the launch of their Borgias Unveiled window installation by Todd Moore with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and great design tomorrow night at 143 Franklin Street.

Photo credits: New York/Andrew French; Chicago/Bob Coscarelli; Dallas/Danny Piassick; Philadelphia/Elizabeth H. Field; Atlanta/Sara Hanna; Washington, DC/Robb Scharetg; Miami/Are Eidet; San Francisco/Ben Mayorga; Boston/Tristan Govignon; Los Angeles/Danit Singer

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