An Acknowledgement of An Icon: 150 Years of Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s. Iconic from the very beginning. Circa 1872-2022. 150 years. And so the celebrations have begun. A tribute to the world of Bloomingdale’s…an American luxury department store of style.

A brief nod to the history of its early beginning…

In 1861 Benjamin Bloomingdale and his eldest son, Lyman, opened “Bloomingdale’s Hoopskirt and Ladies’ Notion Shop” on the Lower East Side of New York City. But it was the two Bloomingdale brothers that would embark upon a new era of their namesake. In 1872 brothers Lyman and Joseph Bloomingdale opened “Bloomingdale’s Great East Side Bazaar”. Located on Third Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets in Manhattan, their product offerings expanded beyond the women’s garments to men’s garments. Through the establishment of their own buying office in Paris, European fashions became a successful part of their new venture’s allure. Their success resulted in relocating Uptown to 56th and Lexington Avenue in 1886.

Of note, the Third Avenue /Bloomingdale’s Illustrated 1886 Catalog (left image below) is said to explain that the mysterious item atop the building was “a hoop-skirt attached to the flagpole.”  A symbol of the first garment of success for Bloomindale’s. Who knew?

History of an icon. Bloomindale’s.

When Bloomingdale’s headed uptown to 59th and Lexington Avenue in 1886, their world of visual merchandising would certainly benefit from what the building presented with its double height, cast iron entry and large glass windows. It is said that these windows gave Bloomingdale’s the ability to display their items “often in a theatrical manner”.  The art of window display and visual merchandising, onward! With success upon success, by the 1920’s the expansion of Bloomingdale’s was over an entire city block. As side note of architectural interest, during the late 1920’s early 1930’s, the entire store front was redesigned in Art Deco style by architects Starrett and Van Vleck. So befitting.

Bloomingdale’s evolved into one of America’s first department stores and become a fashion destination across the country and the world. A beloved, global retailer, indeed. A nod to the success of an iconic retail establishment in celebration of 150 years…

Bloomingdale’s In Time…

Oh, the logos of Bloomingdale’s! I certainly recall. Growing up in Long Island, New York during the late Seventies and Eighties, it certainly was a department store that everyone was well aware of…and a known destination.

Logos Of Bloomingdale’s
Bloomingdale’s Bag/ 1986

Since the 1960’s Bloomingdale’s commissioned artful shopping bags that would be lauded as the first “Designer” shopping bags.

But perhaps there is no other infamously known bag than their iconic brown paper bag. In 1973, a century after opening the Midtown Manhattan store, Bloomingdale’s launched, with bold simplicity, the Big Brown Bag. Designed by Massimo Vignelli, the Little Brown Bag followed a year later and the final addition would be the Medium Brown Bag. Oh, the joy of the trio of Brown Bags of Bloomies! Icons that endure, indeed…

Bloomingdales Holiday Sticker 1994

It was during the early 1990’s that I was a part of this iconic retail company. It was the 900 N. Michigan Avenue Bloomingdale’s location in Chicago, Illinois that would hold my experiences of the world of Bloomingdale’s. Located on what is known as “The Magnificent Mile”and within walking distance to Oak Street Beach and Lake Michigan, it was here that I realized that the level of service, the merchandising and the appeal of this iconic department store which would forever impact my perspective on retail. In fact, it would begin my quest for quality and possibly where my personal search for elegance began…

Circa 1995, Bloomindales/900 N. Michigan Avenue/Chicago

As a Beauty Advisor for Lancome, in the busy city hub cosmetic department, the lights and energy, the style and sophistication and elegance this store held at that time would not be forgotten. Rather, those recollections remain, having made an enduring impact. There are those moments in life when your eyes are widened into the vastness of design, fashion, interior graces and the quality of those things that you aim to fill your life with. The fine pleasures of living in search of elegance, indeed. Bloomingdale’s succeeded in all of that. And for 150 years, Onward. Perhaps Andy Warhol said it succinctly: “The best museum is Bloomingdale’s”.

To end with, one final quotable from the iconic Andy Warhol:

“I don’t believe people die. They just go uptown. To Bloomingdale’s. They just take longer to get back”.

Circa 1994, Myself/Lancome Beauty Advisor/Bloomingdale’s
Mickey Mantle, American Major League Baseball player/New York Yankees (1931-1995)
900 N. Michigan Avenue/Chicago

For the love of Bloomies. Happy 150th to an icon of style!

Onward!

-Kristin

A Fashionable Nod to an icon, to Denim And The World Of Gloria Vanderbilt

Gloria Vanderbilt Denim: Icons

A fashionable nod to a fashionable icon. Gloria Vanderbilt (1924-2019). She built a fashion empire. A member of the Vanderbilt family of New York, she was known as a fashion designer, heiress, and socialite, yet she was also an American artist, author and actress. Yet it is the recollection of her impact during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, when her line of denim impacted my youth. Noted as an early developer of designer blue jeans, it is the golden swan and the high waisted, fitted and slim fit denim blue jean that harkens my recollections of my youth. As a teen growing up on Long Island, New York during that time, I recall the impact of the swan. Yes, I indeed had a pair. It was a coveted pair. Oh, right alongside the coveted Jordache and Sasson jeans…

Gloria Vanderbilt. The Denim. The Woman.

In acknowledgement of Gloria Vanderbilt. Elegance and denim really do unite. Onward in that.
For the love of denim, thank you Gloria…

Onward,

Kristin

In acknowledgement of the passing of a fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld…

Karl Lagerfeld

Elegance is an attitude. Indeed, it is. From the words of Karl Lagerfeld, an icon in fashion, and especially within the world of Chanel, onward in that. With an appreciation of the world of fashion design, Lagerfeld has always been one that captured my attention with his constant mystique and his bold force in the world of fashion.  A pioneer of fashion and noted as:

“One of the most prolific and celebrated fashion designers of all time”- Harper’s Bazaar

From my archives, June 2018

I can always be found photographing the windows of the Chanel boutique on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.  A destination from behind my lens for years has been the windows of Chanel.  Lagerfeld, born in Hamburg and changing the world of fashion for decades in Paris, will live on as a force of change itself.  In his words, “Change is the healthiest way to survive”.  His mark of change and his gift to fashion, that he brought forth through decades of his work, will survive and endure to live on, indeed.

On a personal note…  In 1998 I met the icon of fashion at the launching of his fragrance, Jako, at the Chicago State Street flagship store, Marshall Fields.  Framed is his autograph personalized to me. It represents a moment in time not to be forgotten.  For I had met an icon and prolific designer of fashion that will endure to impact the world of fashion.

How befitting to quote Coco Chanel:

“Fashion changes, but style endures”

Onward in appreciation to the change, the style and the iconic presence of the late Karl Lagerfeld.

Onward,

Kristin

Fashion & The City

May: Fashion & The City: Chicago

May. Fashion and the city, Chicago. Again, another blending of style and the details of the city and its streets. Joint inspiration from behind my lens, indeed. Quick snapshots in time of changing visuals in a city. Without a doubt, it was officially Summer. And a sweltering Summer day, at that. With temps in the concrete jungle in the high 90’s, the “real feel” was clocked in at 104 while perusing the Gold Coast off Michigan Avenue. On this particular day, breezes from Lake Michigan were non-existent.  It was merely hot, hot, hot. But onward. Onward to rejuvenate myself and focus on the details and the city scene I was immersed in. Chicago Love. Fashion Love. City life love.

Spring Into Summer Green Off The Chicago River

With a nod to Memorial Day, the windows of Ralph Lauren offered a classic American visual of fashionable style. Polo Style. All white delight, and the red, white and blue stars and stripes that we love. Classic Americana. Summer in America, for certain.

Ralph Lauren’s Polo: Classic American Fashion

Of course, Max Mara always gains several compilations from behind my lens. A mass of stylish mannequins always lures my camera…

Max Mara: Style & The City

Structure & Stylish Substance: The City & Max Mara

Fashion Windows & City Details

Structure & Fashion’s Timeless Form: Max Mara

Michael Kors City Style

Vivid Tones In The City: Hugo Boss

A City’s Stylish Reflections: Chanel

Fashion & Timeless Structure: Chanel and City Details

 

Neiman Marcus: The Marred Mannequin & The City

A word about a photographed mannequin from behind the stylish windows of Neiman Marcus. Shock from behind my lens. As I have been capturing visual merchandising from behind my lens for over 5 years, I had yet to come across a mannequin on Michigan Avenue, from such a high-end brand as Neiman’s, with a marred face. As I stood there, debating to share such an image of visual faux pas, I began to ponder as to how the visual merchandiser found it acceptable to leave the mannequin in the window with such glaring defects. Alas, perhaps it is only those of us that truly stop to view, to admire, to look at the details, that notice.  Maybe the thought was it would go unnoticed by the fast paced shoppers that only throw a glance towards the fashionable whimsy behind the expansive windows of glass.  Yet to me, as a photographer of high style mannequins, I expect more. Higher standards, if you will.  Perhaps I am in alignment with the well said quote below…

“I have the simplest taste. I am only satisfied with the best”   -Founder Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus

City Style: Burberry And The City

Fashion and the city. One more compilation in time. Visual merchandising that changes monthly and the structure and form of the city. A love affair that continues.

Onward,

Kristin

The Photographer In The City. Selfie, Buberry’s/May 2018

Fashion & The City

Fashion & The City: Chicago Style

Fashion. The city. Two loves entwined. Another month of images from behind my lens to weave together the visuals of styled, fashionable stance behind thick panels of glass and the structural visuals that a city bestows to those who look closer. Details. Captured. The essence of a fashion and the city that surrounds it

It was late April in Chicago. Blue skies. Minimal Chicago winds. Spring was in the air. Alas, my timeliness in sharing is late…but images are lasting and one month spills into the next swiftly. Time itself is swift. The month of May images await from behind my lens. Yes, a monthly visual compilation continues. Yet appreciation of the moment captured is always my intent to share. Onward in that. From behind the lens.

City view: Chicago, April 2018

City Structure & Fashion’s Whimsy At Neiman Marcus

City Scene & Brilliant Whimsy, Neiman Marcus

Stripes & Structure: Neiman’s & The City Of Chicago

Hugo Boss & Michigan Avenue Scene

“Chicago” Icon & Burberry

Max Mara & City Detail

Max Mara: Blue Hue & Architectural Details

Michael Kors & Iconic Chicago Architecture…The Wrigley Building

Chanel. Details in a city.

Every once in a while I photograph a mannequin that beckons a rendering in black and white. Brilliant fashion style that endures to delight from behind the lens (thank you, Max Mara).

For the love of Fashion’s Mannequin… Max Mara Style

Consider the world of fashion as it exists in the city. The two collide in a delightful city scene. For the love of fashion and the city, Onward.

Kristin

Fashion & The City

Fashion and the City/Chicago/March 2018

Fashion & the city. Entwined. Architecture and the city. City scenes and fashionable luring windows endure to bring appreciation from behind my lens. An ongoing attempt at capturing the essence of fashion’s change in a structural world of distinctive architectural details. A love affair, indeed…

Spring onward, from behind the lens…

The Beauty Of Neiman Marcus  Visuals & City Details

City Patterns & Color Bursts Of Style

Seasonal Nods Of High Style, Neiman Marcus

Fashion and the City, Louis Vuitton

For the Love Of Chanel…And The City Of Chicago

Two Loves: Fashion & The City

The Windows Of Prada, The Artistry Of Visual Display & Details Of Substance In A City

Color Burst, Tom Ford & City Scene

Stripes & City Style: Max Mara

Fashion & The City: Always Entwined. Max Mara.

Burberry Fashion & Architecture

Appreciate the details that surround you. Looking closer, looking upward you will find details of beauty. And from behind the thick glass panes of fashion’s changing stage? Inspiration and appreciation of fashion’s whimsy and artful displays of style will loose you, if but for a moment, into the timeless and often fantasy world of fashion.

Breton Stripes At Max Mara

One side note…On this day, March 31, 2018, Jcrew has deemed it to be International Stripes Day.  Befitting that the image below finds me in Jcrew stripes. Breton Stripes forever!

Onward!

Kristin

Self Portrait Off Burberry’s Reflective Exterior.

Fashion & The City

Fashion & The City: February 2018

So it was February. Fashion and the city. Intertwined. As fleeting as time is, the changing windows of fashion move at the speed of the city streets. Constant. To see the world of fashion behind the windows of a city is to see the city itself that these representations of style dwell within. From behind the lens, once again, my shift has changed to add the details of the city and street scenes paired with fashionable style…

Max Mara In Chicago

Max Mara In Chicago

Burberry Tulle & Parisian Architecture, Chicago

Burberry & The Icon Of Chicago

Blue Skies: Michael Kors & The “Bean”

Chicago Details & A Fashionable Mannequin Of Saks

Hugo Boss Style & City Details

Fashion & The City (Zara)

Consider the city surrounds and the fashionable representations therein. City life is certainly a mix of energy and fantasy. Look closer.  Look upward. Appreciation for the visuals and details that surround will only bring gratitude for the very gift that each day brings.  Alas, I will never tire of saying it…“Every day is a gift”.

City love and fashionable love, Onward,

Kristin

The Photographer…

PS: Perhaps capturing myself in my own way is documenting personal change. Internal change in recollection of a moment captured. Time and place. With change comes growth. Onward into change. There is freedom in that, indeed.

Blushed: Pink Hues Within The Interior

Blushed Interiors

Blushed. A word that references an unexpected pink rosiness to the cheeks in delightful response, so, too, does the infusion of pink fill interior spaces with unexpected delight. Blushed in pink. And can the color be layered in a modern, sophisticated appeal? Indeed it can. There is elegance in a color that nature paints its blooms. Perhaps with appreciation, this compilation of hues of blushed pink tones will showcase the timelessness of a color. With modern appeal, for certain…

Hues Of Blushed Pink

Interior Inspirations: Pink Infusions

Layered In Pink

Blushed Pink Hues In The Interior World

Blushed In Interior Style

Infusion of Color: Pink Hues In The Interior

Blushed: Kissed With A Touch Of Pink

As Winter’s barren effects and pure white snow surrounds, perhaps there is no month more appropriate than February to present a visual of blushed pink hues. A burst of pale color seems the perfect infusion.

Consider in appreciation the addition of pink to the world of interior spaces. Seasonless in style with perhaps a boldness even in its faded form. Pink is not for the timid yet its hue in our modern world of design offers an elegance of classic beauty with a modern edge.  I’ll blush to that.

Onward,

Kristin

My Interior World: A Blush Of Pink

Fashion & The City

Chicago, January 2018

Fashion and the city. Two loves. The art of fashion and the architectural city. Chicago.  For the last few years I have presented a monthly visual of the mannequins of high end fashion that grace the streets of Chicago. Oh, Chicago. A few snapshots of my love of the city and the fashionable streets joined together.  Fashion is linked with the city it surrounds. To me, the two are entwined.

Like fashion, my life continually changes.  Perspective.  As I have held firmly to the word “onward” in recent years, in the first month of this New Year I was struck by another word.   Prevail.  Just as truth prevails, the city prevails. As a word that can be used in several contexts, in this case,  fashion and the city that surrounds prevails in continually offering us such a vast array of visual delights.   Oh, for the love of the energy of the city, the architectural delights and the changing visual world of timeless and whimsical fashion that awaits behind shiny panes of glass off the streets of a city. Not to mention the sounds of the city.  Or the weather itself that changes the city seasonally.  On this particular day intense fog rolled in and shrouded the city by afternoon end.  Oh, for the love of Chicago in January.

That said, a New Year, a new intent, onward…

Chicago, January 2018

Chicago, January 2018/Burberry

 

Chicago, January 2018/Burberry

Chicago, January 2018

Chicago, January 2018/Tom Ford

Chicago, January 2018

Chicago, January 2018

Chicago, January 2018

Chicago, January 2018

Chicago, January 2018

Fashion and the city.  Architecture and fashion as art.

From behind the lens I offer my perspective which is a personal passion and a love of the city and the world that resides within its realm.  A world of fashionable fantasy, architectural history and reality.  Onward in appreciation of all of those elements.  Life.  The world that surrounds us and the joys we find within our realities are gifts.  From behind the lens I will continue to capture what inspires.  City inspirations, indeed.

Kristin

The Photographer. Self Portrait. January 2018.

A New Year…Onward.

Chicago

A New Year. New opportunities. New horizons ahead.
Change. As you move forward into the New Year be reminded that “Nothing changes unless you change”.
Move onward in that.

Onward always,

Kristin

Moving Onward/Selfie