City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In December

From the Windows Of Chicago:  Fashion In December
From the Windows Of Chicago: Fashion In December

Chicago in December. Magical. Although my early December trek through the Windy City was not in the full swing and frenzy of the mass of Holiday shoppers as it would be in late December, the streets were certainly filled with those pondering or embarking upon their Christmas and Holiday lists. The holiday season in the great city of Chicago. Excitement always fills the air when one ventures onto the streets of any city. Yet the holidays seem to bring a different festive spirit that is fueled by the festooned buildings and lighted trees bedecked in holiday greens with twinkling lights…city wonderment, indeed…

Bedecked With Holiday Greens & Lights:  The Chicago Tribune Building, Michigan Avenue
Bedecked With Holiday Greens & Lights: The Chicago Tribune Building, Michigan Avenue

The embellishment of crimson red and boughs of pine against the backdrop of Chicago was a stunning view to behold. For certain, I adore this city in all seasons.

Oh, how I love and adore this city and the color red…

Chicago In December
Chicago In December

Of the fashion that filled the windows through the city and on the Magnificent Mile? Delightful. Some more festive than others, but each a representational of holiday flare and style. Fashion and its season’s presented in a visual compilation from behind my lens…

I begin with Holiday fantasy behind the windows of Neiman Marcus…Cheers to the mannequin and the artistry of visual merchandising!  “A little bit of  fantasy…”, indeed…

Fantasy & Fashion:  Neiman Marcus Elegance
Fantasy & Fashion: Neiman Marcus Elegance
Holiday Elegance Behind The Windows Of Neiman Marcus
Holiday Elegance Behind The Windows Of Neiman Marcus
Enticing Windows Of Holiday Appeal:  Neiman Marcus
Enticing Windows Of Holiday Appeal: Neiman Marcus
Enticing Windows Of Holiday Appeal:  Neiman Marcus
Enticing Windows Of Holiday Appeal: Neiman Marcus
Louis Vuitton...Holiday Style
Louis Vuitton…Holiday Style
White & Black: Winter Delights
White & Black: Winter Delights
Michael Kors:  Shiny, Bright & Classic
Michael Kors: Shiny, Bright & Classic
Moncler:  Winter Delights In Tweed & Fur
Moncler: Winter Delights In Tweed & Fur
Prada:  Holiday Delights Of Fashionable Appeal
Prada: Holiday Delights Of Fashionable Appeal
Holiday Style: Prada Style
Holiday Style: Prada Style
Macy's State Street:  Homage To Chicago
Macy’s State Street: Homage To Chicago
Macy's State Street:  Homage To Chicago
Macy’s State Street: Homage To Chicago
Macy's State Street:  Homage To Chicago
Macy’s State Street: Homage To Chicago
Party Ready At Hugo Boss
Party Ready At Hugo Boss
Red, Red Delight:  Burberry
Red, Red Delight: Burberry
From The Windows Of Burberry...
From The Windows Of Burberry…
Salvatore Ferragamo:  Red & Gold Delights
Salvatore Ferragamo: Red & Gold Delights
Golden Treasures:  Salvatore Ferragamo
Golden Treasures: Salvatore Ferragamo
“Land Of 1,000 Delights”….Magic Behind Saks Fifth Avenue
Golden Delights:  Saks Fifth Avenue's Holiday Style
Golden Delights: Saks Fifth Avenue’s Holiday Style
Golden Palms Behind Tommy Bahama
Golden Palms, Comfort & Holiday Style
Max Mara:  An Abstract Holiday
Max Mara: An Abstract Holiday

A word about the windows of Max Mara. Typically my favorite windows.  Yet unexpected was the abstract Holiday window in unexpected hues. Regardless, Holiday-esque it certainly alludes to. And of the white and black topped hats? A love behind my lens, for certain…

The Fashionable Windows Of Max Mara
The Fashionable Windows Of Max Mara
The Fashionable Windows Of Max Mara
The Fashionable Windows Of Max Mara
Black & White Delight:  Max Mara
Black & White Delight: Max Mara
Black & White Delight:  Max Mara
Black & White Delight: Max Mara
Style & A City Reflected:  Max Mara
Style & A City Reflected: Max Mara
Stylish Impact:  Max Mara
Stylish Impact: Max Mara
Stylish Toppers, Max Mara Style
Stylish Toppers, Max Mara Style

Perhaps beyond the Holiday visual, a visual conjured up of an escape to warmer temperatures behind the windows of Chanel on Michigan Avenue…

The Windows Of Chanel...
The Windows Of Chanel…
Walk This Way:  Chanel
Walk This Way: Chanel
Tod's Circus:  Defining Visual Of Style
Tod’s Circus: Defining Visual Of Style
Snow White Behind Tom Ford
Snow White Behind Tom Ford
Crimson Red & Escada Style
Crimson Red & Escada Style
Fashion Captured From Behind My Lens...In Black & White
Fashion Captured From Behind My Lens…In Black & White

From behind the lens my eye will never tire to seek and capture a mere visual of the artistry of fashion and its windows that seek to beckon those that pass by. Onward to another year of capturing fashion and a city ahead. For one who has photographed the fashionable windows of Chicago every single month for over 3 years…onward!

Inspiration and fashion, Onward, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

 

“Photography can only represent the present.  Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past”- Berenice Abbott

Reflected:  Fashion & The Photographer's Selfie
Myself Captured in Reflection: Fashion & The Photographer’s Selfie.
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Christmas Wishes…

Christmas

Merry Christmas….

Wishing you and yours the joy at Christmas that comes not from the gifts we receive but the gifts of love that we hold.   Acknowledging with gratitude those that are gifts in our lives throughout the year.  For that is what moves us forward each and every day. Gifts of the heart.

May this day, and every day that follows, find you surrounded within the reality of those gifts. And as always, moving onward in gratitude. For every day is a gift, indeed…..

Onward,

Kristin

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air”- W.T. Ellis

Merry Christmas, From House Appeal
Merry Christmas, From House Appeal

Natural & Fruited Holiday Appeal: The “della Robbia” Wreaths & Swags Of Colonial Williamsburg

Festoons Of Natural Delights:  Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Wreaths
Festoons Of Natural Delights: Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Wreaths

The holidays always bring forth bursts of color. But perhaps the natural colors of nature laden upon the wreaths of green found upon the historic streets of Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, offer hues of vibrant bounty. What is referred to as “A living-history museum and private foundation presenting part of a historic district in the city of Williamsburg, Virginia”, the historic streets offer a walk through yesteryear and a visual delight to the eyes to behold when swagged and bedecked in Holiday style. Williamsburg style. The festive and natural Holiday wreaths of Colonial Williamsburg seem to inspire a simplicity of elegance. Wreaths and swags reminiscent of yesteryear. The wreaths that grace the historic structures of Colonial Williamsburg are bedecked with all things natural such as festoons of fruit, flowers, boughs of holly, fans of apples, oranges and pomegranates and other natural embellishments of visual delight.

Elements of nature found in the borders and decorative motifs of these wreaths of evergreens hold distinctive and enduring appeal.  Historically, the swags of fruited appeal that have decorated America’s front doors and exterior spaces is linked to the beginning of the 20th century.  Paired with the significance of Christmas and the Colonial Revival, it is believed that these fruited decorations harkened back to the decorative styles of the eighteenth century. Yet the custom of affixing fruits, vegetables, dried flowers, herbs, and other natural details to evergreen wreaths, swags, and roping has often been referred to as “Colonial Williamsburg Door Decorations”.  A practice that was adopted and adapted by Colonial Williamsburg had popularized the fruited and bedecked natural appeal of holiday greens. Designs fashioned from boxwood and magnolia greenery paired with imports by the colonists of pineapples, lemons and oranges from the West Indies, would have longstanding impact on the celebration of Christmas within the Southern state of Virginia and beyond. The mere cause of admiration of these fruit laden wreaths and swags have drawn throngs to view their annual natural display. On a recent holiday in Virginia, I too, was drawn. From behind the lens I was struck with admiration and appreciation at the simplicity of bounties of nature in grand display of elegance and artistic display from nature’s gifts itself.

House Beautiful, Circa 1926
House Beautiful, Circa 1926

“Of late years, besides the staple wreaths of plain greens to which we have long been accustomed, the holiday’s emblems have blossomed forth,–or perhaps we should say fruited forth,–with richness of color produced by the use of either natural or artificial fruit as an embellishment. This idea was undoubtedly suggested by the gorgeous Italian carvings and terra cottas of the Renaissance…”
-1926, House Beautiful

The quote from the 1926 magazine issue of House Beautiful is said refer to the fifteenth-century Italian sculptor from Forence, Italy, Luca della Robbia (Luca della Robbia (1399/1400–1482)  who became “synonymous with fruit and foliage swags on glazed terracotta roundels”.

Lucca della Robbia (1399/1400-1482) Italian Sculptor
Lucca della Robbia (1399/1400-1482) Italian Sculptor

Of note, during the 1700‘s Sculptor Grinling Gibbons also produced festoons of fruit and flowers on architectural detailed wood carvings and decorative motifs for English cathedrals and English royalty. Yet it is “della Robbia” that is given the credit for the emulation of fresh fruit laden wreaths that inspired and were popularized in the mid 1930’s within the rich history of Colonial Williamsburg.

Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721) Dutch-British Sculptor & Wood Carver
Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721) Dutch-British Sculptor & Wood Carver

In the early years of the Colonial Williamsburg restoration, visuals of these fruited swags and wreaths would spread across the country through images in decorating magazines. Thousands of visitors, fascinated by the imaginative and natural decorations, continue to pay homage every year to the idyllic setting festooned in greens and natural delights of holiday beauty. Interesting, it was 1936 when Colonial Williamsburg first decorated for Christmas. At that time it is said to have been merely the simple greenery of plain wreaths with running cedar (a low growing evergreen) that would adorn the the Governor’s Palace and the Raleigh Tavern. Yet the embellishment of fruited appeal would embark upon the green decorations with longstanding impact. Credit is given to a “Mrs. Louise Fisher”, responsible for the decoration of Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg,  who is said to have brought pictoral examples from the Library of Congress of English and American decoration styles to guide her in her feat. By 1939 the “della Robbia” wreaths of Mrs. Louise Fischer had deemed the phrase the “Williamsburg Christmas look” and the embellished wreaths of natural appeal was forever launched. What would soon become a serious contest within Colonial Williamsburg, complete with blue ribbons affixed to the houses of five to ten winners, would become the “Christmas Decorations Tour” in 1969.  The contest continues. Decades of fruited and natural appeal, indeed.

With appreciation from behind my lens….a visual of natural delight in festive appeal….

Bedecked In Natural Style
Bedecked In Natural Style
Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Traditions:  Fruited & Natural Appeal
Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Traditions: Fruited & Natural Appeal
Colonial Williamsburg: Fruited Holiday Appeal
Colonial Williamsburg: Fruited Holiday Appeal
Evergreens & Nature's Delights:  The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Evergreens & Nature’s Delights: The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Nature's Embellishments In Festoons Of Holiday Style
Nature’s Embellishments In Festoons Of Holiday Style
Colonial Williamsburg: Natural Delights In Holiday Embellishments
Colonial Williamsburg: Natural Delights In Holiday Embellishments
Holiday Emblems Of Colonial Williamsburg:  Bedecked Greens
Holiday Emblems Of Colonial Williamsburg: Bedecked Greens
Fruitful Holiday Appeal:  The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Fruitful Holiday Appeal: The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Evergreen Wreaths & Swags Of Timeless and Natural Appeal
Evergreen Wreaths & Swags Of Timeless and Natural Appeal
Embellished Greens With Fruit Laden Appeal:  Colonial Williamsburg
Embellished Greens With Fruit Laden Appeal: Colonial Williamsburg
Swags Of Evergreen & Natural Fruited Delights:  Adornment Of Colonial Williamsburg
Swags Of Evergreen & Natural Fruited Delights: Adornment Of Colonial Williamsburg
Elegant & Artistic Display:  The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Elegant & Artistic Display: The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Holiday Decoration  Of Colonial Williamsburg
Holiday Decoration Of Colonial Williamsburg
Embellished With Nature In Colorful, Artistic Array: Colonial Williamsburg Wreaths
Embellished With Nature In Colorful, Artistic Array: Colonial Williamsburg Wreaths
Williamsburg Wreaths:  Embellishments Of Timeless Appeal
Williamsburg Wreaths: Embellishments Of Timeless Appeal

Consider with appreciation the festive wreaths and swags of enduring appeal. Graced with fruit and other natural elements, such as holly berries, seed pods, pepper berries, eucalyptus, pine cones, magnolia leaves and other wonders of nature, the decorations offer a visual appreciation of the blessings of nature. Upon the historic structures of Southern architecture and charm, the visuals  have impacted since.

And of myself strolling the streets of Colonial Williamsburg yearning to capture the essence of the visuals of exuberant and festive holiday style embellishing this historic setting?  Enamored. With a love for history and architecture paired with an appreciation of the natural and elegant delights that bedecked the surfaces of this quaint historic town, my camera continued to frame and capture.  Yet the visuals I set before you, from behind my lens, reflect only a sampling and a mere moment in time within the seasonal surrounds of Colonial Williamsburg. Captivating in the moment, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

Myself, 2014/Williamsburg, Virginia
Myself, 2014/Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Holiday Embellishment Of Green: The Adornment Of The Christmas Wreath

A Symbol Of Christmas:  The Holiday Wreath
A Symbol Of Christmas: The Holiday Wreath

The Christmas wreath. A traditional element that, perhaps, represents the first sign of Christmas. The wreath of green that embellishes a front door not only presents a welcoming appeal, but symbolizes Christmas. Delight and Holiday cheer for all that view the ring of green that iconically returns to bedeck our doors. Oh, the beauty of the Christmas wreath. The fragrant, live wreaths are commonly formed with sprigs of white pine, holly, boxwood and hemlock and other mixed greenery. Termed as “an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs or other various materials constructed to resemble a ring”, it is the wreath of green that perhaps beckons us at the arrival of the Holidays. Perhaps it truly marks the arrival of the Holidays to adorn our spaces with circular style in natural, fragrant appeal

Of interest, the word “Wreath” is derived from Middle English and from Old English “Writha” or “Band”. Certainly, this “band” of green has a history of symbolism that is tied to Ancient times. In ancient Rome, the decoration with wreaths proclaimed the sign of victory. Alas, the glory of the Laurel Wreath. The Bay Laurel wreath, known as the “Laurel Wreath” links Ancient Greece to the wreaths of laurel leaves that crowned victors of athletic competitions of the ancient Olympic games. The symbolism of the wreath carried forward throughout the centuries. Perhaps the Advent Wreath of Christian Germanic practices within Eastern Europe of a ring of gathered evergreens during December’s bleak darkness paired with the glow of candles represented the renewal of Spring and light. The tradition of the Advent Wreath continued and by the 16th century, both Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany held the wreaths of evergreens as symbols of celebration of the Advent (termed as “a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas”). The arrival of Christmas in a ring of fragrant evergreens that prevail in the harshest of Winter climates. The ring of pine and evergreen sprigs that presents a circular shape, without beginning and end, of distinction. Holiday distinction in an embellishment of green

The Elegance & Simplicity Of A Christmas Wreath
The Elegance & Simplicity Of A Christmas Wreath
Sprigs Of Pine & Mixed Greenery:  Holiday Delights
Sprigs Of Pine & Mixed Greenery: Holiday Delights
A Ring Of Recognizable Seasonal Distinction:  The Christmas Wreath
A Ring Of Recognizable Seasonal Distinction: The Christmas Wreath
Seasonal Appeal:  Evergreen Wreaths Of Green
Seasonal Appeal: Evergreen Wreaths Of Green
Festive Embellishments Of  The Season:  The Christmas Wreath
Festive Embellishments Of The Season: The Christmas Wreath

Whether adorning a front door or decorating a mantle of a hearth, whether the wreath is traditional or blends a creative, unique display, the inclusion of the Christmas wreath marks festively the arrival of the Holiday season. No matter how the wreath is enhanced with ribbons or bows, with simple natural elements of interest or simplicity , the wreath is an iconic element of Christmas. The Holiday embellishment of green. The delightful fragrant and visual adornment of the Christmas wreath, indeed…

Kristin