My dear friend Rachel Feinstein has an amazing art installation up at the Lever House in NYC. It’s up until April 22, and is a must see. It’s titled “The Snow Queen” and Neal and I tromped through the piles of snow and attended the start-studded opening recently. Inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale by the same title, Rachel created a gothic extravaganza inside the Lever House, a mid century modern glass building in midtown.
Standing outside on Park Avenue, your view through the floor to ceiling glass walls is a white paneled room, empty but with sculptures in the alcoves. One imagines that only the snow queen has a key for the door.
Another view from outside is a broken-down, gilded carriage, complete with flickering gas lamp. (Side note, Rachel told me that due to stringent NYC fire laws, a gas line had to be run all the way from the building, underground, and up through the carriage).
Once you enter the building you are faced with the other side of the white gothic room, and can really get a good look at the sculptures in the alcoves. Here is my husband, Neal, standing in front of one.
Next you are greeted by a wall of colorful wooden soldiers, folded like paper dolls and hinged with gothic metal. That’s me poking my head through.
Continue on and you spot the character Gerda, “picking” flowers in one of the Lever House flower boxes. Rachel made the model for this out of sculpty, which her children often play with. To make this life size, she originally had the model scanned and computer built out of resin. When the results were not as expected, she had to don a hazmat suit, and build upon the structure herself with hand colored clumps of resinous material. A nasty business which left her with rashy hands, despite wearing gloves.
Here is Rachel explaining how she made Gerda:
To complete this fairy tale is a room of painted mirrors, all done in shades of grey sign paint. It’s a country scene, complete with decaying stone walls, and swaying trees. Here is the room on the night of the opening:
And here is the back corner of the room, sans people.
Here I am with my friend, hair accessory designer, Jennifer Behr. She lent me the super cool black turban I’m sporting.
Our friend Sean Hoess, Neal, and Rachel, looking gorgeous in an ivory L’Wren Scott dress.
Rachel’s stunning (I think) 68 carat aquamarine cocktail ring.
In true Chrissy Styles fashion, I’ve made an outfit inspired not only by Rachel’s look, but by a modern snow queen herself. Oh yeah, I tried to find a ring comparable to Rachel’s, but I didn’t see anything even remotely as stunning. So instead I am featuring a lovely cocktail ring by Roberto Cavalli.