In the world of photography, some images transcend time, leaving an indelible mark on history. One such iconic photograph is Ormond Gigli’s “Girls in the Windows,” taken in 1960. This captivating image showcases 43 elegantly dressed women in 41 windows across the classic New York City brownstone facade. Over the years, this striking photograph has become Gigli’s most celebrated work.
Ormond Gigli, a renowned photojournalist, meticulously planned and executed this extraordinary project. The idea came to him when he noticed that the beautiful brownstone buildings across from his Manhattan studio were scheduled for demolition. He envisioned capturing the elegance and sophistication of these architectural gems before they disappeared forever. With a clear vision, Gigli embarked on a mission to create a visual masterpiece.
Assembling the 43 women for the photograph was no small feat. Gigli sought models, actresses, and even his wife to participate in the shoot. Each woman was dressed in elegant, colorful attire, highlighting the diverse beauty and charm of New York City’s inhabitants. Gigli’s attention to detail and eye for aesthetics ensured the women complimented the brownstones’ classic architecture, resulting in a stunning and harmonious composition.
On the day of the shoot, Gigli and his team faced the challenge of coordinating and posing the women in the windows. This required precise timing and communication, as the women were positioned across multiple floors and windows of the brownstones. Gigli used a walkie-talkie to direct the models, adjusting their poses to create the perfect visual balance. The photograph was taken using a large format camera, capturing the richness and detail of the scene.
“Girls in the Windows” is not just a visually stunning image; it’s also a snapshot of a bygone era. The photograph encapsulates the glamour and allure of 1960s New York City. The stylishly dressed women, juxtaposed against the soon-to-be-demolished brownstones, evoke a sense of nostalgia and wistfulness for a time when these buildings were a prominent feature of the cityscape.
The photograph’s popularity and enduring appeal can be attributed to its unique composition, captivating colors, and intriguing stories of the women in the windows. The image has become a symbol of the city’s resilience and vibrancy, showcasing the diversity and strength of its inhabitants. “Girls in the Windows” has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, solidifying its status as a classic work of art.
In addition to the photograph’s artistic merits, “Girls in the Windows” has also become an influential piece in fashion photography. The image’s stylish subjects, dressed in eye-catching outfits, have inspired countless fashion editorials and campaigns, showcasing the timeless appeal of Gigli’s vision.
Throughout his career, Ormond Gigli captured countless beauty, drama, and humanity moments. Yet, “Girls in the Windows” remains his most iconic and cherished work. This image is a testament to Gigli’s artistic prowess and ability to create a captivating visual narrative that resonates with viewers.