Gabellini Sheppard Associates was commissioned to design five consecutive exhibitions spanning two and a half years for the Accessory Designs of the Council of Fashion designers of America (CFDA). The exhibitions took place in the 1930’s classic, black-granite-clad Raymond Hood building on 41st Street fronting Bryant Park and The New York Public Library. These presentations were staged simultaneously with the seasonal runway shows of the CFDA ready-to-wear designers, which were presented in white canvas tents within the park green.
Gabellini Sheppard Associates conceived these accessory designer presentations as ‘black box theatre’ environments. For the spring/summer exhibition, the three billboard-size perimeter walls were painted an iridescent green. Floating white, beveled platforms displayed the accessories of twenty-eight participating designers. Connected to these animated carousel-like structures were sixteen suspended light canopies hovering above the display surface. Theatrical light fixtures hung from the ceiling in a random celestial pattern puncturing and filling these canopies with alternating daylight and moonlight color intensities to create the sensation of being inside a clover field with changing natural light.