By Anna Sekula Posted November 5, 2009, 5:07 PM EST
NEW YORK In a bid to make a provocative statement for the debut of its new line of body-shaping underwear and hosiery, Sculptz turned to Alberto Vargas' iconic paintings of pinup girls for inspiration and produced a playful format for its launch Tuesday night. In place of a typical catwalk production, the Philadelphia-headquartered company wanted to show that its products are suitable for all shapes and can be worn every day, and so opted to build a series of seasonal vignettes and showcase its wares on live models of different sizes.
Looking to get an edge over Spanx, its main competitor in the shapewear category, the preview party hosted by Sculptz president and C.E.O. Jean Vernor and celebrity stylist Robert Verdi drew more than 100 editors and retail buyers to the 21st floor of the Glasshouses at the Chelsea Arts Tower.
As a way to animate each display—and give the models props to pose with—the 35-year-old brand based each scene on the four seasons, employing cut flowers, old perfume bottles, vintage postcards, fur rugs, and other items scoured from flea markets and rental houses. For instance, summer's setting was modeled after the sun decks on old-fashioned steamships and included an old ship funnel, a life buoy, and a sun lounger. By contrast, autumn's model sat on a park bench surrounded by patches of grass, a lamppost, and a tree-like arrangement of dried branches and leaves.
Behind the design of the whimsical scheme was the Susan Magrino Agency's vice president of fashion and events, Lynn Willis, who filled the rest of the space with mannequins positioned in suggestive stances. A line of dummies also stood by the venue's elevator bank, displaying Sculptz's colorful range of tights.
In keeping with the motif, caterer Creative Edge added Vargas prints to its serving platters, passing hors d'oeuvres like Parmesan puddings atop roasted tomato crackers and mini cheddar and bacon burgers on plexiglass trays embedded with the illustrations.