Ormond Gigli is an American photographer born in 1925 who is famous for his photos of celebrities from the worlds of stage, screen and fashion. I recently came across his most famous photo (above) which is called Girls In the Windows. It is considered to be one of the great fashion shots of the 1960’s and just a great photo in any category.
The photo came about in 1960 when a group of brownstones in Manhattan were being demolished across the street from Gigli’s East 58th Street studio. Gigli wanted to capture those brownstones on film and had a vision of 43 fashion-clad women adorning the windows. Working quickly, arrangements were made to get permissions, models and the Rolls-Royce in place so that the photo could be taken during the workmen’s lunch break before the buildings hit the ground. Some of the models couldn’t stand on the windowsills as they were so crumbly.
It’s a stunning visual. You never know what will inspire something new in your own work and looking at a photo like this triggers all sorts of reactions within my mind. I am sure this was the same for others who sort of borrowed from this photo in the years after it was taken. For instance, I am pretty sure the artist who did the cover for Led Zeppelin‘s 1975 album, Physical Graffiti was inspired in some way by Gigli’s photo to place iconic images in the windows of a crumbling apartment building.
Ormond Gigli has a website devoted to his work and the stories behind some of his more famous shots that you can visit by clicking here.