Yellow dresses, naked men and a furniture show.

When I heard that seven women were sharing a 100-square-foot platform for five days in Bryant Park, I was curious. When I heard that they were wearing matching yellow dresses and were not allowed to talk to each other, I knew I had to see it. I caught the end of their “act” when I flew to NYC for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF).

Seven women in taxicab yellow dresses participating in an art project in Bryant Park, NYC

The “Walk the Walk” project was the work of Kate Gilmore, who asked her volunteers (a questionable term since a ladder was required to escape from the eight-foot-high platform) to walk with purpose from 8:30am to 6:30pm. However, even with a shift change at midday, the hours spent in matching ivory pumps had turned the walk into more of a hobble, and the answer to “is there a Dr. Scholl’s in the house?” was clearly “no.”

In contrast to the yellow-clad gals on the move is the Antony Gormley exhibit of naked men who don’t move at all. The lack of movement is because they are iron statues, and it’s a good thing too, because they are perched on the edges of rooftops.

Two of the life-size naked figures perched on buildings in NYC.

The figures were controversial when they first appeared – not because they’re nude, but because people thought they were jumpers. But after New Yorkers understood that it’s just art, they embraced the idea of looking for naked men on buildings around the Flatiron District. What could be better? Like an Easter egg hunt for grownups, there are 31 life-size naked figures to find in NYC; the identical forms are cast from Gormley himself.

It’s ironic that the ladies in yellow were so desperately in need of a chair (and I suppose the naked Gormleys might have enjoyed a bed) since the event happened during Design Week. The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is an annual event held at the Javits Convention Center, and while it lacks the punch of Milan’s Salone, there are still interesting things to be found.

Here are some of my favorites:

Cloud Softlight by Molo Design. Made from recyclable Tyvek, these floating forms are lit up by LED bulbs.

“Happy Hardcore” (right) is a tire and hemp seat designed by Fernanda Fajardo, a student at Pratt. “The tire is a symbol of extreme toughness and unwanted filth,” said Fajardo, “while the hemp twine symbolizes the unity and support within the HardCore punk culture.” On the left is Philippe Starck’s lamp for Baccarat (a symbol of the hardcore penthouse culture).

The Private Cloud by Kloker. I imagine that those ladies in yellow dresses would’ve paid money to take a break in this. Add one of Gormley’s naked statues to the mix and we’ve got a showstopper.

Eco-friendly wall coverings by Miss Print (left), made with organic pigment inks. On the right are Jeff Taly and Greg Benson, the designers of our Adirondack Chair and other outdoor furniture. While it looks like Greg is thinking about having some milk, the wall graphics depict the fact that their furniture is made out of recycled milk jugs.

Norman Cherner’s iconic 1958 armchair, shown in natural Redgum. On the right are 1006 Navy® Chairs in a quiet moment before the DWR launch party of the 111 Navy Chair®.

I’ll be posting more images from NYC, and writing about the Hospitality and Design Expo in Las Vegas, so be sure to check our blog this week to see what’s new.