There are cartoons, and then there’s South Park. Since 1997, the groundbreaking Comedy Central show has skewered American culture, politics, and society via the animated adventures of a few elementary-school boys in small-town Colorado. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker—who also voice many of the main characters—have won multiple Emmys and a Peabody Award for the series, and now they are recreating their primary-colored, always-hilarious world in a holiday window at Barneys as part of our Love Peace Joy Project.
The four central characters—Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny—plus a few of their classmates and a sibling stand in a Madison Avenue window, brought to three-dimensional life with projection mapping by Christie Digital. The characters’ faces and expressions light up and change as they interact with each other. The scene finds the characters staring into their own holiday window, trying to get a better glimpse of the toys therein.
Stone and Parker are thrilled to commemorate their landmark season in this particular fashion. “I love walking around New York and looking at holiday windows because I’m hugely into models, miniatures, and dioramas,” Parker explains. “That’s what I love about the windows, and that’s why it’s exciting—I wanted to see the diorama version of South Park.”
When approached by Barneys for the partnership, Parker imagined a way to broaden that love of dioramas via the idea of a window within a window, a sort of meta miniature. Barneys Creative Director Dennis Freedman helped with his vision. “It came together really fast. We had one meeting with Dennis and his team, and I started talking about 3D elements and if projections on faces would be possible, and they showed us the types of things they’ve done,” Parker says. “Even in that meeting, I said, what about a holiday window within a holiday window?, and everyone agreed quickly that that was it.” From there, it was a matter of figuring out which characters to include, and elements of their world to feature in the foreground (those toys) and background (the downtown of South Park).
The completed window, on display now, echoes another classic bit of holiday pop culture. “I was thinking about my favorite Christmas movie, A Christmas Story, and that first scene where they’re looking at the windows and their noses are pressed against it,” Parker describes. “It’s just such an iconic thing, with kids looking in a window, and it could be cool that you’re looking in a window and they’re looking in a window.” Indeed, not only are the South Park boys’ faces pressed out toward passersby, but Cartman’s rotund tummy and gloved fingers are also comically flattened against the glass.
Shoppers who want to take in the full spectacle of Barneys Love Peace Joy Project windows need not worry about the South Park scene reaching little ears: It’s entirely G-rated. “I’m really excited that this is something from South Park that I can actually show my daughter,” Parker says. “We have our tradition of walking around New York and looking in holiday windows, and it will be fun that one of them is mine.”
Love Peace Joy Project is on display now through January 3, 2017 at our Madison Avenue flagship.
Plus, we’re inviting you to take part in our Love Peace Joy Project via our social campaign #LovePeaceJoyProject in support of Amy Schumer and Leesa Evans’ STYLEFUND and the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation. Find all the details here.