In 1960 a row of brownstones across from Ormond Gigli’s studio were about to be demolished. Gigli had a vision of 43 women in formal dress posing in the windows of the façade. So, he secured permission from the city for the project, and the day before the buildings were razed Gigli worked like a film director with a bullhorn, directing the women where to stand, including the demolition supervisor’s wife, and Gigli’s own wife. This “self assigned” image became Gigli’s signature piece, and one of the most iconic in the history of fashion photography
Ormond Gigli (American, b.1925), famous in the 1950s for his photographs of theatre, celebrities, dance, exotic persons, and places, was born in New York City. His photographs were featured in prominent magazines, such as Life, Time, Paris Match, Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, and many others. He has taken the portraits of Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg, John F. Kennedy, Halston, Gina Lollobrigida, Diana Vreeland, Giancarlo Giannini, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Sir Laurence Olivier, Alan Bates, and Richard Burton, as well as fellow Fine artist, Marcel Duchamp. He was welcomed backstage on Broadway as readily as he was in the private lives of celebrities. Some of Gigli's favorite photographs were international award-winners, such as Girls in the Windows (1960). During the 1970s and 1980s, Gigli was involved in advertising photography, in addition to continuing his editorial work. His assignments took him around the world many times. Today, his photographs appear in prominent galleries throughout the world.