I don’t know about you guys, but every year, I am always a fan of holiday window displays that come from the major department stores in New York City, such as Barneys, Bendels, and Bergdorf Goodman. If you have seen the documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, you know just how much work goes into putting together the fantastic window displays that last from mid-November until after Christmas. Believe me, it’s been a dream to be in New York around Christmas time just to be able to walk up and down 5th Avenue, gazing at the carefully thought out displays with all the designer clothing making an appearance.
Barneys New York had the privilege of having film director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, costume and production designer Catherine Martin install the window displays. The displays draw a crowd, gathered outside in the frigid cold New York air to see the theatrical elements put forth by Luhrmann and Martin. The window display was titled “Baz Dazzled,” after Luhrmann himself. The windows were plenty whimsical, each centered on a specific word such as “Love,” “Truth,” and “Freedom,” with the scenes creating a story centered around the world. The windows are considered a “sensory” experience, filled with woodland creatures, ice dancers, and larger than life sets. The sets are synced to Pentatonix, the acapella obsession at the moment. Some of the windows feature kinetic sculptures, mesmerizing guests with it’s awe-inspiring movement.
Lord & Taylor’s windows took us back to a vintage, whimsical time with their windows, depicting an enchanted mansion before the holidays. The windows take you through the story, beginning on the ground, nestled in a forest. The windows open up to an inviting scene of wonderful treasures. They had an essence of childhood associated with them. Lord & Taylor introduced video wall technology into its windows for the very first time. These screens, juxtaposed with the intricate set designs and beautifully handmade costumes, gave traditional elegance a contemporary twist. The window scenes conveyed a look of a Victorian Christmas scene, complete with traditional carolers at the unveiling of the window display.
Bergdorf Goodman’s windows were centered around the theme of the arts.Designer David Hoey, the man behind the windows, pulled from the word “inspired” for the theme of the windows. Each of the windows was themed around different arts – fine, applied and practical – such as literature, architecture, painting, theater, music, etc. There were more than 100 artists and artisans who contributed with the window displays this year. The content of the windows were made of a blend of art and craft related to the window topic. For example, the architecture window is constructed from paper and old blueprints. The windows married traditional craftsmanship with the revival of old school techniques.
Macy’s, known for their “Believe” campaign and annual Thanksgiving parade, had the theme of “Santa’s Journey to the Stars.” Many of the sculptures in the displays are centered around the moon, stars and other celestial figures. The windows combine magical storytelling with the tradition of storytelling in something that pays homage to this era’s tech savvy child and a nostalgic dream to journey with Santa.
Henri Bendel’s windows brought the illustrations of Al Hirschfeld to life. Hirschfeld’s drawings of celebrities and Broadway performers ran in the New York Times for over 70 years. Hirschfeld’s drawings of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Woody Allen, Sarah Jessica Parker and Carol Channing, were all transformed into sculptures as the main centerpieces for the windows. Inside the store, you can find Hirschfeld’s drawing on display.
Sak’s Fifth Avenue windows allude to the 1920s, when Saks first opened, and anything seemed possible. The windows are themed around Art Deco, showing in the light and music choices. The windows depict fairy tales done in an Art Deco style with traditional New York landmarks. The windows depicted scenes such as Rumplestiltskin spinning straw into gold in the subway tunnels, and Rapunzel swinging her hair around the Empire State Building.The show will be the first of its kind, integrating LEDs,strobes, up-lights, video projections and music into a stunning program that is bigger and more brilliant than ever before. The lighting interacts with the projected elements, producing stunning results that turn the facade of the luxury retailer into a traffic-stopping spectacle.
Lastly, the Tiffany & Co. windows were themed around the sophistication of New York in the 50s and 60s. The iconic Tiffany blue boxes and keys were depicted on billboards, in the back of taxis cabs and around Central Park. A light show, inspired by the fireworks display created for the Tiffany Diamond at the 1939 New York World’s Fair 75 years ago, illuminates the store’s façade every 15 minutes from now until January 2015.