As a New Yorker by choice and a New Englander by birth, to me, anything that says “holidays” should involve snow and cold amid bright lights, numb toes and rosy cheeks. So strolling down Fifth Avenue today, in search of the city’s most stylish holiday window displays, felt like a bit of a disconnect. It’s difficult for my brain to process Christmas carols when the temperature has me stripping off layers of jackets and sweaters block by block. The gorgeous and ever-creative windows, however, soon had me forgetting (almost) that it felt more like May than November. From Lord & Taylor on 40th Street, all the way to Bergdorf Goodman on 57th, elegant displays on this strip of top retail real estate are a journey through time this year.
Lord & Taylor flashed back 150 years with nostalgic displays and cards printed with reminders of the past.
Ten blocks north, I snuck a glimpse of Saks windows (which don’t officially unveil until Monday), where displays were reminiscent of the 20s and 30s with Deco inspired displays highlighted by glittery Flapper-esque mannequins twirling before snowflake orbs.
To complete the time-travel theme of this journey uptown, Bergdorf’s wowed with a modern, avante garde theme (think sweaters on stark white reindeer forms) that traces elegance through the day–from afternoon through the wee hours.
As for jewelers,
Cartier is wrapped in its trademark red ribbon, and windows hinge on a minimalist “Love” theme with stark white backgrounds.
Tiffany’s remain under wraps (not that the cardboard teaser signs—typically elegant for Tiffany—that blocked every window kept tourists from lining up for snapshots)
Along with Tiffany, Barneys windows also are a work in progress. Employees were on display, scurrying to complete a holiday tribute to Andy Warhol. As style guru and Barneys creative director Simon Doonan told JCKstyle in the fall issue, “The best use of our windows is to generate electricity around the company.”
Judging from the people standing gawking at even the setting-up process, and the tourists pouring into the city for holiday activities, Barney’s and the rest of the big brand retailers in New York are succeeding yet again this year at generating a lot of buzz simply by harnessing the power of the looking glass.