As cliché as it sounds- it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Even scientifically speaking- shopping produces endorphins- our happiness drug; is there any other time that we shop more than just before Christmas? That, paired with the out-of-this-world adverts kindly created by NYC classics like Henri Bendel and Saks Fifth Avenue, have us practically eating out of the palm of their deliciously gorgeous, string-lit, ornament-strewn, hand. But before any holiday purchases are made, some window shopping is in order. The window displays of NYC are a little piece of magic created intricately for anyone who still believes in Christmas. And while yes, it’s a ploy to get you inside, you can still enjoy the beauty for what it’s worth- and maybe score some incredible stocking stuffers (Think Bendel bangle or Serendipity-esque gloves from Bloomies).
Here’s our favorite Fashion displays Holiday 2011.
First and foremost, we have to introduce the fashion grandmaster of all holiday windows, famous for glamour style. This year’s feature vignette scenes from the children’s book, Who Makes the Snow? With one of a kind pieces by epic designers like Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen, amidst the precious scenes, our favorite being the snow taken out of a bathtub in buckets (the contraption looks straight out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).
We’ve all anticipated something great to come out of the Big Brown Bag but the extent of our imaginations couldn’t have reached as high as these extra-large, beyond lifelike, scenes of Santa Claus. In one he’s flying above NYC with a jetpack in a silver windbreaker, in another- he is ice skating with Rudolph, frosty and a kid in central park (snow tipped trees and empire state building complete the background). These cute and funky depictions encased within Bloomies makes it nearly impossible to go inside and get your own Big Brown Bag.
Leave it to the minds of Barney’s to create something only Gaga could dream up at their 60th street location. To entice her ever-adoring fans, the windows have been transformed into scenes of her fantasy life. Take her blonde hair covered boudoir- everything from the chaise lounge, to the rug is designed and decorated with hair- we have to admit- it’s the prettiest thing we’ve seen in her hair since the bow. From her machine to her constellation, these Gaga-inspired windows are a must-see.
This is how shopping should be experienced. You can look into a room, and suddenly dive completely into an ocean jewelry mecca, with gorgeous blues and diamonds glistening everywhere. Then as you walk, you’re taken into an Alaskan paradise with a white fur coated eskimo, talking to wolves, polar bears, moose, among tons of other animals (all albino apparently). The walls beautifully tufted and a chandelier adorns the ceiling, to a snowy mountaintop background. Seriously though, are those tea-cup balancing, diamond and pearl-encrusted penguins for sale also?
Lord and Taylor
With a family fun theme in full fledge, Lord and Taylor takes the cake for sweetest display. Dolls in perfect fashion snow sled outside to a beautiful winter wonderland filled with hand cut snow flakes, a stunning white carousel, and a snow covered bridge. Some dolls go to meet Santa in a crayon colored neighborhood, others decorate a tree celebrating everything. This is the family you wish you had when you were little, in doll form (and no, not in the creepy Coraline way).
This year Macy’s has brought out the big guns with two themes. The first, a holiday village theme with kids caroling, looking wishful, the second a futuresque theme with rocket ships and elves. While the kids are wishing for a great Christmas, the elves go to the north star to grant their wishes. Celebrity ornaments from designers like Jessica Simpson, Michael Kors, and Betsey Johnson are on display as well, can you spot them?
It’s good to know that if they had commissioned Henri Bendel to do the Statue of Liberty, she’d be posed forever in a sauntering catwalk, bra out, covered in over 3,000 jelly beans. Her backdrop would be a crystallized Brooklyn bridge, a mini-street and even a little Bendel hatbox graffiti. In the apartments behind her are girls parting for Christmas, and a girl texting on her couch in her apartment- a little ridiculous in detail but we love it.
Walking down 5th ave will be especially merry with Tiffany’s magical new holiday display. They’ve transformed their windows into a amazing, winter scenes that sparkles. Within one of the mirrored Harry Potter-esque peephole, lies a field of carousel horses and rods, among dead trees and a warm, lit carousel (which moves, of course). Diamonds glisten against the pale winter blue splendor and for a quick second, you’re transported to your own little wonderland.