Taking a stroll along Fifth Avenue to see all the magnificent storefront window displays is a must do holiday tradition in New York City. Nothing gets me more in the holiday spirit. As the windows are completed around November 22 every year, taking a Thanksgiving eve jaunt to see them is a fantastic way to walk off a few calories of your enormous feast. If you’re planning on visiting after December 6, I like to start by taking the subway to Rockefeller Center (@ 47-50th Street) to see the towering Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza, just adjacent to the legendary ice skating ring. Then I work my way north up Fifth Avenue, eventually ending up at my absolutely favorite windows – at Bergdorf Goodman. I don’t think there’s much debate that Bergdorf’s represents the pinnacle of holiday window displays. Standing there on the street, you can’t help but hear the constant gasps of “WOW!”. Amongst the crushing crowd (not a scene for the claustrophobic/faint of heart), mouth after mouth hang agape, as on-lookers stare in disbelief at their utter magnificence. No other store holds a candle, in my opinion.
I give props to Cartier and Fendi for their use of twinkling lights, wrapping their entire buildings’ facades in a red sparkling bow and a “diamond studded” belt. Saks Fifth Avenue is always on the top of my list year-round for the beauty of their window displays, and I was quite impressed with Henri Bendel’s windows this year which had a sort of dominatrix’s New Year’s Eve party complete with a spread of decadent faux edibles and glasses overflowing with rose champagne. They definitely up-ed the ante this year. Despite the recession, all of the stores on Fifth Avenue seemed much more opulent than 2008.
And Bergdorf’s windows, designed for the last 13 years by genius, David Hoey, were no exception. Even though I always think that no year can top the last, my expectations are always exceeded. The east side of the street/men’s windows are dedicated entirely to the actual sets and delightful characters from this year’s hit movie “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” which were incredibly fun and adorable, and a favorite of kids and adults alike. The west side of the street/women’s windows are a “Compendium of Curiosities” featuring an “Alice in Wonderland” Lewis Carroll meets MC Escher theme, and serving as backdrops to the spectacular costumery of Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, Monique Lhuillier, Pamela Roland, and more. A triumphant spectacular spectacular!
I HIGHLY recommend you go for a visit, if you’re in the area between now and January 6, 2010. If you aren’t able to make it, plan a trip for next year! In the meantime, here’s a gallery of some of my favorite photographs of this year’s windows. To view last year’s Bergdorf Goodman windows and a sampling of the best window displays of 2009, please visit my website, www.eyeforstyle.net.