Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Manhattan's Christmas Windows - The 2012 Tour and Review

The magic of the holidays in Manhattan has begun. Come hither, and peek behind the curtain into Bergdorf's cabinet of fabulosities....
The girl with the wild eyes and her poodle act (left); and
the guardian of the miniature mannequins (right).

Composed of different "acts" this year's theme was Vaudeville shows and performers of the 1930s and the Art Deco era. Bergdorf Goodman never disappoints when it comes to their holiday windows. Never. Always over the top and full of visual drama, this is what a storefront in New York City during the holiday season should be. 
Icy glass reflections of the Jazz Age. 
An odd couple out for a night at the theater.

I can't say that for all of them this year though. The windows at Bloomingdale's featured these odd microscopic dolls in a setting with a lot of spare space. Only after seeing an ad on television with similar imagery, did I figure out that there was a Cirque du Soleil theme. Tiffany's was equally disappointing with staid dollhouse-looking rooms. They were nicely done, but didn't grab me. Maybe it's the economic environment, but shoppers and tourists alike need something to lift their spirits. Even in bleak times, people come to New York to see a spectacle. Overall, Fifth Avenue let me down this year. (I haven't made it to Macy's or Lord & Taylor yet.) 
 Feathers and crystalline light of the Roaring 20s.
The finesse and flair of the visual department is evident by the birds' eye perspective of these bawdy ladies enjoying music and playing instruments in this black and white window.
But wait....there's more!

Barneys opted for the easy way out this year- a video in collaboration with Disney called "Electric Holiday". It is a loop of the story of Minnie Mouse's love for a Lanvin dress with a side ruffle (a girl after my own heart). She becomes bewitched by the dress and consumed in a starstruck Parisian Fashion Week daydream featuring stylish heavyweights like Lady Gaga, Daphne Guinness, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz, and other well-known stylists, designers, photographers, and magazine editors.
In a clever merge of haute couture with adorableness, Minnie's dream continues with familiar and beloved Disney characters elongated for the Paris catwalk. The crowd on the sidewalk in front of Barneys cheered with laughter at an expressionless Goofy in his hipster gear as he marched to the hypnotic electronic beat. In the end, Minnie gets a surprise Christmas gift from her longtime beau, Mickey - guess what was in the big box?! It was disappointing that Barneys didn't have their usual window outlandishness, but the animation and story line were really cute.
Anthropologie's usual stunning displays made from simple, everyday objects and materials.
The Saks windows tell the story of the deconstruction of snowflakes and the science behind them. The bulk of the display consisted of lame kinetic figures. I've honestly seen better moving figures on front lawns in the outer boroughs and suburbs. By far, the most appealing part was the kaleidoscope imagery above and the digital chalkboard-like drawing of the reindeer below.
The view that everyone in Midtown is clamoring to see.
Bendel's celebrates with a golden Miss New Year floating from the rafters in a giant glass of champagne. 

Happy 2013, everyone!

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