Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Windows 2008

I can't believe that I have neglected my blog for so long! It's the busiest time of year here, and sales are good, often very brisk - I just returned from my little local Post Office, which was crazy busy as it closes at 5:00 and keeps no holiday hours.
The downside of being so busy at home is that I don't get a chance to get out and look at the city and its splendid Christmas Decorations. The night before Thanksgiving I decided that I'd walk down Madison Avenue and across 57th street and take pictures of the holiday windows, as I did last year. Some stores were just putting the finishing touches up, and most...MOST...had a SALE sign in the window, before Christmas. Very sad, but good for anyone with money to buy. How the shopping rules have changed!
Bergdorf Goodman wins again for most amazing windows. If you can, try to visit and see them for yourself! The store, located at 57th Street and 5th Avenue, is lucky enough to have three sides and often feature very different styles of decor on those sides. The north side, on 58th street, features windows with a retro-1930s-style surrealist view of stylish women with animal-men. Here's one:

The prime spot are the windows on Fifth Avenue - these typically feature the most splendid designs, and this year the theme is "The Four Seasons", with one extra, Holiday, thrown in. Splendidly dressed ladies are bejeweled and set inside crazily decorated windows, crammed with merchandise, animals, decor, textures, gorgeously painted backdrops and amazing lighting for such a small space. It's a visual feast - there's too much to look at, and selling clothing and objects seems to be the least of their agenda. They're little worlds of fantasy that allow one to become a child again. David Hoey is the designer of record, and though the windows are stunning all year long, the Christmas ones are a superb achievement. This is one of the windows, called "Harvest Moon", for fall.

The south side, on 57th Street, features very different windows - as far as I can tell, the theme is "Communication", set in a framework of black & white Baroque graphics reminiscent of the work of the Bibiena Family. That's a beautiful website with lovely examples of their work. If you click on the book pages after the site loads about 20 times, you'll advance to work that I'm talking about. When I studied stage design a million years ago, they were one of the first designers/architects we were taught about - active in the 17th and 18th Century and masters, among other things, of perspective.

Anyway, these windows have a palette of black, red and white, and show another group of beautifully dressed ladies illustrating ways in which we have communicated through history - balloon, bird, snail mail..stylized and crisp. The digital work on the backdrops is wonderful, and must have cost a fortune - I don't want to know what the budget was for these windows! Worth every penny, in my opinion, and a real gift to New York.

I'm not clogging up the blog with all of the pictures - you can see the pictures of these windows and more at my Flickr site...the link to that slideshow is here. You can also check out last year's windows and the spectacular Tony Duquette Tribute.

A window at Tiffany's also on 57th Street.

Ralph Lauren's 72nd Street location, the former Rhinelander Mansion; a north side window.

Steampunk influence and one of Macy's windows.

Barneys' SIMON DOONAN has created a series of colorful windows celebrating the 50th anniversary of the peace sign and hippie culture. Can you believe that it's almost the 40th anniversary of Woodstock?


Contrariwise said...

It's been a long time since I've been to New York during Christmas time. Your photos brought back memories.

Those store windows are fabulous. Thanks for taking the time to post them.

Illuminated Perfume said...

WOW!! These are really pretty, I really like the ones from Bergdorf Goodman. Wish I still lived in NYC...sigh.
Thanks for sharing these and the beautiful jewelry you create.
May I use the photos on my blog is I credit you and provide a link?

OvertheTop said...

You're welcome - I'm happy to be able to get out & about to do this. I wish you could see them, too!

Go ahead, Roxana, and thanks for asking. :)