Few places rival New York City around the holiday season. The city is known for classic festivities like the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman department store. Following tradition, Manhattanites walk down 5th Avenue to see the Bergdorf’s windows and check out the other notable designer stores that have decorated exteriors. Stores like Tiffany & Co., Fendi, and Cartier are known for their famed decorations, and a snowflake adorns the crosswalk just south of Bergdorf’s to add just the right amount of holiday spirit.
The Bergdorf windows are more than just a decorated storefront, however. Each year, the store picks a theme that designers are asked to adhere to. Those designers are then given the opportunity to decorate one store window each for the duration of the holiday season. This year, that theme was “Destination Extraordinary.” The windows depicted exotic scenes that revealed a little something about each designer’s personality and style.
The Bergdorf windows are known not only for the outstanding fashion, but also the design of the windows themselves. “The Book Club,” by Marc Jacobs Resort, marries these two aspects perfectly by utilizing the window design to give off a camouflage effect to the eye. What makes this window special is the need for people to stop and look for awhile in order to see the entire picture. After taking the time, viewers are able to put together more and more of the picture, piecing together what the designer originally intended the message of the design to be.
On the other end of the spectrum, in “The Scenic Route,” created by designer C.D. Greene, the design is the first thing to catch the eye. The turquoise color and shimmery fabric of the jumpsuit stands out fiercely against the brown and dark green tones in the swamp background.
Though “The Scenic Route” and “The Book Club” transport the viewer to a lush, Amazonian spot, this takes a sharp turn at “The Winter Garden.” The window portrays the model as a butterfly catcher. With butterflies strewn through the model’s hair and resting on her hand, the scene is set as docile and elegant. The backdrop is limited to one color so that similar to “A Scenic Route,” the attention is set on the design: a stunning white and gold gown that is reminiscent of a princess fairytale.
“The Hitchhiker” takes onlookers back into the ’60s, into the world of the John Lennon-style glasses and mink coats. Color was back in style, and not just one color — as much color as humanly possible. The window itself seems to draw specific inspiration from Woodstock. The model is posed on saddleback, contemplating her next move. The “live in the moment” mentality that derived from Woodstock and the hippie movement is vividly represented in this window.
On the whole, Bergdorf’s holiday windows expertly showcase the artistry and craftsmanship of the designer fashions, as well as the art of a good window display. With inspirations spanning the better part of a century, the whole color spectrum, and exotic locations near and far, the “Destination: Extraordinary” theme truly transports passersby from the streets of Manhattan to the holiday vacation of their dreams.
So while you’re still fresh in the holiday spirit, make sure to include the Bergdorf windows as a stop on your holiday to-do list.