From skating in Bryant Park to the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller center, New York is full of holiday traditions. None is perhaps as delightful as the magical transformation that occurs in the city’s best department store windows. All within a 10-block radius, our haute 5 Christmas windows are smart, silly, decadent and full (and I mean full) of glitter. We recommend starting at Barney’s at 60th and working your way down to Saks, at 50th. When you’re done, stop by Dean and Deluca’s on 49th for a hot chocolate, where you can admire Rockefeller Center in all its holiday glory (from the warm indoors). So put on your hat and scarf, grab your friends or family, and get walking!
Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue
Hands down, the season’s most beautiful and opulent window displays can be found at Bergdorf Goodman, just south of Central Park. This year, Bergdorf’s Visual Presentation Director, David Hoey, took his inspiration from stories of Lewis Carroll (including Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass) to compose “A Compendium of Curiosities.” And what a compendium it is!
Decked out in lush Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs, the Queen of Hearts and her court hold a lavish black and red tea party. The characters hang perpendicular on a wall, allowing us to see the scene from a bird’s eye view. Alice meets the Cheshire cat in a pastel fairyland in one window while “The Walrus and The Carpenter” window features the most dapper walrus and couture carpenter you have ever seen. In yet another window, an elegant woman in dark Isaac Mizrahi furs is flanked by two very regal, life-size polar bears.
In the most breath-taking window, which is filled entirely of mirrors, Alice (in a shimmering Pamela Rowland gown) looks through about a million looking glasses. What makes Bergdorf rise above the rest is the amazing attention to detail. A corner of the looking glass room features silver picture frames, a monkey statue, a unicorn head, a silver crab and an antique clock- all with reflecting surfaces.
A page in an oversized antique typewriter quotes Through the Looking Glass: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast.” The Bergdorf windows feature about 600 impossible things, all brought together with decadent detail and a fanciful sense of humor that should not be missed.