Every year, beloved New York City department stores partake in the age-old tradition of swapping out their standard designer window displays for dazzling glass-encased wintry spectacles. Around mid-November, Fifth Avenue becomes a feast for the eyes with glittering portrayals of the holidays, winter wonderlands and the warm, festive feelings of love and nostalgia that go along with them. The 2017 season has already proven to be an exciting one for window shoppers, with luxury retailers pulling out all of the stops to decorate their flagship exteriors.
But for the out-of-staters who steer clear of NYC this time of year, fear not! We're rounding up all of Manhattan's most spectacular holiday displays as they're unveiled, so you can get in on the seasonal cheer from the comfort of your own home — which is probably preferable to pushing and shoving your way through a crowd of fur-clad tourists on Madison Avenue anyway.
Barneys New York
Barneys New York collaborated with artists Simon and Nikolai Haas of The Haas Brothers on its winter window display, titled "Haas for the Holidays." The Haas Brothers typically explore aesthetic themes relating to nature in their work, thus the luxury retailer's Madison Avenue displays create an imaginative universe using Haas animations and characters coexisting through eras from the beginning of the earth to the distant future. "We were thrilled to collaborate with the Haas Brothers to tackle complicated themes through a unique lens of playful environments and characters," said Matthew Mazzucca, Creative Director of Barneys New York. "The result is a fun and engaging concept that celebrates individuality, inclusiveness and love."
This holiday season, the windows at Bergdorf Goodman are a series of glass-contained love letters to seven cultural institutions in New York City: The American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Museum of the Moving Image, The New York Botanical Garden, New York Philharmonic, New-York Historical Society and UrbanGlass. Entitled "To New York With Love," David Hoey, the mastermind behind the department store's visuals, captures the city's appreciation for the arts by creating fantastical renderings of the various institutions' subject matter — see Swarovski crystal-encrusted dinosaur skeletons, papier-mâché New Yorkers, a neon orchestra and dancing mannequins.
Henri Bendel celebrates fearless creators through its playful holiday setup made in partnership with 3D greeting card company Lovepop. "It has been a pleasure working with the Lovepop team on the flagship holiday installation this year," said Henri Bendel creative cirector Pina Ferlisi. "As disrupters in their industry, Lovepop is an incredible group of risk takers. We love their more is more approach to surprise and delight their customers, something we believe in when speaking to our own Bendel girls." Together, the two delight Bendel's holiday shoppers with a stunning interior display of over 30,000 butterflies fluttering from the ceiling and enchant Fifth Avenue passerbys with a whimsical window display of paper-made flora and fauna bursting out of the retailer’s signature hat box.
Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor's 80th annual holiday windows are filled with graciously lit classic wintry and Christmas scenes to go along with its theme: "The Best and The Brightest." The Fifth Avenue windows take visitors on a whimsical journey, as seen through the lens of enchanted snow globes. In addition to the Fifth Avenue display, Lord & Taylor partnered with the Hallmark Channel to line its windows on 38th Street with special animations that celebrate "Countdown to Christmas," the network's programming event.
Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue partnered with Disney to retell the story of Snow White in each of its 14 Fifth Avenue-facing windows. The floral, light-filled window vignettes bring the classic fairytale to life, through animated depictions of different scenes from the film: There's a twirling Snow White, a group of heigh-hoing dwarfs, a Wicked Queen with a ripe-as-ever poisonous apple and a magic mirror. But for the ultimate holiday treat, the luxury retailer also tasked four designers — Alberta Ferretti, Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier and Marchesa — to fill its 49th and 50th street windows with one-of-a-kind princess gowns fit for a modern-day Snow White, which are set amidst a lush backdrop of real moss and gold-painted furniture.