Around mid-November, New York City becomes a feast for the eyes with glittering portrayals of the holidays, winter wonderlands and the festive feelings of love and nostalgia that go along with them. It's not the swarms of tourists wrapped up in a million layers of clothes, sipping on mulled wine and hot chocolate that contribute to these warm fuzzies; rather, it's the exceptional window art decorating the flagship exteriors of big retailers like Bergdorfs and Saks Fifth Avenue.
But since not everyone can make the trip to the Big Apple or wants to spend an evening trying to move past the masses of bundled people, we're bringing you the mood-boosting benefits of these dazzling displays to a small screen (or any screen) near you. Below, we've rounded up the city's most notable holiday windows — they're not to be missed. Happy holidays!
This holiday season, the windows at Bergdorf Goodman invite Fifth Avenue passersby to join in the fun of nostalgic games. Titled "Bergdorf Good Times," the glass displays are comprised of old-fashioned frivolity, including a spirited game of musical chairs, a retro slumber party, a psychedelic pinball machine and glittering game of chess. David Hoey, the mastermind behind the department store's visuals, employed a range of mediums, such as neon, Italian mosaic tile, needlecraft, soft sculpture, custom painted finishes and embellished surfaces, to deliver a dazzling visual experience. "It is our privilege to be able to bring out our show-business side, producing these windows with as much detail and pizzazz as we can fit into them," Hoey said in an official press statement.
The Bloomingdale's windows on Lexington Avenue are "Out of This World," literally. This year, the retailer journeyed to the cosmos to create a glass-encased galaxy filled with futuristic fashion, friends and fun. From a silver flying saucer to space dogs and an orchestra of robotic arms, the window displays give onlookers a peek into a super-chic extraterrestrial planet.
David Yurman's holiday windows transport viewers to an arctic wonderland, where snow and ice form mesmerizing geometric patterns on windowpanes and turn branches into glistening sculptures. "Winter creates a new world," David Yurman, co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a press release. "It's a place of beauty, magic and wonder, inspiring us to feel like children again." In addition to showing off the natural beauty of winter on the exterior of the store, the brand is donating 20% of the sales made from each North Star bracelet and necklace to Polar Bears International through the end of 2019.
For its inaugural holiday season, Hudson Yards commissioned artist Christopher Schardt to install a series of star-shaped sculptures in the Public Square and Gardens. At 5 p.m. every evening from Nov. 29 through Jan. 5, the giant stars illuminate and display moving images of plants, birds and abstract designs. This immersive light installation is entitled "Lyra," which is inspired by the five-star constellation of the same name, and will be set to traditional holiday tunes. "Lyra is intended to bring people together, creating a series of one-of-a-kind experiences to be enjoyed with those around you, so there's no better time to introduce this work than at the holidays," said Schardt in a press release. "No matter where you are within Hudson Yards, my hope is that Lyra inspires a moment of childlike wonder."
The holiday windows at Macy's star Santa Girl, a character who's determined to take a proactive role in gift giving. The store's National Director of Window Presentation, Roya Sullivan, combined modern technological and interactive elements with old school artistry to form a visually interesting and imaginative narrative. Santa Girl's story is told in six windows, each of which contain chromed parts, LED lights and 3D objects.
For its Big Apple holiday debut, Nordstrom transformed its new 20,000 square-foot, seven-floor space with 50 miles of twinkling lights, more than 700 Scandinavian-inspired ornaments, 120 trimmed trees and 150 chandeliers, snowflakes and candle wreaths. The newly opened flagship chose a festive Scandinavian theme as a nod to its store founder John W. Nordstrom, who was a Swedish immigrant. In addition to hosting brunch with Santa and lighting the Menorah during Hanukkah, Nordstrom is celebrating the season with Best Gift EVER!, a temporary holiday shop curated by a variety of notable characters including RuPaul, Mary J. Blige, Grace Coddington, Barbie Ferreira, Bill Nye the Science Guy and Chloë Sevigny.
Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue brings the enchanting world of Disney's "Frozen 2" to Midtown. The wintry, light-filled window vignettes bring the new fairytale to life through recreations of Elsa's journey as she navigates her way through the four spirits of nature — wind, fire, water and earth. The display also features larger-than-life figures of Olaf, Kristoff and Anna.
Tiffany & Co.
In Tiffany & Co.'s holiday windows, porcelain mice package blue boxes with all sorts of luxury objects including crystal glassware and pearl necklaces. The jewelry retailer is also ringing in the holidays with a men's pop-up shop, which will be open from Dec. 5 through Jan. 6. The dedicated men's shop features six of the world's most recognized sports trophies, as well as barware, home objects and games. Custom Tiffany® x Spalding® basketballs will be available in limited quantities.