NEW YORK — Barneys New York has cooked up quite a royal welcome in its holiday windows — just in time for the arrival here today of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
The retailer on Monday put the crowning touch on one of its four Christmas windows at its Madison Avenue flagship, unveiling a satirical homage to Prince Charles and his new wife, as well as celebration of some late, great designers.
Barneys mailers, advertising and shopping bags also pitch the regal theme for Christmas, marking the first time the store has aligned all of its holiday marketing under one motif and the first time its signature black-and-silver shopping bag has a Christmas look.
"It sort of hit me earlier in the year, when everyone was talking about Marie Antoinette and Camilla and Charles. The zeitgeist was getting very, very regal, and you know all of our customers are Wall Street kings, label queens and Jewish princesses," said Simon Doonan, Barneys' creative director.
"It's a regal moment," he added, noting that the couple is to arrive today, and that director Sofia Coppola is making a movie about Marie Antoinette. The prince and the former Camilla Parker Bowles will lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site and dedicate a British memorial park before moving on to Washington and San Francisco.
Barneys usually unveils its windows later in November, but accelerated the project to coincide with the royal visit. "Today, we have been frantically installing the windows. We want them to be a big welcome to Charles and Camilla," Doonan said.
The one window that was completed Monday afternoon depicts Charles and Camilla relaxing in their bathroom, with Charles in the tub, having a shave and clutching the men's hairspray called Consort. Camilla wears a Lanvin dress and mixes a gin and tonic. The caricatures are by Robert Grossman.
The window also shows Charles' sons, Princes William and Harry, wearing Juicy Couture sweatshirts that say "king of the universe" and "heir to the throne." Rod Keenan designed crown hats for the boys. William sits on a throne, which is a regal toilet inscribed with "royal flush."Other windows will be unveiled later this week. One has a cake theme, with Marie Antoinette in an Olivier Theyskens 20-foot-wide dress.
A third window pays homage to people from Queens, N.Y., "an incredibly fertile place," Doonan said, noting that the borough's native sons and daughters include Donald Trump, Fran Drescher, Lucy Liu and Tony Bennett.
The fourth window is titled "The Label Kings and Queens of Yore" and showcases a giant crown festooned with portraits of great American fashion designers who are deceased, including Bill Blass, Rudi Gernreich, Claire McCardell, Halston, Mainbocher, Donald Brooks and Pauline Trigère.
"It celebrates these people," Doonan said. "It's not funereal."
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