This season’s crop of holiday windows touch on tradition and myth, high tech and high concept. There’s nostalgia at Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Mitsukoshi; food for thought at Barneys New York; technically manipulated scenes at Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, and grand puppets, satirical mannequins and globe-trotting dummies at Printemps, Harvey Nichols and Bergdorf Goodman.
At Herald Square, Macy’s tells the story of Virginia O’Hanlon — of “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” fame — a real girl who, in 1897, wrote to the New York Sun, expressing her doubts about the big guy’s existence. Macy’s has taken a theatrical and high-tech approach creating window “sets” with curtains that rise, synchronized lighting, sound, animated movements and LCD screens.
Lord & Taylor is known for its charming mechanical windows that since 1938 have depicted scenes of the holidays. The retailer this year has taken an egalitarian turn, inviting customers to share favorite holiday memories and traditions over Facebook and in letters. Scenes inspired by the submissions include trimming a tree, a holiday party, picking out a tree, sitting for a family photo, a white Christmas, a child’s first bike, a big family celebration, Christmas baking, a holiday party overflowing onto a fire escape, waiting for Santa and watching holiday TV specials. The customers and stories that inspired each mechanical scene are displayed in the windows.
Japanese department store chain Mitsukoshi interpreted “The Nutcracker” two ways. The Nihonbashi district store in Tokyo features scenes from the classic Christmas tale, while the Ginza store windows use traditional elements mixed with modern touches, such as neon lights shaped like thought bubbles. Various scenes depict Clara, the main character, who dreams of a prince, sleeping in her bed or sitting atop a merry-go-round horse surrounded by fantastical toys and mounds of presents. At Takashimaya in Nihonbashi, shadow puppets in the shapes of rabbits, reindeer, wolves, doves and other animals decorate the holiday windows.
Bloomingdale’s “Happy, Merry, Peace and Love” theme translates into a sleek electronic vision of environs to the north, where great pines and fir trees are blanketed in snow. Close to 100 digital screens assembled in a mosaic format fill the windows and play computer-generated animations of a wintery landscape illuminated by falling snow.
“Wish You Were Here,” the theme of Bergdorf Goodman’s lush, fantastical holiday windows, depicts travel on a grand and quirky scale. A trip to the moon window with a telescopelike contraption was inspired by a 1902 silent film by Georges Méliès, director of the first science-fiction movie; Jules Verne, and Flash Gordon. There’s an elegantly dressed mannequin on top of Pegasus wearing a coat of pom-poms. Maps cover the walls where two world travelers rest beside vintage luggage as cherubs and hot-air balloons hover overhead. Nautical stripes, vintage model boats, clocks and antique diving masks fill another window.
At Saks Fifth Avenue, bubbles seemingly interact with snowflakes on the facade of the New York flagship through state-of-the-art projection technology. Visual effects of two evanescent natural wonders include snow gathering on the ledges, bubbles floating from windows and the entire facade appearing to freeze over. Mapping the landmark building’s details into a computer and creating a vivid 3-D projection made the special effects possible. Fashion found its way into the windows via one-of-a-kind dresses by Calvin Klein, Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta and Proenza Schouler, among others.
There’s fashion at Printemps on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris, which is celebrating the good life with opulent Christmas window displays inspired by the grandeur of France’s chateaus. Modern-day Marie Antoinettes should find plenty of inspiration in puppets designed by Alber Elbaz, which wear miniature versions of his covetable Lanvin tuxedos and dresses.
At Paris’ BHV on Rue de Rivoli, Christmas has gone to the circus. Windows designed by Olivia Ruiz feature a puppet modeled after a French pop singer as the ringleader of a menagerie of quirky creatures, including a miniature girl with three legs and three eyes. In another window, Santa is striking a ballet pose atop a colorful baton, while circus acts are performed by dolls.
Galeries Lafayette, also on Boulevard Haussmann, has taken a cue from musicals such as “Cabaret,” “Hairspray,” “Grease” and “Mamma Mia!”
Harvey Nichols gave windows depicting traditional Christmas songs a kitschy spin. Mannequins with cartoonish, oversize heads and Champagne glasses party to the tune of “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” There’s an homage to “Frosty the Snowman” and a window for “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that’s lined in purple and red tinsel and festooned with disco balls.
Diverging from traditional scenes of families roasting chestnuts or baking Christmas cookies, Barneys New York whipped its own food theme into a froth. Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri and Wolfgang Puck on a giant shrimp are in the throes of a food fight. The Gals of Food will feature reigning female chefs Rachael Ray, Ina Garten and Anne Burrell, who is trapped in the oven.
La Rinascente tapped eight international artists to create window installations primarily using paper, creating a paperland wonderland. The choice of material was intended to be entertaining, magical and also ecological. Vittorio Radice, chief executive officer, said hiring designers and artists is a return to La Rinascente’s roots. After all, Giorgio Armani started his career as a window-dresser there.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye