NEW YORK — Lord & Taylor unveiled its 78th annual holiday window display on Thursday evening, themed “A Few of Our Favorite Things,” and it’s clear that whoever dreamed up the concept has a sweet tooth.
One window, a riff on a traditional Parisian bakery, is filled with treats rotating on pedestals and conveyor belts. Cakes stenciled with reindeer and holly berries twirl as gingerbread cookies spin below. Pastel macaroons are piled high on shelves and cupcakes are topped with ganache snowmen, reindeer and polar bears.
The next window is devoted to a large Victorian gingerbread house, carried on a pedestal by an Army of gingerbread men. The house is elaborately decorated with icing. Filigree details surround windows, line balcony railings and there are flower designs on the facade. Icicles and even roof tiles are drawn with the sugary substance. Images of giant gingerbread men projected in the background look hungry enough to eat a house.
A white cuckoo clock, which captures the anticipation of the celebrations to come, looks like it was dusted with sugar. An owl replaces the cuckoo, popping out from behind latticed windows. Rabbits run in a loop beneath the cuckoo and squirrels chase each other. Three mice in top hats and carrying canes slide in and out of view. One of the pulleys of the clock is shaped like an acorn with a squirrel curled around the top. On top of the clock, a nest holds a mother bird and her two babies. “One of the birds flew off the clock and ended up in the basement,” a member of the window team was overheard saying. “We had to fish it out. I think it’s a great symbol — a bird that wants to fly away.”
The last window is an ornate mansion with 24 windows counting down the days to Christmas. Each window opens to reveal an iconic holiday image such as a child making a snow angel, a cardinal on a branch, a red sleigh and snow-covered white fence.
“The windows are our gift to New York City,” said Lord & Taylor president Liz Rodbell, just before Austin Mahone started the celebration, performing two of his hits and a rendition of “The Christmas Song.” “We love you, Austin!” women screamed when he took the stage.
Asked how he viewed the holiday season, Gerald Storch, chief executive officer of Hudson’s Bay Co., Lord & Taylor’s parent, said, “Everybody’s talking about earning reports from the third quarter. Black Friday always comes. Christmas always comes. What comes before is a lot of hype.”
Speaking about the weather, he added, “it’s warm. That’s no good. It could change.”