Written by Bwog Staff
You don’t need a New York City budget to enjoy a New York City Christmas. Every year, department stores create fantastic window displays to lure in the out-of-towners, and Angela Velez braved the tourists and shuffled along a block behind railings to bring you this report–Christmas cheer is optional, but recommended.
First stop was Macy’s, where this year’s theme was “Miracle on 34th Street.” Macy’s had pretty standard window displays, featuring the always classic yet slightly creepy moving figurine dolls. The windows included one of Susan Walker waving to Santa from her living room window and Kris Kringle as a mall Santa in “Macy’s Santa Land.” The best of this set was the last window, which mimicked the court scene from the movie, complete with moving paparazzi figures and tense looks on all the plastic people.
Next came Lord and Taylor’s, which offered a glimpse at different holiday celebrations of the world, including those of the wealthy and vaguely ethnic. Viewers could stand behind gold railings and watch 5th Avenue figurines celebrate the holidays from their mansion, complete with a view of the Met or observe two Hispanic-ish characters gather hay with their burro in front of a spectacularly glittery waterfall. Lord and Taylor wins for the railings and “international” elements–but it looked like a slapdash shopfront compared to Bloomingdale’s.
While significantly less creepy than last year’s displays, which featured synchronized dancing American girl dolls, this year’s windows at The American Girl Place had the politically correct figurines trapped inside revolving snow globes, caroling and playing in the plastic flakes. These were not nearly as elaborate as the department stores, but head and shoulders above Disney’s lame displays. Also, this was the only store out of the bunch that made people wait in line just to go inside.
The theme behind Saks Fifth Avenue’s displays was “Snow People,” a children’s book “available exclusively at Saks.” Smiling snowpeople glided over hills and rode taxis through a snowperson-populated New York City (including a snowwoman Statue of Liberty!). This display was much more whimsical and cheerful than the other displays, plus the snowpeople’s outfits (bow ties and blazers) were amazing.
Next came the visually stunning but Christmas cheer-less displays at Bergdorf Goodman. Regal mannequins dressed in shimmer and gold posed, one in an elephant carriage, another caught in a dance with a reptile (?) skeleton, while a third sang. Poor Santa would feel out of place in his boring red suit and black boots.
Finally, 5th Avenue’s piece de resistance: Bloomingdale’s, the best by far. Based on the stories and characters created by children ages 6-12, Bloomingdale’s had artists work with the children to realize their vision. Each scene was bright and eye catching and had obviously originated from the fantastic imagination of a child. In one window, a five-eyed alien queen with a courtly frog battled an alligator for a golden leaf, while in another, a candy robot, with a “human heart” grinned and waved. The best part of this window display was seeing the kids’ original entries for the displays, and comparing them to the finished windows.