Even to gullible children, the idea of Santa Claus was kind of freaky, but hey, the guy brought gifts – a lot of gifts! What’s not to like?! And then overlay the birth of the baby Jesus, born to the Virgin Mary (what is a virgin anyway?!), the Three Kings, the shining North Star; all put together it was pretty confusing – but then there were the lights, the decorations, Christmas cookies, time off from school and presents! It was wonderful!
Christmas takes on a very different meaning, and becomes a very different experience as an adult. We have figured out who Santa is, and are likely still confounded by the Virgin Mary.
Then there are obligations, expenses, incredible expectations, and unfulfilled hopes, wishes and desires. Being around children with their unabashed exuberance is one joyful way to re-experience the magic of Christmas, but there is another way; witness the wonder and unbridled fantasy of the season’s Fifth Avenue windows at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. The theme this year?, ‘Holidays On Ice’ – a curiously surreal mash-up of some of the years red-letter-days, as seen though the lens of a winter-wonderland. Fantastic!
‘April Fools’ an inverted Tour de Force of Ice
David Hoey and his creative team in Visual Presentation at Bergdorf-Goodman work behind the scenes pulling out all of the stops for the Winter holiday season, and what they produce is a wonder to behold each year. Approximately 100 people over the course of the last year worked together to make the magic happen for the holiday windows “Holidays on Ice”.
Unlike some of the holiday shop windows in other stores that appeal to the broadest age range and demographic, the windows at Bergdorf’-Goodman are extremely sophisticated and truly over the top!
Hoey and his windows team dazzle with deceptively simple and quiet elements of surprise. This year’s holiday windows celebrate Arbor Day, the Fourth of July, April Fool’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Halloween, while the avenue’s smaller windows continue in theme with Thanksgiving, Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve and Groundhog Day, all cast in a frozen landscape. I think that the ‘creatives’ at Bergdorf-Goodman just needed some structure to hook their rich ideas on to; for me the windows are about wonderment, fantasy and magic, not unlike my childhood experiences of Christmas.
When asked how he would describe the windows in one word? David Hoey responded: “Hallicinatory”
‘Arbor Day’ with a frock by Alexander McQueen
‘Halloween’ in the Cornelius Vanderbilt Mansion
If you live in the New York area, you owe it to yourself to see these spectacular windows in person, all you need to do is open your eyes, suspend disbelief, and enjoy the wonder!
And if you don’t, you might enjoy this video clip from the team at Bergdorf’s walking you through their creative process;
[And one final note: The Bergdorf Windows actually have their own blog! You can add the URL to your RSS feed and be notified when they have been changed – a great way to keep up with some of the most creative window displays in the world!]