Though it seems like just last week we were sunbathing in a fluke November heatwave, it's that time of year again, when New York City becomes a hyper-commercialized version of Santa's Village and even the most curmudgeonly among us have to admit that twinkle lights are actually deeply appealing. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the holiday windows of the city's department stores, where massive, intricate displays draw crowds and make trudging through midtown even more of an ordeal than usual.
"Dazzling" is the best way to describe the Bloomingdale's display, or perhaps "blinding," if you catch a glimpse of one of the mirror-plated animal sculptures at sundown. From a bedazzled dog to a glittering deer, they're certainly eye-catching—just don't look too long or you'll wind up seeing Christmas tree ornament-shaped spots.
Barneys has taken a more modernist approach, carving cityscapes out of ice and lighting them in vibrant reds and oranges. There are also some icy bunnies, birds, and penguins rocking icicle trenches that are no doubt variations on the multi-thousand dollar ones for sale indoors. These windows featured work by famed glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, who has used over 700 handblown glass pieces to create what looks like gigantic ice crystals.
Bergdorf Goodman is a little more upfront about its capitalist intentions, putting the clothes first and foremost. But that's not to say the windows aren't worth a look: there's variety within them, with some taking a minimalist, color-centric approach to showcasing just a few mannequins, and others featuring multi-colored fortune-teller dioramas and displays of armory and royalty. According to Women's Wear Daily, these windows were done in partnership with Swarovski, which certainly explains all the sparkly crystal action.
Gothic ice queens are the focus of the displays at Saks Fifth Avenue, where mannequins decked out in black and white populate a frosty winter palace lit entirely in blue. There's a lot to take in here—from towers of snowy desserts to icicle-covered dresses and, once more, a very frosty bunny. The store's façade also has a dramatic light show:
The displays at Lord and Taylor are the most dynamic and appetizing among the bunch. They've got a rotating display of cakes, a moving cuckoo clock, and a legion of gingerbread men carrying a massive gingerbread house on their heads (hope they're unionized). You can check out a video of one of the displays below:
The Macy's windows have taken the weirdness of seeing the Peanuts characters in 3D to a whole new level: here, 3-foot-tall versions of the Peanuts gang recreate classic scenes from the cartoon, from Lucy's psychiatric help stand to Linus and his blanket. If you visit the windows, you can use an interactive screen to create your very own Peanuts character, who will pop up in the various windows. In another display, you can play the piano that the characters are dancing on: