Looking at Bergdorf’s

Tiffany Building 57th & Fifth AvenueRecently I saw a statistic that 77% of Americans did not want to see Christmas decorations or hear Christmas music or see holiday ads until after Thanksgiving. So much for the customer is always right. Mid-November sees the unveiling of the stunning Christmas displays around 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City. Only a video could really capture what happens on the façade of Tiffany’s flagship store as lights dim and shift. The giant Swarovski crystal star suspended over the intersection looks part of the display.

Sculpture Alexander McQueenMy annual much-anticipated pilgrimage to Bergdorf Goodman’s Christmas windows comes as soon as they are unveiled. No one does it better. This year’s theme is: Inspired. They sure inspire me! This window is “Sculpture” with the appearance of huge ice sculptures surrounding the Alexander McQueen coat.

Music Ed GreeneHundreds of perfectly polished brass instruments form a musical collage behind a sleek dress by Ed Greene in the window called “Music”. Can you hear the oom-pah-pah?

DanceOn 58th Street, “Dance” is centered on a ballerina, revolving like an old-time music box, against a tableaux of meshing gears repeating her twirls.

Architecture Julien McDonaldThe blue and white schemes of old building plans take on many forms in the window called “Architecture”.  All the buildings and architectural details are constructed from paper plans. Aficionados can go to the BG blog about all the windows, where the pictures are much clearer than mine – taken with the windows open? Do they open?


Architecture Blue HairIn this view, her fall of almost royal blue hair carries out the scheme. These fascinating holiday windows emphasize cultural inspiration of all kinds. Of course, its all about selling the blue and white dress by Julien McDonald.

 Painting Into the Wings“Painting” was hardest to photograph, with its mannequin (in Dolce & Gabbana) on the horse, literally dwarfed by an 18’ artist’s mannequin used for figure drawing. At this angle you see how beautifully finished the windows are even into the wings.

Painting details WAFAWhite on white on white still gave huge impact. The only color was the small painted area of canvas.

Architecture Details


Every corner contains painstaking details which reward intensive scrutiny.




 Cartography Details CalligraphyGem-like small windows featured cartography and calligraphy.

Literature Alice & OliviaLiterature VermillionHands down my holiday favorite was the vermillion window “Literature”.  The dress, front and center, is by Alice & Olivia, surrounded by fabric portraits, books and even a giant puffy typewriter.  Books and fashion in holiday red!

 Literature George Eliot in NeedlepointBooks are open with quotes like “You cannot open a book without learning something” and  “A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation” (Saki). Walls are covered with many literary portraits of suthors from Sophocles to Louisa May Alcott in macramé, needlepoint, stiching, tapestry and applique.

 Theater Julien McDonaldBroadway on Fifth – “Theater” is a tour de force of specially commissioned neon with a sexy dress by Julian McDonald. Bright Lights Big City Holiday Inspired. In my next life, designing these windows is the job I want!!


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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2 Responses to Looking at Bergdorf’s

  1. Margo Bennett says:

    I just want to be thin enough again to wear one of those glorious dresses!
    Thanks for the tour that is a treat

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