Besides the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, nothing captures the Christmas spirit in the Big Apple quite like the classic department store window displays. From snowflakes to shopping bags and even a full-on storyline, this year’s displays continue their tradition of being entertaining and awe-inspiring. If you’re headed into the heart of the Big Apple, let your eyes enjoy these spectacular free sights and check out our guide to 2011′s NYC department store windows. By Krissy Dolor.
More Photos: NYC Department Store Holiday Windows 2011
Macy’s Herald Square
151 W. 34 St.
New York, NY 10001
This Christmas, Macy’s will do their part to make wishes comes true with their “Make-A-Wish” windows. Award-winning designer Paul Olszewski combined modern technology and traditional elements of animation to create this year’s theme, which transforms holiday wishes and dreams into festive ornaments. With all the sets, costumes and characters donning white, the colorful ornaments of dreams and wishes will pop even more. The first window sets the tone using 3DFusion, the first 3D technology if its kind in retail history. Other highlights include a “Ship of Wishes” window, featuring real wishes from children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and an interactive ‘make-a-wish’ window, where visitors can design their own ornaments to take home virtually on their mobile devices.
Saks Fifth Avenue
611 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
This year, the Fifth Avenue flagship puts on a dramatic light show: The Snowflake & Bubble Spectacular. An updated twist on last year’s bubbles theme, the show, which will be projected onto the building’s facade, celebrates the integration of technology and fashion. The traditional Saks snowflakes symbolize joy and hope, while the bubbles appear to interact with the snowflakes through projection technology. Saks Fifth Avenue is using a new soundtrack composed just for the show, along with a unique six-projector system that appears to change the features of the building itself using vivid 3D programming.
1000 Third Avenue
New York, NY
Bloomingdale’s is known for their legendary shopping bags, and this year’s theme will celebrate the iconic designs throughout the years. Oversized vintage bags nestled in velvet will open or spin, showcasing a diorama of intricate sculpted animation. While you’re looking at this display, make sure to put your best face on – special cameras will snap your photo and sent it to Bloomindale’s Facebook page. But if you’re looking for your own vintage Bloomie’s bag to take home, head inside the store to purchase your own collectible bag. One design per week will be released until Christmas, so be sure to keep shopping if you want all six!
Lord & Taylor
424 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
This year, Lord & Taylor asked children from Women In Need shelters and local schools to draw what they believe Christmas is made of for the theme, “What is Christmas Made Of?” Inspired by these pieces of art, the stores mechanical holiday windows feature 125 of their original drawings.
Barneys New York
660 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10065
More Photos: The Launch Of Gaga’s Workshop At Barneys
Barneys puts their own twist on Christmas with their 2011 campaign – Gaga’s Workshop. The pop diva herself has collaborated with artists Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide Pierson of Assume Vivid Astro Focus and Nicola Formichetti, creative director of Mugler and Lady Gaga’s very own fashion director, to create the singer’s eclectic version of Santa’s Workshop. These designs are featured in the windows of their Madison Avenue location – which will also change it’s fifth floor to showcase the display. The signature artwork for Gaga’s Workshop will be featured on holiday bags and packaging.
754 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
The collection of windows at Bergdorf Goodman this Christmas season is titled “Carnival of the Animals.” With individual windows called “The Brass Menagerie,” “Testing the Waters” and “Breaking the Ice,” the display includes all sorts of wildlife, from primates to polar bears.
In “Teacher’s Pet” (pictured), a model dressed in a black and white lace Marchesa gown stands inside a 3-dimensional paper classroom filled with similarly colored paper animals, including a life-sized paper zebra and panda bear.