Every town has its prime stretch of real estate that, come the holiday season, puts on a show of festive lights and trimmings. There are countless examples of holiday cheer throughout NYC, with lighted trees and displays in store windows. But it’s Fifth Avenue that takes the Christmas spirit to new levels. Here’s a photo tour of our favorite displays in NYC.
Set back from the street behind the Apple Store’s glass entryway, Cartier commands the plaza with a glittering red bow topped by the brand’s signature leopard. While the jewel box of a building’s display is flashy, the windows are a lesson in elegant restraint: snowy mountains and dangling snowballs set the stage for the French company’s pieces. Photo on the right by @jlee2004 on Instagram.
Bergdorfs is a New York icon, and it celebrates the season accordingly. This year, the department store used millions of Swarovski crystals to showcase its holiday theme, “Brilliant.” We loved the Treasured and Hidden Gem windows, with their deep hues and shimmering characters (Poseidon and an adorable gemstone miner, respectively).
Across Fifth Avenue from Bergdorf’s, Goodman’s is the company’s men’s department, although judging by their windows you might not think the stores were related. While the flagship went with crystal, Goodman’s opted for a rustic-chic look, with (snappily dressed) mannequins lounging by a roaring fireplace in a log cabin. Of all the windows on Fifth Avenue this year, these are the most inviting.
Small storefront space (and neighbors under construction) did not put a damper on Van Cleef & Arpels’s window displays. Surrounded by heavy garlands, the frosty blue scenes showcase diamond-covered necklaces and watches in a snowscape with white flowers.
The southern corners Fifth Ave and 57th street are home to two of our favorite holiday window displays. On the west side, Bulgari dominates the scene with a massive, lighted pendant reminiscent of the Italian jeweler’s necklaces. On the east side, New York legend Tiffany & Co. decks its flagship store with a 106-foot-tall light show, which was inspired by fireworks created for the Tiffany Diamond during the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. In the windows themselves, the store went small-scale: displaying jewelry in gorgeous miniature theaters straight out of the nineteenth century.
Famed New York retailer Saks ups the ante this year with its “Winter Palace” windows. The entire facade comes to live as an icy castle, and windows display blue-tinted, frosty scenes that make even the Great Barrier Reef look darn-right arctic.
Barneys New York’s holiday window displays are well worth the detour to Madison Avenue. This year, the department store went with a “Chillin Out” theme, complete with perpetually growing ice castles and caves, other sculptures carved nightly by ice sculptors, and a massive set of glass icicles from David Chihuly. Check out the store’s video for a behind-the-scenes look. Photo by @valerie.yogi.561 and @franckdemaury.